By: Irina Boyarskaya
Photo: Akis Temperidis
Mathematically speaking, the future of the Champion's title in Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2015 may have been decided this weekend since the leader of the series came to Misano with an advantage of 28 points. But it would be too boring... And Tsunami RT can't stand the boredom!..
So, we arrived in Misano equipped with the following:
- driver Oleksandr Gaidai perfectly familiar with the circuit;
- driver Côme Ledogar, for the first time on the circuit;
- 28 points of Côme's disadvantage compared to Riccardo Agostini;
- 4 races (2 rounds) till the end of the seasons.
And we had to make of those ingredients such a cocktail to impress everybody and make them ask for the second portion.
The marshals on the track free with penalties during the qualification not depending on the nationality represented the additional spice: as soon as a car turned out to be outside the kerb, the lap result was cancelled. Of course drivers were losing the attitude. Oleksandr Gaidai also got it in the neck having finished the qualification with the 12th time result:
"I know the track well and I had no problem with driving. But Misano is a motorbike track, and the kerbs are too low here that causes frequent cutoffs. Many drivers were penalized, not only me... Anyhow, I will fight in the race, I have no other options."
Côme Ledogar passed in the second qualification segment with the 4th time result... And then the astonished Italian competitors could watch how the French driver who had come to Misano for the first time deprived them of the pole position and two qualification points. It was the start. The weekend promised to be interesting...
During the whole weekend we were feeling that it has been the right decision to come to Misano instead of Navarre. Although the show on PCCF round was also brilliant – starring Jules Gounon and Joffrey de Narda.
Now let's get back to Misano. The starting signal light was switched off at 4:30 p.m., and the Porsche crowd dashed to the first turn of the Marco Simoncelli track.
The triumvirate of Ledogar-Colombo-Drudi was rushing to the fore. Oleksandr Gaidai occupied the 9th position from the start and entered the united group of drivers interested in the sixth place, that meant the pole position for the Sunday race. The gray Porsche with the surname of Fulgenzi on the windscreen separated from the company soon and remained on the gravel after the beautiful spinning.
Meanwhile dramatic events were taking place in the beginning of the peloton. The series leader Riccardo Agostini hadn't even reached the top-3, but the experience on the Misano track overpowered the ambitions: Côme Ledogar gave way to Stefano Colombo and Mattia Drudi. But he stayed nearby and continued with the attacks in every turn. We are disposed to measure all the events in qualification points by the end of the season, so the third place of Côme was separated from the second one with three so useful and necessary points. And the time to finish was faded flyingly...
While we were worrying for Ledogar, the cameras were switched to Gaidai in that very moment when the Ukrainian driver escaped the track and returned having lost seven positions:
"I don't know why the car slipped, but I tend to think that the rear wheel was overheated. It is hardly possible that something was spilled on the track. It means that it was my mistake in 90%."
And who had we to follow? Oleksandr who began to win back the position again, or Côme approaching the bumper of Mattia Drudi?! While Gaidai was winning back three positions, Côme won back (after all!) three qualification points having overtook the young competitor! Checkered flag appeared, we took breath, and while Côme was douching with champagne on the podium we were very inclined to have some heating drink to calm down. Eight points were won back: five for the second place (while Agostini had the fourth!), two for the pole position and one more for the best lap. The French driver did his best that day!
C. Ledogar: "I was hardly pressing Drudi waiting for him to make a mistake, and after all he made it. I didn't lose the chance and overtook him. Of course, the ideal result is to win the race, but we are on the podium again, we were driving well and demonstrated our power to the rivals."
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2015, round 6, Misano
1. COLOMBO Stefano (LEM Racing) 18 laps
2. LEDOGAR Côme (Tsunami RT) +0.774
3. DRUDI Mattia (Dinamic Motorsport) +2.292
...12. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +42.478
...19. BEN Walter (LEM Racing) +1 lap
The only question to bother me after watching the live broadcasting of Sunday race from Moscow is how the people on the pit wall didn't faint, hole the roof with their heads and jump on the track. Finally, out team has enormous moderation.
Reverse start – the first six drivers in reverse order – added the expression to the dynamic beginning as it was. Aku Pellinen who started from the first row instantaneously jumped into the fifth position. Alessandro Bonaccini from the pole position resisted a little bit longer but still without success. Riccardo Agostini shot to the top of the race with the 'attachment' of Mattia Drudi. A little bit later Côme Ledogar approached to them and the yesterday winner Stefano Colombo broke forward from the sixth position.
Oleksandr Gaidai who had begun the race on the 12th position overran three competitors and occupied the ninth position starting to attack Alberto De Amicis. And the yesterday unfortunate Enrico Fulgenzi was approaching step by step from the end of the peloton winning one position after another...
Drudi and Ledogar unitedly attacked the leading Agostini and overran him. Riccardo didn't become quieter after that because he was approached by Stefano Colombo.
Meanwhile Ledogar cut out all the attempts of the Italian driver of the green Porsche to leave the group behind. Mattia Drudi was desperately opposing but it seemed that Côme forgot who considered the track his domestic one and for whom it was new: he was signaling with lights, attacking and the only thing that lacked was the waiving of the hand to ask the rival to move. Drudi decided that it was more pleasant to attack than to defend and conceded his leadership relieved: he let Ledogar to worry and Mattia himself was going to exhaust him.
They needed the third character and here he was: Stefano Colombo overran Riccardo Agostini having deprived the series leader of the chance on any podium in Misano, and all the three drivers left the rest of the peloton behind.
At the same time Enrico Fulgenzi reached Gianluca Giraudi and overran him. Oleksandr Gaidai was ahead:
"It was better to watch the onboard of Fulgenzi what happened next. It seemed as follows for me: he started a cutoff and began to push me out of the track. At the moment it was the most important thing in a corner to hold the accelerator, not to release it. Otherwise the car could fall into the severe spin. And I decided that I was driving honestly, so I hadn't to give way to him!.."
Both Gaidai and Fulgenzi were turned around after the next push. And in one lap Oleksandr anticipatorily visited the mechanics on the pit lane to take the new rear left wheel instead of the blown out one. The maneuver provoked the great envy of the right rear wheel that also decided to blow out in two laps in that very turn (on the sixth gear, by the way).
While Gaidai was regularly visiting the pit lane, the top-3 of the peloton was performing something incredible. The distance between Ledogar, Drudi and Colombo was not more than half a second, and if there were a prize for obstinacy, the contest jury would be in great difficulty. Tsunami mechanics were agitated swinging their arms on the pit wall shadowing the checkered flag with their happy faces... Checkered flag?! Was it really finish?! The organizers were preparing "La Marseillaise" phonogram in a rush for the prize podium, and Côme Ledogar was accepting the well-deserved delight of the team and the fans:
"Which moment of the race was the most tense? I can definitely say: it started from turning off of the starting signal light and finished with the checkered flag appeared. A lot of strain, a lot of emotions, I am so happy!"
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2015, round 6, Misano
1. LEDOGAR Côme (Tsunami RT) 18 laps
2. DRUDI Mattia (Dinamic Motorsport) +0.131
3. COLOMBO Stefano (LEM Racing) +0.309
...19. GAIDAI Oleksandr (Tsunami RT) +3 laps
20. FULGENZI Enrico +5 laps
That's the way the Tsunami RT team saved the final of Porsche Carrera Cup Italia. If you please how boring it could be in case the gap between Côme and Agostini hadn't been shortened to 11 points! And the Mugello round now will be the most dynamic and exciting.
But I'd rather not to watch it. There will be too many worrying moments for me. Follow the news by yourselves and tell me the results.