Ayari Champion in thrilling finale, Bontempelli-Gattuso conquer GTS


Soheil Ayari (JMB Racing) is the new International GT Open champion, after a thrilling finale which saw the title changing owner two laps from the end. The Frenchman, partnering with Joel Camathias, started the day with 12 points of margin over Andrea Montermini-Emanuele Moncini (Villorba Corse) but having a higher handicap following yesterday’s win, he was seventh and beaten in the final phases of the race. But when Emanuele Moncini lost second to Alessandro Pier Guidi (who eventually won the race on the Vittoria Ferrari F430 shared with Cochito López), Ayari became virtual champion by one point and he got completely reassured in the last lap when Moncini got out of the track after a contact with Garofano in a desperate attempt to retake second spot. Frezza-Bell were second on the second JMB Ferrari, ahead of Barba-Ceccato (Autorlando Porsche).

In GTS, with Roda (Autorlando Porsche) retiring in the early stages, title was quickly granted to Lorenzo Bontempelli-Stefano Gattuso (Kessel Ferrari) who took their sixth win of the season, ahead of the Villois Aston of Wiser-Lancieri and the Goodsense Lamborghini of Kox-Amos.

Montermini takes a good start and concludes first lap ahead of Amos Bell, Camathias, Griffin, Rangoni, Lavio, Lopez, Barba and Giao, but the safety car is out as different incidents got Rugolo and Godinho out of track, while Roda stops with a broken wheel, and fluids are leaking from the Porsche of Aka. At the re-start, Montermini keeps control while the Lambo will start sliding in the rankings before stopping to change a tire in lap 8. The JMBs of Bell and Camathias are 2nd and 3rd, ahead of Rangoni, Griffin, Barba, Lavio and Lopez. The Audi of Campaniço now leads in GTs, ahead of Wiser and Gattuso.

As driver change window opens, Ayari is among the first to take the wheel (after serving his 30-second handicap), while Moncini (15-seconds handicap) does it in lap 15, rejoining second behind Garofano. Ceccato is third, followed by Pierguidi, Frezza, Gerber and Giammaria with Ayari eighth, while in GTS, Lancieri is first with the Aston ahead of Mantovani (but both will get a drive-through for speeding in the pitlane) and Bontempelli.

Final laps see Garofano, Moncini, Pierguidi getting closer and closer, with Frezza fourth, Ceccato, Giammaria and Ayari. With this situation, it’s Moncini champion but the storming final of Pier Guidi is going to change everything. As he passes Moncini for second in lap 25, the championship goes to Ayari for one point, but in the last lap Moncini tries a desparate assault on Garofano (who had just lost the lead under the attacks of Pier Guidi) and the two go out of the track. It’s the end of the suspense and Ayari (who has passed Giammaria in the meantime) is the new champion. In GTS, Bontempelli wins race (ahead of Wiser and Amos) and title.