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Wins For TF Sport & Garage 59 At Monza

Maiden win for Ledogar and West in Race 2

Race 1

Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc brilliantly took their second win of the year from pole in the first race of the weekend driving the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage. In a thrilling finale, Fabrizio Crestani almost caught the Aston with the Orange1 Team Lazarus Lamborghini Huracán shared with Thomas Biagi. The Italian duo, though, made further progress in the lead of the standings. Also after a superb final charge, Côme Ledogar brought the Garage 59 McLaren 650S to the podium, the second in a row for Alexander West.

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Manuel Da Costa-Miguel Sardinha continued ther triumphant march in GT-Am , adding one more win to the toll of the Sports&You Mercedes, which beat the Antonelli Lambo Super Trofeo of Omar Galbiati and his son Kikko and the surprising SCG003S of Mino Caccia-Lorenzo Bontempelli.

It was a very close start, with the pole-sitter Hankey barely holding onto the lead into the first chicane ahead of the two BMWs of Schothorst and Yacamán, followed by Postiglione, Biagi, Babini and Balfe.

A fierce duel between the two BMWs behind gave Hankey breathing room in the opening laps though. On lap two Yacamán passes his team mate Schothorst on the outside at the Parabolica. The Dutchman retook the place though, while Postiglione snuck past Yacamán.

At the start of lap 9, Postiglione managed to pass Schothorst on the outside at the first chicane, with a great move on the limit. He then sat second but seven seconds behind Hankey. With the two BMWs of Schothorst and Yacamán in third and fourth (and still fighting) Biagi was fifth ahead of Babini, Balfe, West, Da Costa (who was leading GT-Am), Moiseev and Plachutta. The SGC of Caccia was back in P13 despite missing the qualifying session because an oil pump issue. Barreiros then pitted and retired.

In lap 17, Biagi, Cioci, West, Balfe and Plachutta were the first ones to stop for the driver change. In the meantime, there is a strong attack by Yacamán on Schothorst at the first chicane, with the Colombian passing but touching his team mate, who was forced to put two wheels in the gravel. After all stops, Yoluc led by 20 seconds over Crestani and Ramos, then Busnelli, Keen, Monje, Ledogar and Pellegrinelli. In lap 15, Ledogar, the fastest man on track, passed both Monje and Busnelli in one move, to take fifth, while Crestani reduced the gap to the leader Yoluc by six seconds.

The final laps were thrilling with two battles at the same time. The one for third saw Ramos trying to resist to Keen and Ledogar. On lap 34, Keen touched Ramos at first chicane with Ledogar passing the Brit and soon after taking third from Ramos, who will also concede one position to Monje. In the lead, Yoluc held his position but Crestani is charging furiously and eventually caught the Turk on the last lap. But he couldn’t and the Turk went on to win

Race 2

Côme Ledogar and Alexander West took their maiden win in the GT Open in a lively Race 2 at Monza. The pair of Garage 59 drivers conducted a faultless tactical race to beat rivals and manage fuel, beating the Teo Martín BMW of Fernando Monje and Gustavo Yacamán.

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The Spanish-speaking pair had actually crossed the line in third, but the last-minute overtake by the Orange 1 Team Lazarus Lambo was sanctioned with a two-second penalty after the race. For Fabrizio Crestani and Thomas Biagi, the result was still excellent, as they increased their advantage in the standings, which is now 29 points on Yacamán-Monje, given also the poor day had by the Balfe McLaren, the BMW of Ramos and the TF Aston.

In Gt-Am, nothing could stop the Sports&You Mercedes of Sardinha-Da costa, which once again sat first, ahead the Antonelli Lambo of Kikko and Omar Galbiati.

At the start Crestani pulled away nicely from the pole, followed by Cioci, Caldarelli and Keen, who got touched at the second chicane and had to stop in the pits to change a tyre. Then Jäger, Ledogar, Monje, Yoluc, Ramos and Guedes, the GT-Am leader. In lap 3, it’s Ramos having to stop with a turbo problem, while Ledogar took fourth from Jäger.

While Crestani pulled away, Caldarelli passed Cioci for second in lap 6, five seconds behind the leader. Ledogar was not far away, heading a train with Jäger and Yacamán behind. The race then ended for the Race 1 winning Aston, as Yoluc stopped with a broken gearbox. In lap 12, the Renault of Guedes is in the pits, again with brake issues. The driver change window opens with Pellegrinelli, Sardinha and Busnelli stopped first, while the SCG of Bontempelli retired with broken brakes.

After all changes, there is a contact at Lesmo’s second corner between Fu and Moiseev, then provisional leaders, with the Chinese spinning into the gravel. The Russian takes the lead, with five seconds over West and nine on the trio Plachutta, Biagi, Yacamán, then Postiglione 27 seconds behind. A few laps later Moiseev, West and Biagi came, before being joined by Yacamán. On lap 26, the Colombian passed Biagi and soon after, West dived up the inside of Moiseev at the first chicane, taking the lead.

One lap later, the Russian ran a little bit wide at Ascari and got passed by both Yacamán and Biagi. The Italian and the Colombian fought fiercely, and there was a scary contact at Lesmo, but eventually the Lambo takes second behind West. After the race, a two-second penalty would re-establish the previous order.