After two fantastic weekends in Imola and Misano, the Italian GT Championship resumes service up north at the temple of speed, Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The third round of the series saw a 34-car entry list taking to the track in an all-out high speed brawl for the chequered flag.
And a brawl it was throughout both races, which saw lots on incidents and accidents as some of the world’s best GT cars contended for the win and the first place trophy. As the green flag flew in race one, a couple of the front-running cars went straight on at the first chicane as the field bottlenecked. Polesitter Matteo Malucelli, however, did make the chicane and profited from the cars in front of him having to yield their stolen positions. Malucelli and co-driver Edward Cheever went on to take the victory in race one for Scuderia Baldini.
In race two, Vittorio Ghirelli got the jump at the start leading down into the Variante del Rettofilo. The Audi driver proceeded to put in a series of fast laps pulling a gap to Edward Cheever and Stefano Gai behind. After the pitstops, Luca Pastorelli in the number 22 Krypton Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 assumed the lead, but not for long. Pastorelli ran wide at the second chicane and handed the lead back to Benoît Tréluyer who had taken over from Ghirelli in the Audi — the Mercedes dropping back to third just behind solo driver Stefano Gai.
Pastorelli’s race went downhill from there, suffering from brake issues and conceding multiple places to Daniel Zampieri and Jamie Melo.
The Tréluyer-Ghirelli-driven Audi R8 LMS GT3 crossed the line in first place, but was relegated to second following a 3.4-second penalty for an incorrect minimum pitstop time. In the end they were only defeated by 0.272 seconds. Audi Sport Italia’s penalty meant the number 46 of Stefano Gai Black Bull Swiss Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 claimed the top step of the podium. The Audi ended up in second place with the Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 coming home in third, Niccolò Schirò and Jaime Melo the drivers in that prancing horse.
The Italian GT Championship next heads off to Tuscany’s stunning Mugello Circuit from the 14th to 16th of July.
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