Ricardo van der Ende started the first race of the Competition102 GT4 European Series from pole position at Monza ahead of a strong and varied grid.
The Dutch driver for Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport topped qualifying for Pro class drivers. Andreas Gülden secured pole position for race two in the following session, putting the Sin R1 GT4 in front.
Van der Ende wasn’t sure he’d be able to challenge for pole position after the two practice sessions, but the Ekris M4 GT4 driver found momentum to beat Hendrik Still, who topped both earlier sessions. The German competing for Sofia Car Motorsport came just 0,067s short to Van der Ende but was four tenths clear of Peter Terting with the Porsche Cayman PRO4 GT4. Simon Knap, also driving an Ekris M4 GT4, secured fourth place. The Dutchman just 0,013s faster than Maserati racer Giorgio Sernagiotto.
Gülden dominated the second qualifying practice. The Sofia Car Motorsport driver seven tenths faster than Marko Helistekangas, racing the KTM X-BOW GT4 for RYS Team Pankl. He was two tenths quicker than ‘Reiter Young Stars’ colleague Lennart Marioneck. Luca Anselmi put his Villorba Corse Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 in fourth, ahead of Romain Monti again in a Maserati.
Giuseppe Ghezzi of Autorlando Sport was the fastest AM driver in the first session. The driver for Autorlando Sport secured twelfth place overall and beat Jan Kasperlik driving with the Allied Racing BMW M3 GT4. Ghezzi’s team mate Giovanelli Allessandro became the best placed driver of an all AM line-up as he qualified sixth in the second session.
Top ten, qualifying 1:
1 Van der Ende, Ekris M4 GT4, 1:58.907
2 Still, Sin Cars Sin R1 GT4, +0.067 seconds
3 Terting, Porsche Cayman PRO4 GT4, +0.512
4 Knap, Ekris M4 GT4, +0.743
5 Sernagiotto, Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4, +0.756
6 Monti, Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4, +0.826
7 Coronel, BMW M3 GT4, +1.060
8 Freiburghaus, KTM X-Bow GT4, +1.166
9 Calamia, Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4, +1.309
10 Beelen, Chevrolet Camaro GT4, +1.675
Top ten, qualifying 2:
1 Guelden, Sin Cars Sin R1 GT4, 1:58.869
2 Helistekangas, KTM X-Bow GT4, +0.789
3 Marioneck, KTM X-Bow GT4, +1.007
4 Anselmi, Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4, +1.056
5 Monti, Maserati Trofeo MC GT4, +1.087
6 Allessandro, Porsche 911 (997) GT4, +1.120
7 Lackinger, BMW M3 GT4, +1.248
8 Nooren, Chevrolet Camaro GT4, +1.373
9 Zamparini , Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4, +1.934
10 Severs, Ekris M4 GT4, +1.985
Giorgio Sernagiotto and Luca Anselmi won the opening race of the 2016 Competition102 GT4 European Series at Monza.
The Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 drivers fought the entire race for position and came out on top. Ricardo van der Ende and Bernhard van Oranje were classified second with the Ekris M4 GT4 ahead of team mates Simon Knap and Rob Severs. Villorba Corse’s Alessandro Fogliani and Patrick Zamparini won in the AM category.
Van der Ende started from pole position chased by Hendrik Still and defended lap after lap until his rival made a brave pass. But the Sin R1 GT4 driver wasn’t able to pull away.
Simon Knap, also driving an Ekris M4 GT4, followed Peter Terting in fourth position and made an attempt to challenge the PROsport Performance Porsche Cayman driver. But he couldn’t keep up and instead lost two places to Sernagiotto and Duncan Huisman who had started from fourteenth on the grid. When the pit window opened, allowing the teams to complete their mandatory pit stop, Huisman was attacking the Maserati driver but also had to look into his mirrors for Terting.
When all pit stops were completed, van Oranje, who took over from van der Ende, was leading the race. He soon got under attack from Mads Siljehaug. The driver part of the ‘Reiter Young Stars’ programme showed his speed, but went wide and made a short trip through the gravel trap. However, he did manage to rejoin the track in a spectacular way. It wasn’t an easy race for van Oranje for the remaining part of the race because Anselmi made two successful passes on Siljehaug and van Oranje for the lead of the race.
