2001 Lamborghini GTR Supertrophy
Round 5 - Donington Park (GB) - August 25/26
Brothers Pietro and Michele Gianni (Mig Power) made up for missing the previous round in the Lamborghini GTR Supertrophy, when they took an outright win and a fourth place in the pair of races at Donington Park circuit in Britain, and with it moved back into the championship lead. Lee Cunningham (Riverside) was the other race winner, taking victory on his home circuit to move into second place overall in the Overall standings. Frenchman Stephane Lang-Willar (Riverside) showed skill in the wet conditions of the Saturday race and recovered from a troubled Sunday race to maintain his lead of the Gentleman Drivers standings ahead of Cunningham.
Saturday's race was one of the wettest on record at Donington and saw Cunningham maintain his early lead over Michele Gianni, Lang-Willar andCedric Lorent (Autovitesse) right up to the driver changes (lap 12), as most of the field splashed its way through the standing water. The championship leading Zoboli/Tirella (Mig Power) car was out on the opening lap, then after a further lap, the Lamborghini VIP car was off at Redgate, spinning into the gravel at the start of lap 3 with British journalist Steve Sutcliffe at the wheel after storming through to eighth from the back of the grid.
Cunningham stayed out too long, missing the compulsoy driver-change pitstop window by a handful of seconds and lost his race lead when a one minute penalty was applied. That gifted the number one position to Luc De Winter, chased by Pietro Gianni and Lang-Willar, who was emerging as a 'rain-master'. Then with the chequered flag ready to come out, distaster for De Winter, as his car slowed with transmission problems, allowing Gianni to storm through for victory, followed by Lang-Willar.
Pietro Gianni: "Difficult in the conditions at the beginning when I handed over to Michele who had a disadvantage as all of the others near us were driving on their own, meaning at that point in the race they had experience of the track already. It was a great result for us, very happy."
Zoboli took the lead of Sunday's dry race after a clean rolling start, chased by Jean-Marc Gounon (Riverside), Fabio Santaniello (Mig Power), Frank Kremer (Auto Kremer) and Cunningham. But early action saw Gentleman Driver points leader Lang-Willar and guest driver, rally star Mark Higgins in the pits after just 3 laps. Higgins had to take avoiding action when Lang-Willar spun right in front of him at McLeans - both suffered punctured rear tyres - Lang-Willer continued, Higgins retired.
The next lap (4) witnessed Gounon make a stab for the lead at the Esses, taking Zoboli off the circuit with him. Santaniello inherited the lead, followed by Kremer, with Gounon recovering to third place followed by an unhappy Zoboli who was now chased by Cunningham and Gianni. Gounon passed Kremer for second on lap 8, but was destined for retirement with a gearbox problem. After the driver changes, the race settled into Raoul Meyer maintaining teammate Santaniello's lead from Tirella, Cunningham, Gianni and Lorent, Philippe Charriol unfortunately spinning out at McLeans in his first lap after the handover from teammate Gounon.
But Cunningham was on a charge, first picking off Tirella and then successfully challenging Meyer for the lead.
Lee Cunningham: "I am really pleased with this result. I started suffering from gearbox problems on the second lap and it was a case of nursing the car to the finish. We timed the pit-stop to perfection and after I rejoined, I just drove flat out to the end. We worked hard towards this weekend and it feels great that it has all paid off." <pre>
Race 1 (26 laps)
1 Gianni/Gianni (I) Mig Power 50m 38.713s 2 Lang-Willar (F) Riverside +4.198 3 De Winter/Lorent (B) Autovitesse +7.970 4 Gounon/Charriol (F) Riverside +8.400 5 Cunningham (GB) Riverside +21.037 6 Frei (CH) Autovitesse +1:24.641 7 Spadacini (F)/Eschmann (D) Classic Car +1:35.048 8 Larrousse (F) Larbre Comp. +1:35.387 9 Quinio/Mhitarian (F) Autovitesse +1 lap 10 Schirle (GB)/Worm (D) Konrad Corona +1 lap Fastest lap: Gounon Pole: Kremer/Roessler
Race 2 (29 laps)
1 Cunningham (GB) Riverside 50m 16.027s 2 Santaniello (I)/Meyer (CH) Mig Power +9.791 3 Zoboli/Tirella (I) Mig Power +18.664 4 Gianni/Gianni (I) Mig Power +26.814 5 Larrousse (F) Larbe Comp. +43.586 6 Schirle (GB)/Worm (D) Konrad Corona +1:24.221 7 Frei (CH) Autovitesse +1:37.905 8 Spadacini (F)/Eschmann (D) Classic Car + 1:42.062 9 Lacroix-Wassoer (F) Autovitesse +1 lap 10 Engel (D) Classic Car +1 lap Fastest lap: Gounon Pole: Zoboli/Tirella
Supertrophy Overall (after 5 rounds)
1 Gianni/Gianni 74 points 2 Cunningham 66 3 Tirella/Zoboli 64 4 Santaniello/Meyer 62 5 Gounon/Charriol 60 Lang-Willar 60
Gentleman Drivers (after 5 rounds)
1 Lang-Willar 117 points 2 Cunningham 107 3 Spadacini/Eschmann 74 4 De Winter/Lorent 68 5 Larrousse 66 6 Mhitarian/Quiniou 39