Audi Sport Italia Press Release
Dindo Capello and Andrea Sonvico seal Audi maiden win in 2013 Italian GT
Johan Kristoffersson and Alex Frassineti post Top3 finish after comeback race
At Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit, Audi Sport Italia's #4 R8 LMS ultra was starting in pole position for the first time this season. Poleman Andrea Sonvico and Four-Ring-man Dindo Capello were on their way to stay at the front throughout the race, with the exception of lap fourteenth and fifteenth, when the mandatory pit-stop triggered a short-lived Michela Cerruti's BMW lead. Before the mid-season mark taking place in Imola today, Ferraris and Porsches had split wins in Italian GT3: three apiece. The long-awaited Audi victory helped Capello and Sonvico to bolster their box score in the tables, as the outcome of Imola have bunched up the contenders, although Vito Postiglione and Luigi Lucchini managed to keep their lead. The brave effort of #4 Audi was matched in race 2 by #5 Audi crew, as Alex Frassineti and Johan Kristoffersson, who posted their second 2013 podium finish: Kristoffersson pipped the lone Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 as time was running out.
In a glorious July morning, the first race started with Sonvico effective at the start in defending the spot gained on Saturday (the second 2013 Audi pole position and the first such spot for the Lombard driver in nearly a year) from the challenge coming from Giuseppe Ciro's Ferrari. The twosome pulled away immediately from the competition, which opted for a less aggressive pace. At the center of the fray Kristoffersson had to fend off the push coming from Cerruti, who had grabbed a pole in Austria. In the first half of the race positions remained essentially unchanged, but the pace of the leading pair enabled the #4 Audi 4 to stack up a 15s edge on fearsome Ferrari Black Bull Swisse and as many virtual seconds on Ciro's Ferrari (which at the pit stop was to spend additional idle time due to their Mugello win). therefore as soon as Capello hit the track he had over six seconds Christian Passuti and Marco Mapelli in Antonelli Motorsport Porsche and about sixteen on the Ferrari Black Bull Swisse, that local hero Mirko Venturi propelled to an impressive comeback. But the remaining time allowed him to overtake the Porsche but not the Audi, which celebrated the first victory in 2013 with 2-second margin and despite a drop in braking efficiency that hindered the Piedmont-based driver in the end.
Indeed, Venturi and team mate Tommaso Maino cruised to an easy win in race 2. After resuming the race sixth in the #5 R8 LMS ultra, Frassineti pushed hard and he overtook Andrea Dromedari's Ferrari in the upper chicane, but in the end he could not force beyond a certain limit and concluded less than a second Cerruti's P4. The afternoon race was eventless for #4 Audi: in it Capello completed the opening lap in P7 and Sonvico came home in the same position. Frassineti was eighth early in the race behind the other Audi, but the intricacies of the afternoon pit-stop allowed his Swede team mate to resume the race fourth. The Lamborghini driven by Giorgio Sanna Giacomo Barri ahead had a nine-second which triggered Kristoffersson to get in kill mode. He caught with the black Gallardo with five minutes to go and grabbed P3 when the Italian in its cockpit went wide in the run-off area trying to keep the Audi at bay.
CAMPIONATO ITALIANO GT3 - Imola, (I)
Round 7 2013: Sunday, 21 July
1. DINDO CAPELLO/ANDREA SONVICO (AUDI R8 LMS ultra) 28 laps 50'46.104 avg speed 169.252 km/h;
2. Mirko Venturi/Tommaso Maino (Ferrari) + 2.276s;
3. Christian Passuti/Marco Mapelli (Porsche) +3.833s;
4. Michela Cerruti (BMW) +20.360s;
5. ALEX FRASSINETI/JOHAN KRISTOFFERSSON (AUDI R8 LMS ultra) +21.175s.
Round 8 2013: Sunday , 21 July
1. Mirko Venturi/Tommaso Maino (Ferrari) 25 laps 45'28.394 avg speed 169,801 km/h;
2. Vito Postiglione/Luigi Lucchini (Porsche) +12.334s;
3. JOHAN KRISTOFFERSSON/ALEX FRASSINETI (AUDI R8 LMS ULTRA) + 16.517s
4. Giorgio Sanna/Giacomo Barri (Lamborghini) +18.797s;
5. Christian Passuti/Marco Mapelli (Porsche) +19.864s;
7. ANDREA SONVICO/DINDO CAPELLO (AUDI R8 LMS ULTRA) 1'44.614;
Points standings Campionato Italiano GT3:
1. Postiglione/Lucchini 93 points;
3. Venturi/Maino 86 pts.
5. Lancieri/Cirò 75 pts.
7. Colombo/Comandini 64 pts.
9. Passuti/Mapelli 62 pts.
11. CAPELLO/SONVICO 55 pts.
13. FRASSINETI 50 pts.
14 KRISTOFFERSSON 47 pts.
Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia