"Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis" – "Times change, and we also change", Ovid noted, speaking about the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia racing regulations. From the moment of the first chariot races in Rome some insignificant changes have been made: two wheels were added for every driver, the number of horse powers has increased by two orders, and now the competition duration is defined not by the seven laps passed but by the mysterious 28 minutes plus one lap (researchers still lose themselves in conjectures about this number).
As for the rest, everything has remained unchanged: be the fastest, and people will like you more. Abducet praedam, cui occurit prior – who comes first, gets the take. Moreover, in Vallelunga, where the racing circuit relocated from the capital soon after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Our driver Alessio Rovera carried on a good tradition of gathering qualification points wherever possible. For example, two points are enclosed to the pole position, which are very useful. So, Alessio won the qualification, added up the points, accurately put them into the savings box, and occupied the pole position to wait for the start.
#12 Alessio Rovera: "This was a really good lap, despite I did a small mistake on a corner and on split one my rear tyres were not in the right temperature. But 1'35"9 was really good and the car was fantastic".
Gianmarco Cuarsemini placed himself in the first row, near Rovera, and Riccardo Pera was preparing himself for attack. Lino Curti got the 12th starting position on the qualification, Carlo – the 16th.
Viewers gathered on the stands (men were allowed to watch only if dressed in togas). The sounds of the approaching orchestra announced the appearance of the consul with his escort. They were followed by play actors, poets, sacerdotes, then frankincense smokers carrying golden and silver thuribles, and, of course, statues of gods and goddesses, it is not possible to watch races without them... OK, that was not happening in a weekend of 2017, but 20 and something centuries ago, however, still happened! It wouldn't be a bad thing, by the way, to revive some traditions in Vallelunga. At least it would be good to obligate men to wear togas!..
But let us return to the track where the starting signal light was switched off that moment.
Alessio Rovera was the only one who did not have to overrun trying to find his way through the crowd of competitors. So, he did an absolutely logical thing – he started perfectly and drove forward trying to leave the rest of the company behind.
Having thought about it, the company decided that they would be OK in three. The trio of Quaresmini-Pera-Fulgenzi decided to demonstrate the viewers the most spectacular competition for the podium (more precisely, for the second and the third position).
Meanwhile, Simone Pellegrinelli, trying to overrun Jonathan Giacon, slightly touched the latter... Giacon continued the race, but Pellegrinelli escaped the track and proceeded to the boxes. By the way, Seneca told about it: "Errāre humānum est – err is human".
Rovera was stamping the best laps ahead, and what else had he to do? By the way, he was completely forgotten by the live cameramen: all the attention was attracted to the gruesome-threesome (see above) still entertaining the audience with splendid attacks towards each other.
Very tight competition was taking place also for the positions from 6 to 8, where Alex De Giacomi was defending from Jonathan Giacon and Ivan Jacoma. The show around the podium was even more spectacular: now Pera was about to overrun Fulgenzi, then Fulgenzi was tailgating Quaresmini... Finally Enrico overran the competitor and became the second. Rovera had left everybody 5 seconds behind till that moment...
However, the show did not end with that overrun! Quaresmini was pressing Fulgenzi, followed by Pera, and Daniele Cazzaniga bored on his reliable fifth position was approaching that company...
At that moment a very disappointing event took place in the second part of the peloton: Carlo Curti spinned, pushed then by Stefano Zanini. Carlo proceeded to the viewers before time, and honestly, there was something to watch that Saturday!
The three frontmen continued to keep the public on tenterhooks. Cazzaniga stopped his useless attempts to nip into the competition and fell a little behind. Lino Curti acquired the taste and was actively attacking Alex De Giacomi.
Then, all of a sudden, a person appeared on the pit wall and began to waive with a checkered flag. Is it the finish already?! The broadcasting cameramen turned back to Alessio Rovera, having caught themselves. He was perfectly precise in winning the Saturday race!
#12 Alessio Rovera: "I am very happy because it was a perfect race with a fantastic start and the car was very fast in the first laps. Only in the end I started to have some wheel blocks. I controlled all the race since I had an advantage but it was not easy at all from inside".
Lino Curtu finished on the 9th place overall and got the "bronze" in Michelin Cup!
#81 Lino Curti: "I am happy! Ninth is my best ever result, it was another small step ahead this race. I could have made it with De Giacomi (to overtake him) but he was closing the lines and I didn't want to take risks for P2 in the Michelin Cup. I had a very good pace throughout the race. We'll see tomorrow what can we do".
Carlo Curti, according to the best tradition of antique Romans, is sure: "Cras melius fore - tomorrow will be better".
#18 Carlo Curti: "I had fun in the race and pretty good times close to the front group of Lino but towards the end of the race I started having tyre issues and unfortunately I spun at the Roma corner and Stefano Zanini couldn't avoid me and we had a crash. It's a pity but it is an experience as well".
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2017, round 3, Vallelunga
1. ROVERA Alessio (Tsunami RT) 19 laps
2. FULGENZI Enrico (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) +2.970
3. QUARESMINI Gianmarco (Dinamic Motorsport) +8.090
9. CURTI Lino (Tsunami RT) +31.128
14. WALTER BEN (Bonaldi Motorsport) +1 lap
1. JACOMA Ivan (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) 19 laps
2. DE GIACOMI Alex (Dinamic Motorsport) +8.143
3. CURTI Lino (Tsunami RT) +8.798
7. WALTER BEN (Bonaldi Motorsport) +1 lap
So, the audience (both wearing togas and not) and drivers went to beds earlier, were having quiet sleep to wake up on Sunday at an ungodly hour and go to the circuit where the second Porsche Carrera Cup Italia started. The top-6 was positioned on the start in the reverse order, and it promised a lot of fun...
But the start corresponded to the principle of "Duōbus litigantĭbus, tertius gaudet – When two people quarrel, a third rejoices". The first two were Francesca Linossi and Ivan Jacoma who collided and were stuck in the gravel, and the third one was the safety car, of course, that was on the track as long as 10 minutes. The only thing the pole position holder Jonathan Giacon had time for was to fall to the fourth position, so Daniele Cazzaniga was the first behind the safety car.
Restart. Pera, Quaresmini and Fulgenzi hastily pulled way ahead, they obviously were impatient to continue the yesterday competition. Alessio Rovera overran Giacon and took the fifth position. The slower Cazzaniga left ahead. We were waiting for an overrun after which our driver would interfere into the exciting competition for the podium...
Unfortunately, that is not what happened.
#12 Alessio Rovera: "At the last "Roma" corner I was entirely inside him but he tried to force me even there. So we touched and the radiator was broken. Race over".
One of the Tsunami RT drivers proceeded to the boxes before time, spectacularly scattering wrecks of the wing and other parts on the track. Seeing this, Aristotle noted: "Felicĭtas humāna nunquam in eōdem statu permănet – Human happiness is never permanent".
We were following Lino Curti actively attacking Alex De Giacomi so that more experienced Alex just had time to change trajectories...
That was not the finish, ladies and gentlemen! That was the photofinish – the way the winner of the Michelin Cup classification is defined in the Sunday race. Our driver was tenths of seconds behind De Giacomi and it was the first time the former raised on the second podium step! Ole!
#81 Lino Curti: "The race was good, we managed to climb one more step - from 9th overall to 8th and 2nd in class. We lack a bit of pace for winning the class and today we had a nice battle with Alex De Giacomi up to the photo finish. I pushed the car a little bit more but I enjoyed it".
Carlo Curti, despite his tyre problems, managed to finish 12th overall.
#18 Carlo Curti: "Race 2 was not good. I did a good start and I stayed with the group with a certain risk in the long corner where a car spun in front of me. But after some laps, I had again tyre problems, so I had to find my pace. We look forward Mugello".
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2017, round 3, Vallelunga
1. PERA Riccardo (Ebimotors) 16 laps
2. FULGENZI Enrico (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) +0.303
3. QUARESMINI Gianmarco (Dinamic Motorsport) +3.337
8. CURTI Lino (Tsunami RT) +18.310
12. CURTI Carlo (Tsunami RT) +35.994
14. MINETTI Roberto (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) +1'07.855
1. DE GIACOMI Alex (Dinamic Motorsport) 16 laps
2. CURTI Lino (Tsunami RT) +1.348
3. SELVA Livio (Ebimotors) +2.054
7. MINETTI Roberto (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) +50.893
Let us wait a bit with Mugello – we continue our racing marathon and go to Dijon for the third Porsche Carrera Cup France round. In Vallelunga we did not put our racing ancestors to shame, having taken three cups away... Besides, we learned some Latin.
By the way, here is one more expression, the most useful one. "Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur – Anything said in Latin sounds like a wisdom".
Text by Irina Boyarskaya
Photo: Akis Temperidis