It’s a whole new game in the battle for the International GT Open, as Daniel Zampieri and Roman Mavlanov (SMP Racing Ferrari) took a brilliant and important success in Race 1 and Monza, preceding the pole-setter SRT Corvette of Archie Hamilton-Isaac Tutumlu and the Villorba Ferrari of Championship leaders Andrea Montermini-Niccolò Schirò. As the V8 Racing Corvette of Nicky Pastorelli-Miguel Ramos lived a black day and was forced to retirement after two tire blows, the situation at top of the standings is completely new. With this third seasonal success, the SMP Racing confirms the good form in Monza (Mavlanov already won last year), is now second 3 points from Montermini-Schirò, with Ramos-Pastorelli now third 15 points behind. In GTS, AF Corse signed a triple win, with Giorgio Roda and Paolo Ruberti taking a clear win that reinforces Roda’s leadership in the class. Zlobin-Persiani and Lyons-Lathouras completed the podium of the Italian squad.
THE RACE - At the start, Hamilton keeps the advantage of the pole over Ruberti, who is at pain to stay second and will have to let pass Soulet, Zampieri, Ramos in the initial two laps. Follow Montermini and Leo. Soulet gets closer to Hamilton and tries to attack him but has the Brit keeps him at bay.
In lap 5, the Camaro stops at the end of the straight (driveshaft) and one lap later, Ramos punctures at the Curvone and goes off in the sand, but manages to get back to the pits.
In lap 11, Soulet eventually manages to pass Hamilton at Lesmo, while Ramos goes straight at the first chicanes with his new tires. There is a contact between Cordoni and Dromedari in lap 18. As the dri ver change window opens, Soulet leads and has a 4-second advantage over Hamilton, who can’t resist to Zampieri (lap 18). Ruberti is fourth, ahead of Leo, Camathias and Zlobin.
The pit stop period is not quiet as Romani spins and hits the wall at Ascari in his first lap and the top V8 Corvette is again hit by problems, as Pastorelli’s front left blows with damage to the body and the Dutchman retires.
After the changes, Snoeks is in the lead with 6 seconds over Roda, 10 on Mavlanov, 12 on Tutumlu and Sdanewitsch, then Schirò, Beretta and Persiani. Soon after comes a stop-and-go penalty for Beretta for not serving the entire handicap time. The battle is fierce for second between Mavlanov and Tutumlu until the Kurd goes wide at La Roggia (lap 30), while Schirò takes fourth from Roda and soon after third from Snoeks, who drops from first to fifth at the wheel of a slowing Corvette because of a fuel pump not functioning well. Maleev takes win in the Gentlemen's Trophy ahead of Sdanewitsch and Cordoni.