Monza, Race 1: Venturini takes maiden win
Giovanni Venturini aims for a perfect weekend: after being the quickest in the First Practice and grabbing pole position yesterday, the Griffitz Durango driver took a dominating win Race 1, managing the race like an experienced driver despite being a rookie in the Championship.
|Venturini out front|
The first lap was very exciting, mainly thanks to a great move from Adrien Tambay; the Frenchman was very quick off the line and got besides Venturini trying to pass him on the outside at the First Chicane.
Unfortunately, he missed the apex and cut the runoff area. In order to avoid a penalty he had to slow down and give the position back to Venturini, but he did that near the second chicane, while Crestani was thundering quickly from behind trying to defend his position from an attack on the inside: the Italian driver couldn't avoid the impact, damaging the nose of his car and the rear wing of Tambay's. This went to Fabio Onidi's advantage, as the Lazarus driver took P3 in front of Luca Filippi, Sergei Afanasiev and Samuele Buttarelli. Fabio had a great chance of clinching a podium finish, and opted for an early pit-stop strategy: unluckily he lost a lot of time because of a stuck wheel nut, and this ruined his race, dropping 3rd place into Filippi's hands.
|Race 1 podium (L-R) Filippi (2nd) Venturini (1st), and Buttarelli (3rd)|
The SuperNova driver stuck himself to Tambay's tail, Adrien still boasting an impressive pace despite the damaged wing. Anyway, the upper flap was moving dangerously, so the Race Direction called the Gravity-Charouz Dams car in the pits to solve the issue, with team opting for a retirement as a repair was not possible. This meant 2nd place for Filippi, behind Venturini and ahead of a very consistent Buttarelli: the TP Formula driver was very cautious at the start, but he turned into "attack mode" at half distance, passing Afanasiev and grabbing P3.
In the meantime the lead duo got away with some fast laps, split by a 2" gap that remained unchanged until the mandatory pit-stop, when Venturini made the difference posting a couple of really quick lap times just before the tire change. So, after the stop the only chance for Filippi to win the race was pushing as much as he could, and that's what he did, clinching the fastest lap of the race on a qualifying pace, 1'36"286. Despite this, Venturini had the performance to control his rival's comeback, taking the checkered flag in 1st place ahead of Filippi, Buttarelli and a consistent Afanasiev.
The youngest driver of the Series, the 17 year-old Ceccon, was a good fifth ahead of Marco Barba, who managed to clinch P6 after starting from tenth spot of the grid. Behind Barba was an improving Pasquale Di Sabatino, followed by Onidi: the Italian driver was pretty disappointed after the race, but at least he will have the relief of starting from pole position in tomorrow's Race 2.
Points finish also for Bruno Mendez and Francesco Dracone, ahead of Adrian Zaugg: the South African driver of SuperNova had to face a very delayed start from the pit-lane, but decided to finish the race anyway to put some miles under his belt. Bad luck also for Rio Haryanto, who was hit by Giuseppe Cipriani at the first corner of the first lap, a crash that forced both to retire from the race.
Giovanni Venturini: "It's really difficult to explain how do I feel now: winning on my debut with such a performance, in my home race is a great feeling. I want to say thank you to my team, as they gave me a stunning car: from my side I just did a very good race, managing the pressure from Luca in the best possible way. Now I hope that I will do the same tomorrow".
Luca Filippi: "In order to clinch a win our race had to be perfect, and simply it wasn't. I also did a mistake, slowing to come in the pits a lap earlier than planned. When the team asked me to stay out I got back on the throttle but a couple of second were gone, and that was enough to lose the race. Anyway I also want to congratulate Giovanni, he did a great race".
Samuele Buttarelli: "I'm really excited, a podium on my first race is much more than I expected. At the start I was very calm, I knew that some other driver would have gone for risky moves, so I just took my line and stayed there. From then on I gave my best, just trying to avoid mistakes; for the whole race I had problems with the radio, so I wasn't even sure of being 3rd. The team managed to tell me my position just at the end, and I was more than happy"
1. Giovanni Venturini Griffitz Durango 16 laps in 26'43"146
2. Luca Filippi Supernova Racing + 1"184
3. Samuele Buttarelli TP Formula +5"688
4. Sergi Afanasiev Dams +11"130
5. Kevin Ceccon Ombra Racing +15"870
6. Marco Barba Campos Racing +16"883
7. Pasquale Di Sabatino Ombra Racing +22"474
8. Fabio Onidi Lazarus +27"425
9. Bruno Mendez Campos Racing +30"036
10. Francesco Dracone Emmebi Motorsport +53"376
11. Adrian Zaugg Supernova Racing + 6 laps
12. Adrien Tambay Gravity - Charouz Dams DNF
13. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus DNF
14. Giuseppe Cipriani Griffitz Durango DNF
15. Rio Haryanto DAMS DNF
Drivers Standings: 1. Venturini 26; 2. Filippi 19; 3. Buttarelli 15; 4. Afanasiev 12; 5. Ceccon 10; 6. Barba 8; 7. Di Sabatino 6; 8. Onidi 4; 9. Mendez 2; 10. Dracone 1.
Under 21 Standings: 1. Venturini 26; 2. Buttarelli 18; 3. Ceccon 15; Mendez 12.
Teams Standings: 1. Griffitz Durango 26; 2. SuperNova 19; 3. Ombra 16; 4. TP Formula 15; 5. DAMS 12; 6. Campos 10; 7. Lazarus 4; Emmebi 1.