By Irina Boyarskaya

Photo: Akis Temperidis


Imola is a track with a complicated character. But it revealed that it can hide its caprices rather successfully. The other thing that it wants to do it very rarely.


During the qualification the gearbox of Oleksandr Gaidai's Porsche suddenly decided to show its independence and choose the gears to switch to by itself. It didn't took a pilot's opinion into account, and it ended with the 7th starting position and not the expected 5th.



The mechanics and engineers were hardly able to explain to the gearbox who is in charge of the car, and the track marshals distinguished themselves. Oleksandr Gaidai was given a command to enter the track... at that very moment when the GT race was going on! It meant that Porsche with the number 13 entered the track, began to worm up the tires and the GT cars shot by fighting for the podium at 280 km/h speed!


O. Gaidai: "I am entering the track, and people compete for the first place there! I think: holy cats, what's going on here?! I couldn't even imagine in my wildest dreams that marshals on any track might behave so oddly!"



The race seemed rather tasteless after such an adrenaline burst. As far as Gianluca Giraudi qualified only on the fourth position, the way to the champion's title became twice shorter for Matteo Cairoli (who won two additional points for the pole position). Let's hope that it happened not by the team management's suggestion (we remind that both Giraudi and Cairoli compete for Antonelli Motorsport). Give him his due, it took some time for Giraudi to give up. First he reached the third position, and then he seemed to calculate the qualification points and washed everything out.



The events on the track looked rough, we should say. If some participants like Alex De Giacomi, Alessandro Bonaccini or Glauco Soalieri made mistakes, flew out of the track and lost their positions, the others, for example, Enrico Fulgenzi, went to the road side for another reason: to cut off the turns. It bears reminding that such a tactics we repeatedly observed in the previous year, when it brought champion's title to Fulgenzi.



The marshals threatened Fulgenzi with black-and-white flag this time, but he wasn't sent to the pit lane having explained the fact with the mistake. After the race Oleksandr Gaidai will make a protest to Fulgenzi providing the onboard record from the camera, where not less than ten cases of intentional cut-off are fixed, but the protest won't be satisfied.



At the same time, Vito Postiglione overran the peloton leader, Matteo Cairoli. But the young talent didn't care one way or the other: the second place in the race was enough for him. We have to give proper respect to Matteo's moderation: he didn't try to set his pants on fire to win his champion's title certainly together with the victory in the race. He brought the race to an end clearly and gracefully, having kept Vito close by but with a reliable margin and without any risk. On Sunday he will participate in PCCI already as a champion, it was decided and accomplished by Matteo as impeccably as his beautiful victories during the season.



While the organizers finished to wreathe the laurels for Cairoli, the main events of the track were focused on the second ten of participants. Alex De Giacomi, Rinat Salikhov, Marco Cassara, and Pietro Negra were exchanging their positions. The collision between De Giacomi and Salikhov was spectacular: the Italian pilot pushed the Russian one, the latter was trying to retain the car for considerably long time, but finally began to spin, and De Giacomi proceeded forward and repeated the Salikhov's rotation having left the turn. In general, it was very beautiful but very bad for the result.


Oleksandr Gaidai and Alberto De Amicis exchanged their positions twice and in the result Gaidai finished on the seventh position, from which he had started.



The prizewinners – Postiglione, laurel-crowned Cairoli and Liberati – surprised the public with the "champagne" trick during the reward ceremony. Instead of the funny game of a tag and showering, each prizewinner opened his bottle and poured it out on his own head reservedly and rigorously. What gives?...


Porsche Carrera Cup Italia, Imola
Race 1


1. POSTIGLIONE Vito (Ebimotors) 17 laps
2. CAIROLI Matteo (Antonelli Motorsport) +1.896
3. LIBERATI Edoardo (Ebimotors) +6.227
7. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +25.412
16. BONACCINI Alessandro +4 laps


The Sunday race, in spite of the absence of intrigue for the series winner, was more lively.



Ilya Melnikov, who made a mistake in the turn, flies off to the wall and a short time afterwards already grants an interview at the pitlane telling that it's his first time to behave so with his car.


Gianluca Giraudi flies off to the lawn attacked by Vito Postiglione.


Enrico Fulgenzi, having started from the pole, didn't fly off by himself – he required help. It was the mission of Matteo Cairoli who got the nod of the black-and-white flag for this: welcome to the pit lane.



The viewers forgot to follow the events within the next 10 minutes because there was only one question to interest them: if the newly-qualified champion follows the PCCI marshals' order or continues to lead the peloton. The common sense prevailed and Cairoli drove to the pit lane, Alberto De Amicis – in the boxes 4 laps before the finish, and Alex De Giacomi – out of the track again, maybe he liked the Imola lawns a lot. (No, three events described in the previous sentence are not related to each other!)



Oleksandr Gaidai passed the race very clear and without mistakes, and finished on the fifth place.



O. Gaidai: "I am happy to be able to stay in the leading group and to impose the struggle to the competitors. So, everything is OK: there is a speed, and the result will come."


Porsche Carrera Cup Italia, Imola
Race 2


1. POSTIGLIONE Vito (Ebimotors) 17 laps
2. LIBERATI Edoardo (Ebimotors) +0.913
3. FULGENZI Enrico (Heaven Motorsport) +9.526
4. GIRAUDI Gianluca (Antonelli Motorsport) +10.123
5. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +10.898
14. DE AMICIS Alberto +6 laps


Now we are very curious to know what the Tsunami RT will choose in two weeks – the Italian final in Monza or the French one in Le Castellet? We will tell you about it very soon. Follow our news!