Imola: Gabriele Lancieri race report

Lancieri Flies and Keeps Up With The Maserati The Maserati MC12 had most of the attention this weekend in Imola for the FIA GT international championship. However, all eyes were set on Gabriele Lancieri (who was racing on his home turf)...

Lancieri Flies and Keeps Up With The Maserati

The Maserati MC12 had most of the attention this weekend in Imola for the FIA GT international championship.

However, all eyes were set on Gabriele Lancieri (who was racing on his home turf) when he went behind the wheel of the Saleen.

In fact, all of the spectators were cheering him on when Lancieri conquered the provisional 4th place and fought to conquer the 3rd place from one of the Maseratis.

The weekend for the Saleen crew made up of Gabriele Lancieri, Paolo Ruberti and Pirri Ardizzone, started off with all too many problems during the free practice session. The team encountered technical problems which were eventually fixed and this allowed the team to participate in qualifying session with calm. On Saturday, the Saleen conquered the 5th place on the starting grid.

Gabriele Lancieri's team-mate Paolo Ruberti, who competed in the first hour of the race, was able after a good start to keep up a rapid race rhythm. Ruberti handed the car over to the driver from Imola at the 26th lap in 6th place.

Graham Nash Team's strategy was to give Lancieri the vital second hour of the race. Gabriele did not want to disappoint his fans. So he started to push hard and caught up to his adversaries by a few seconds. Lancieri rhythm was so rapid that it brought him behind the 3°place which was at that moment occupied by Johnny Herbert & Fabrizio De Simone's Maserati

At the end of the second hour, at the 54th lap, Lancieri handed the car over to Pirri Ardizzone in 4th place. Unfortunately the Ardizzoone didn't manage to keep up the good work. He constantly fell behind and often made pit stops. As a consequence, the Saleen finished 12th in the GT classification.

Gabriele Lancieri

"This was a great race and I put on my best performance of the season right here in Imola, in front of my sponsors and fans. During my turn, I was even able to catch up to Herbert-De Simone's Maserati which is definitely a better performing car. I proved my talent in Imola and even if I don't drive with a top team, I was able to keep up and overtake many other prestigious cars. Even Eurosport noticed my climb up to the front line and focused on my Saleen for quite a while. Unfortunately at the end of the day, we didn't manage to get what we tried so hard to fight for but this doesn't erase my good work. I now can tackle the rest of season with serenity and with faith knowing that I can fight against the front line drivers of the most important Grand Touring championship in the world"

-gp group-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Gabriele Lancieri , Paolo Ruberti