Bas Schouten and Gabriele Piana made it two from two at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. The RN Vision STS Racing Team duo claimed a commanding victory in the second race of the GT4 European Series.
Schouten and Piana took their #111 BMW M4 GT4 to a lights-to-flag victory at Imola, ultimately finishing almost nine seconds ahead of the #8 CMR Toyota GR Supra GT4. Allied-Racing secured their first 1-2 Pro-Am finish of the season, with Kasperlik and Buus beating teammates Møller-Madsen and Viebahn. Victory in the Am Cup went to the #89 AGS Events Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Nicolas Gomar and Gilles Vannelet.
Starting on pole position, RN Vision STS Racing Team’s Gabriele Piana pulled away as the lights went out, leaving the #27 AGS Events Aston Martin, the #8 CMR Toyota and the Pro-Am Cup Porsches of Nicolaj Møller-Madsen and Joel Camathias behind.
Møller-Madsen and Camathias managed to pass Valentin Hasse-Clot in the Aston, but the two Porsche drivers came together in the Tamburello corner. Both cars spun, but Møller-Madsen and Camathias were able to rejoin. It allowed Hasse-Clot and Castelli to move into second and third overall.
Behind the leading trio, Allied-Racing driver Bastian Buus got past the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG, with teammate Møller-Madsen charging back up through the field.
At the front, Piana managed a three-second gap over Hasse-Clot, with Castelli a further three seconds behind in third place overall and in the Silver Cup. As the pit window approached the #111 RN Vision STS Racing Team BMW began to increase the lead.
As the pit window opened, several drivers opted to come in, but then the #75 Autorlando Sport Porsche crashed coming out of the Villeneuve corner. The resulting Full Course Yellow helped some drivers but hindered others.
After all pit stops had been completed and the race was restarted, Bas Schouten in the #111 BMW had a 13.210s lead over second-placed Stephane Lémeret. Pro-Am leader Jan Kasperlik and second-placed teammate Jörg Viebahn were now third and fourth on the road, followed by the #17 V8 Racing Chevrolet and the #718 Centri Porsche Ticino Porsche, while the #27 AGS Events Aston Martin had dropped to 7th overall.
Behind the top four, Jop Rappange, Ivan Jacoma and Theo Nouet got engaged in a fight for fifth overall, which allowed Lluc Ibanez to close. The #15 NM Racing Team rapidly closed the gap and after passing the #27 AGS Events Aston Martin in Tamburello, the Spaniard went after Ivan Jacoma.
The two went side-by-side into Tosa, but into Acque Minerali Ibanez hit Jacoma, causing suspension damage on the #718 Porsche. On the last lap, Ibanez had another coming together at Tosa. This time it was Jop Rappange who ended up facing the wrong direction.
Bas Schouten, meanwhile, stayed out of trouble and after 30 laps the #111 RN Vision STS Racing Team BMW M4 GT4 was the first to cross the line, making it two from two for the German squad. Lémeret finished 8.886s behind in second place for CMR.
Kasperlik and Viebahn crossing the line in third and fourth place overall, securing a dominant Pro-Am Cup 1-2 for Allied-Racing. Behind the two Porsches, it was the NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG that finished fifth on the road and third place in Silver Cup, followed by the two AGS Events Aston Martins, with Nicolas Gomar and Gilles Vannelet claiming the Am Cup victory.
Ibrahim Okyay was second in the Am Cup in eighth place overall. Wim Spinoy and Kay van Berlo took the final podium spot in Pro-Am for Selleslagh Racing Team, despite a spin at Tamburello on the opening lap. The final podium in the Am Cup went to the #76 Autorlando Sport Porsche of Giuseppe Ghezzi and Salvatore Riolo.
Gabriele Piana, #111 RN Vision STS BMW: “It was a perfect weekend. We were the quickest in every session. This also goes to show how good the performance of the BMW was here. We are the drivers, but we couldn’t have done it without the team. The team did a perfect job, we had a fantastic car from Thursday to Sunday, so this is the best way to pay them back, with two wins.”
Bas Schouten, #111 RN Vision STS BMW: “It’s perfect for us. We score 50 points for the championship; it can’t be better. Two pole positions and also two wins. Gabi had a great stint in this race, we had a great pit stops and I could manage to keep the car in front. It was good!”
Jan Kasperlik, #22 Allied-Racing Porsche: “It was a dominant victory in the end, but we had to fight a lot. When I took over from Bastian, who was in his first GT weekend ever, we already had a flat front right tire. I was constantly on the radio reporting the pressure. But the pace was still good, as the others couldn’t follow. We ended up in P3 overall, P1 in Pro-Am! Bastian is a racer from the beginning. For a 17-year-old boy, his performance is really high level.”
Bastian Buus, #22 Allied-Racing Porsche: “I feel really good right now. I didn’t expect this at the start of the weekend, but here we are now. So, I’m happy! It is very different from karting. The first race yesterday was difficult, but it was better today. I will have to adapt to it, but it will come in the end!”
Nicolas Gomar, #27 AGS Events Aston Martin: “We are quite happy about this performance, as we are discovering the championship. We are very happy to have been on the podium twice this weekend. We were already familiar with the SRO format as we took part and won the Lamborghini Super Trofeo last year with Gilles. But we’ll stay focus and keep in mind the fact that it is a new challenge, with a new car and a high level with specialists in the category.”
Gilles Vannelet, #27 AGS Events Aston Martin: “First of all, I would like to thank SRO for doing everything to ensure our presence on track and for making the 2020 season possible. We are very happy to leave Imola leading the championship.”