Maranello, 1 May – The International GT Open season got underway this weekend at Imola with a fantastic Ferrari triple in Race 1. The F430 GT2 entered by Vittoria Competizioni and driven by the duo of Marco Frezza-Juan Manuel Lopez made it to the topmost step of the podium, joined in second place by the AF Corse F430 GT2 crewed by Alessandro Garofano-Luca Rangoni, while third went to the JMB Racing F430 GT2 of Soheil Ayari-Nicolas Misslin. The race was closely contested, having started behind the Safety Car, because of a sudden burst of rain. Behind the top three Ferraris, fourth place overall went to the fastest of the Porsches, the Autorlando Sport car finishing first in the GTS class in the hands of Gianluca Roda-Fabio Babini. Making up the rest of the GTS podium were the Raceteam Porsche driven by Thomas Gruber and Marco Seefried and the duo of Stefano Bizzarri-Andrea Rizzoli at the wheel of an AF Corse Ferrari 458 Itaia GT3.
Race 2 saw an end of Ferrari’s dominance with victory going to the Autorlando Porche of Andrea Ceccato-Alvaro Barba, who finished ahead of the Miguel Ramos-Raffaele Giammaria F430 GT2 (Racing team Edil-Cris) and another 458 Italia GT2 in the hands of Andrea Contermini-Emanuele Moncini (Scuderia Villorba Corse.) Key to the outcome of the race was Barba’s attack on poleman Juan Manuel Lopez, who dominated the early stages. Ramos-Giammaria produced a great performance, quickly getting by Moncini before closing to within four tenths of the leader. In fact, Moncini finished third, teamed with Montermini for the Villorba team, who having got to grips with the new Ferrari 458 Italia GT2, improved throughout the weekend. In fourth place came the winners of Race 1, Frezza and Lopez, which was enough for them to maintain the lead in the championship, while the GTS leaders, Lorenzo Bontempelli and Stefano Gattuso in the 458 Italia GT3 came home fifth overall.
The International GT Open series contenders will be back in action over the weekend of 14 and 15 May at the Magny-Cours circuit for the second of eight rounds this season.