Daniel Zampieri and Roman Mavlanov, on the SMP Racing Russian Bears Ferrari F458, broke the string of wins of the Corvettes, imposing themselves flag to flag in Race 1 at Jerez. They preceded the Novadriver Audi R8 LMS ultra of César Campaniço-Aditya Patel, who surprised everybody by taking pole, second overall and the win in the GTS class. Giorgio Roda reinforced his leadership in the GTS standings taking 23rd overall and 2nd in GTS with Paolo Ruberti on the AF Corse Ferrari, while Joel Camathias-Matteo Beretta completed the GTS podium with the Autorlando Porsche.
The first Corvette, the V8 Racing of Ramos-Pastorelli, was only 7th today, while the SRT car of Isaac Tutumlu and Championship leader Maxime Soulet was forced to retirement by technical issue. This reopens the situation on top of the rankings, with Ramos-Pastorelli (77 points) right ahead of Montermini-Schirò (74) who were 4th today and Soulet now sharing third place with Zampieri-Mavlanov (72).
At the start, the Audi of Campaniço, which started from the pole, cannot hold the SMP Ferrari of Zampieri but manages to keep at bay Montermini and Tutumlu. Ruberti is fifth, ahead of Ramos, Camathias and Hamilton. Things remain stable in the initial laps, with the most interesting fights being between Camathias and Griffin for 7th (the Irishman passes in lap 8) and between Barba and Dolby for 10th, with the Spaniard also passing.
All of a sudden, in lap 8, some drops of rain start to fall but with no impact on the race, with Montermini passing Campaniço for 2nd for a very brief moment, before going wide and being overtaken again by the Audi.
The driver change window opens, but it’s drama for the Corvette of Sijthoff who loses a wheel right after leaving the pits, ending up in the gravel. After the changes and the handicaps, Mavlanov leads with 14” over Patel and 20” on Roda, followed by Schirò, Beretta, Pastorelli, Aicart and Soulet. There is more drama for the Corvettes, as at the end of lap 28, Soulet stops in the straight with some kind of technical problem. Also Pastorelli seems in trouble, as he gets passed by Aicart soon after. Fjordbach is tenth, fighting intensively with Bontempelli, who passes and wins also a final, intense duel with Retera.