With just six minutes left the safety car went out for the stranded Maserati of Giuseppe Fascicolo. It fortunately didn’t take long before the drivers were unleashed. In the final two laps Anselmi was able to pull away, won the race and finished in front of Andreas Gülden, team mate of Still, and van Oranje who managed to take third. Van der Ende and van Oranje were promoted to second after Still and Gülden received a post race 30-second penalty for crossing the white line at the pit exit. Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport drivers Rob Severs and Simon Knap were ranked third, just ahead of reigning champions Jelle Beelen and Marcel Nooren, driving the Chevrolet Camaro GT4.
Alessandro Fogliani and Patrick Zamparini finished in fifth and first in the AM category while they started from 24th on the grid. The Villorba Corse drivers passed Jan Kasperlik and Dietmar Lackinger who finished second in their division. Polish drivers Piotr and Antoni Chodzen concluded the race in third.
Zamparini: “We are super happy with the win. Yesterday we haven’t been so lucky in qualifying, but today we had a quite nice pace. But the other cars competing in our category were not so far in front from us, so we could overtake and thanks to the safety car I could catch up with the others. Tomorrow we start a bit more in front and we’ll try to achieve the same.”
Anselmi was extremely happy to pass the finish line first: “It was a fantastic battle in my first race with a GT car, so taking victory feels incredible.” Team mate Zamparini added: “The start of the race was not very fast because of a problem with the air pressure. So it was hard staying in the middle of the ‘jungle’. But after another few laps the car felt really good and I could overtake. We switched drivers when we were in third position and Luca did a fantastic job to move up to first.”
Romain Monti won the second race of the Competition102 GT4 European Series at Monza. The race was stopped by a red flag minutes before the end due to the stranded BMW M3 GT4 piloted by Tim Coronel.
The standings of the previous lap made the final result in which V8 Racing drivers Duncan Huisman and Jelle Beelen had not passed Monti’s Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4. The Dutch drivers were ranked second and third instead. Autorlando Sport’s Giovanelli Allessandro and Giuseppe Ghezzi won in the AM category, finishing fourth overall.
Andreas Gülden started from pole position and was chased by Lennart Marioneck and Marko Helistekangas, both part of the ‘Reiter Young Stars’ programme. Gülden defended but suddenly lost two positions to the KTM drivers because of problems with the power steering. Gülden brought the Sin R1 GT4 back to the pit lane for the driver change and told his team mate Hendrik Still what happened. But that was not all, as Still discovered another issue: “I tried to race without power steering, that’s possible. After one lap there was an electronic failure. I turned the main switch on and off, but the problem repeated frequently and I decided to bring the car back to the pits.”
After the mandatory pit stop Monti found himself in front and spotted the charging V8 Racing drivers in his mirrors. Monti’s advantage over the Dutch disappeared when the safety car was deployed. Doreen Seidel parked her KTM X-BOW GT4 in the gravel trap and therefore the race got neutralised.
With several minutes left a repeat of Saturday’s action-packed final laps was likely. Both Huisman and Beelen passed Monti on the main straight when the race was resumed. But the Italian driver did not give up and tried to regain positions. Before he could do that, the red flag was shown because Coronel’s car lost oil and caught fire, which was extinguished quickly.
“During the safety car I knew it would be a tough job to stay in front because the Camaros are so quick on the straight”, said Monti. “After the restart I couldn’t do anything and so they passed me. Due to the red flag the race ended in my favour. I think I deserve the win and I’m very happy with it, especially after the team did a perfect job by fixing the gearbox problem.”
Huisman and team mate Luc Braams, who started from sixteenth, were ranked second. Beelen and Nooren were handed third place. A strong drive of Allessandro and Ghezzi resulted in fourth overall and first position in the AM division.
Ghezzi: “I had to start for the first time, but I received great guidance from my team mate up front. It went well and could overtake two cars later on. From there it was easy to control the car and handed it over to Giovanelli. We drove very consistent lap times and are very happy with the result.”
KTM X-BOW GT4 drivers Marioneck and team mate Tim Stupple finished in fifth and in front Ricardo van der Ende and Bernhard van Oranje who were second in the race on Saturday.
Behind Allessandro and Ghezzi in the AM category finished Allied Racing’s Jan Kasperlik and Dietmar Lackinger. Alessandro Fogliani and Patrick Zamparini, class winners of Saturday’s race, concluded the podium.