Matteo Greco and Fabrizio Crestani claimed Race 2 honors at Misano World Circuit this past weekend in their #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo in a race in which included incidents, spins, a pair of safety car periods, a full course yellow and heavy rain.
The Easy Race duo suffered a rocky race start due to rain showers growing heavier as the race progressed, but Crestani took things steady during his stint and was able to gain several places, battling with Jonathan Cecotto (#88 LP Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3) and then leader Alex Frassineti (#63 Imperiale Racing Huracán GT3), eventually taking the lead three laps before bringing the car in for its mandatory pitstop.
Misfortunes reigned in on some top contenders during the opening stages of the race, with Lorenzo Ferrari in his #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 suffering tires problems and forcing him to the pits.
Vito Postiglione, who had been leading since the start, in the sister #14 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 suffered a retirement on lap ten after a collision with the second placed car of Luca Filippi (#58 RAM Autoracing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo) who tried to overtake the Audi but was unsuccessful. The incident also involved race 1 winner Daniele Di Amato in his #25 RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, who was running flawlessly in third prior to retiring.
This handed Toni Vilander (#21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo) the lead, but the Fin could not hold on for long after the safety car came in, eventually being overtaken by Fumanelli (#33 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo) and then colliding with Luca Segú (#90 AKM Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3), resulting in a puncture for the Ferrari and taking it out of contention.
Just as the pit window was about to close, rain increased. With most cars still out on slicks, a number of spins and accidents called for another safety car, offering the opportunity for teams to change to wet-weather tyres. New leader Fabrizio Crestani – having taken over the Easy Race Ferrari from Matteo Greco who started from seventh place and ran a fairly anonymous first stint – opted to do so, slotting back in fifth place after exiting from the pits.
As soon as the green flag dropped again, LP Racing’s Jonathan Cecotto began pressuring Alex Frassineti for the lead in both outright and the GT3 Pro-Am class but seemed unaware that Crestani was storming back to the front. Unconcerned by the two GT3 Pro-Am class Lamborghinis ahead of him, the GT3 Pro class pilot overtook them both in a single move and took the lead with two minutes to go, not looking back and winning the race by 5 seconds.
With their win, Crestani and Greco took over the lead in the Sprint championship, leading with 42 points ahead of Audi Sport Italia drivers Riccardo Agostini and Lorenzo Ferrari with 34 points.
Frassineti lost a further position to AKM Motorsport driver Bar Baruch on the final lap, pushing him off the podium. Baruch drag raced Cecotto out of the final corner for second place but came up just 0.029 short.
Riccardo Agostini finished fifth in the #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3, bouncing back from the first-lap incident and running almost a lap down. The team was saved by the safety car that came at the right moment and making the right choices when the rain increased.
It was a second straight GT Cup victory for Massimiliano Mugelli and Lorenzo Pegoraro (#391 Best Lap Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo) with both drivers getting the most out of treacherous track conditions and the two safety car periods. Mugelli had no issues gaining places while racing with slick tyres during his stint, while Pegoraro dominated the rest of the proceedings racing with rain tyres.
Following behind the Best Lap Lamborghini was Giovanni Berton and Giacomo Riva (#322 Krypton Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) followed by Nicholas Risitano and Luca Demarchi (#333 SR&R Ferrari 488 Challenge) who now fall second in the championship standings after having suffered a minor electrical problem to the gearbox.
Milos Pavlovic and Michael Fischbaum (#381 Bonaldi Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo) finished in fourth, while Francesca Linossi and Daniel Vebster (#355 Easy Race Ferrari 488 Challenge) secured fifth place ahead of Carlo Curti (#381 Tsunami R.T. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), Francesco La Mazza and Giuseppe Nicolosi (#369 Krypton Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), and Gianluigi Simonelli and Maurizio Pitorri (#318 Best Lap Ferrari 488 Challenge).
Another double win, this time in GT4 Pro-Am, was achieved by Mattia Di Giusto and Riccardo Pera (#281 Ebimotors Porsche 718 Cayman GT4). Both drivers dominated race 2, finishing over 30 seconds clear from its sister car of Sabino De Castro and Matteo Arrigosi (#252 Ebimotors Porsche 718 Cayman GT4), giving Ebimotors its second 1-2 finish of the season.
Gianluca Carboni and Emanuele Romani (#223 Autorlando Sport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4) closed out the podium, while Enrico Garbelli and Fulvio Ferri (#228 Nova Race Mercedes-AMG GT4) was forced to retire after suffering heavy contact with the BMW of Giuseppe Fascicolo and Nicola Neri (#215 Ceccato Racing BMW M4 GT4) during the closing stages of the race.
In GT4 Am it was Diego Di Fabio and Luca Magnoni (#207 Nova Race Mercedes-AMG GT4) who clinched yet another class victory and maintaining a comfortable lead in the championship ahead of Giuseppe Ghezzi and Dario Cerati (#275 Autorlando Sport Porsche Cayman 718 GT4).
The next round of the 2021 Italian GT Championship will be at the famed Mugello circuit where the Endurance championship will host its second three-hour race of the season from 2-4 July. Sprint returns after the summer holiday on 3-5 September at Imola.
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