BMW M3 GTRs RULE SILVER CUP AT VALLELUNGA WITH QUESTER-RICCITELLI-PETER ON THE HIGHEST PODIUM STEP VALLELUNGA -- The two Duller Motorsport BMW M3 GTR, the only two cars at full laps and divided by only 24 seconds after six hours...
BMW M3 GTRs RULE SILVER CUP AT VALLELUNGA WITH QUESTER-RICCITELLI-PETER ON THE HIGHEST PODIUM STEP
VALLELUNGA -- The two Duller Motorsport BMW M3 GTR, the only two cars at full laps and divided by only 24 seconds after six hours racing, gained today SILVER CUP, Vallelunga 6 Hours second race. First under the chequered flag was the crew of Luca Riccitelli, Dieter Quester and Philipp Peter, followed by their team mates Stefano Zonca, Adrian Newey and Joe Macari. To top up the podium a full Roman crew, both team and drivers, that is Sergio Peroni, Andrea Argenti, Federico d'Amico and Giovanni Mezzasalma with Max Team tuned BMW M3 CSL.
For Quester e Riccitelli it is the third victory in Silver Cup after that of 2004, when they shared the drive with today rival Zonca, and the 2000 one with the same crew of this "Vallelunga 6 Hours" XV Edition organized by Peroni Promotion Incentive. Firmly in the lead since the start, Quester-Riccitelli-Peter M3 kept the leadership with only a moment of shudder for a tyre burst. The only ones able to cause anxiety to them were their team mates, in a few occasions benefiting from the numerous Safety Car interventions which cut down the gap but keeping the lead only for six laps in the first half of the race over 199 laps covered at the end of the 360 minutes. On the contrary third place for Peroni-Argenti-d'Amico-Mezzasalma car came true only in the final phase. After getting in third many times and losing it again in fiery fights with many rivals, their M3 was able to grasp the podium once and for all at less than half an hour from the chequered flag, coming ahead of Mulas-Funaro-Formilli M3 E36over the finish line and with Rinaldi-Iezzi-Bellin Renault Clio RS and Orlandi-Milani-Amaduzzi-Checcoli Alfa Romeo 147 GTA to fill up first six positions over 40 cars lined up on the starting grid.
Today Silver Cup closes "Vallelunga 6 Hours" XV Edition, four days devoted to motor sport beginning from thursday and carrying on with yesterday Gold Cup won by Mastracci-Maddalena-Serafini Maserati MC12.
SILVER CUP HOUR BY HOUR
1st hour: Silver Cup offers first thrills since starting lap: Zucchi's Seat Leon goes into the sand out of Esse, forcing Safety Car intervention. Pushed back on track, it is however able to rejoin the race. With yellow flags exposed there are many overtakings along the track and race Director sanctions the cars of Calabrese, Arlotti, Pedon and Milli with a Stop & Go.The M3 GTR with Quester at the wheel, starting from pole, preserves the lead while Del Castello overtakes Macari.
2nd hour: W&D BMW, initially protagonist of a wonderful recovery from the back of the grid where it was forced after skipping qualifiers for engine problems, comes to the pit and retires for technical troubles. New Safety Car intervention due to two cars stranded on the straight after the Esse: that of Brigliadori (electric problems) and Moncada's one, following a violent impact against protections. In third, behind thre two Duller Motorsport GTR, is now Ragazzi-Giuliani-Obermann M3, also started from the back of the grid having skipped qualifiers for mechanical problems, while Cerrai-Fabris-Liberati-Del Castello German coupe, which was just in third, is now forced to do its utmost in a fiery recovery after slipping in 20th after a contact at Cimini.
3rd hour: Leading positions confirmed with Red Bull car always in the lead, shadowed by team mates - the only ones at full laps - while behind Ragazzi-Giuliani-Obermann and Peroni-Argenti-Mezzasalma-d'Amico are in hot pursuit. To underline Bacchiozzi-Mastrangelo-Baccarelli recovery, now in 7th position after starting from 12th row.
4th hour: The two Duller Motorsport cars offer thrills in this fourth race stint. After 10' sice the beginning of this fraction there is the normal change of driver between Newey and Zonca but immediatlely after Newey collapses for the heavy effort. A check in the circuit infirmary confirms it was only weariness. After a few moments car n 1 left front tyre bursts and the car has to proceed slowly for almost a lap to gain the pit for an unexpercted stop but without ever losing its leadership.
5th hour: After climbing up to seventh at the end of fourth hour, Cerrai-Fabris-Del Castello-Liberati M3 loses again a few positions. In third climbs instead Mulas-Funaro-Formilli M3 E36, shadowed by Argenti after the disappearance, a few minutes before the end of the hour, of Ragazzi-Giuliani-Obermann car, still in third on fifth hour standins but now stranded in the pit.
6th hour: The last race fraction opens with the Safety Car on track, to allow the recovery of Mursia-Zampatti-Fantilli Alfa Romeo 147 in the sand at Cimini entry. On 178th lap Argenti gains again an for all third position behind Quester-Riccitelli-Peter and Zonca-Newey-Macari GTRs.