A GT CAR AGAIN ON TOP OF "VALLELUNGA 6 HOURS" WITH THE MASERATI MC12. SILVER CUP WILL TAKE PLACE TOMORROW VALLELUNGA -- It was missing since 1977: we are talking about a GT car victory in Gold Cup, the "Vallelunga 6 Hours" race just reserved...
A GT CAR AGAIN ON TOP OF "VALLELUNGA 6 HOURS" WITH THE MASERATI MC12. SILVER CUP WILL TAKE PLACE TOMORROW
VALLELUNGA -- It was missing since 1977: we are talking about a GT car victory in Gold Cup, the "Vallelunga 6 Hours" race just reserved to GT and Sport cars, organized by Peroni Promotion Incentive. In today challenge the Racing Box Maserati MC12 entrusted to Davide Mastracci, Leonardo Maddalena and Michele Serafini was actually able to break off the prototypes supremacy which lasted since 1977 when it was McLaren F1 GTR to stand out.
At the start Maserati takes the lead benefiting by electronic problems in Zonca-Belicchi Lister Storm Lmp1 which started from pole. The powerful British sport car however is able to gain back the lead in less then 20 minutes and remains there firmly up to thirty minutes from the end when a left rear wheel hub failure forces Belicchi to retirement.
The Maserati takes the lead on 206th lap and ends the race covering 220 laps. With the Maserati firmly in first position and the Lister unable to defend its second place, the Racing Box Chrysler Viper GTS-R driven by Ceccato-Sabatini-Spinelli tries till last minute to gain the second place but is delayed by the many tyres problems which marked its race, taking the flag with the same number of laps covered as the Lister but ending the race in third. It is actually useful to remember that, according to endurance races regulation, a car, also if retired, is classed if it has completed 70% of the laps covered by winners, a rule that allows Lister to celebrate the second place. Polani-Ciani Porsche GT3, Marcenaro-Scalini-Moschini Lucchini P 19 and Ashburn-Masarati-Hooker GT3 fill up first six positions.
Tomorrow at 9 a.m. will begin the Silver Cup which will see starting from front row the two Duller Motorsport BMWs M3 GTR with the crews Quester-Riccitelli-Peter and Zonca-Newey-Macari. Two more German coupes will start from second row: those of Cerrai-Fabris-Liberati-Dal Castello and Peroni-Argenti-Mezzasalma-d'Amico (both Max Team), with Orlandi-Milani-Amaduzzi-Checcoli Alfa Romeo 147 GTA and Albanese-Calabrese Seat Leon to top up third row.
An oddity: this double "6 Hours" sees at the start three girls. In Gold Cup one of the Belgian Opel Astra Coupe drivers, who gained eighth place, was Catherine Desbrueres. Two the ladies in Silver Cup, both driving Seat Leon Supercopa but on two different cars: the skilled Valentina Albanese and the debutante Paola Cazzola, moving for the occasion to four wheels after gaining this year the motorbike Italian Women Championship with a factory Ducati.
GOLD CUP HOUR BY HOUR
1st hour: At the start electronic gremlins for Lister Storm with at the wheel Zonca who thus starts jerkily from last position being overtaken by all other cars. The Maserati MC12 takes the lead in front of Vita Centenari Mac 3 and Casoni Norma M20. Zonca begins his recovery and after 15 minutes is behind the leader and in a further few minutes gains first position. At the first pit-stop, one every hour for Lister, the Maserati retakes the lead for a few laps.
2nd hour: In spite of electronic problems, which are still worrying Lister box, the black sport car continues in the lead its "lone" marathon, increasing to one lap its lead over Maserati at the end of race second fraction; in third the Roman trio De Luca- Vita-Borgese. Two the retirements during this second hour: the Ferrari F40 and Cope's Porsche GT3 so joining Baldi's Lucchini retired after only 20'. Racing Box Crysler offers thrills coming to the pits on three wheels but duly starting again after pit-stop.
3rd hour: Exactly between second and third hour, Vita-Borgese-De Luca Centenari retires with engine troubles. The Norma is back in third followed, at the beginning of the second half of the race, by Bertola-Uncini-Leporelli Tampolli RTA with Ceccato-Sabatini-Spinelli Viper back behind them.
4th hour: New problems for Viper which comes back to the pits after losing again a wheel. It however stars again gaining fourth place. A further wheel lost forces Norma M20 to retirement while in third.
5th hour: Positions well-established in second-last fraction with the leading Lister followed by the two Racing Box GTs: the Maserati and the Crysler, while Marcenaro-Scalini-Moschini Lucchini P19 steps in fourth in front of Polani-Ciani Porsche GT3.
6th hour: 30 minutes before race end the unexpected event which determines race final result. At "Campagnano" corner the Lister Storm rear left wheel hub fails, forcing Belicchi at the wheel to park the car along the track. The Maserati takes thence the lead at the 206th lap, while Viper team mates are trying to fill the gap towards the Lister (according to race regulation Lister will actually be classed, also if it doesn't take the flag, having completed 70% of the laps covered by the first). Further tyres problems however slow down their recovery, with a pit-stop to check the rear tyre and a front tyre deflated. At the finish they have completed the same number of laps as the Lister but are still in third.