A season can begin in different ways – with a flood and a race cancellation, with an unfair refereeing that almost ditched the whole subsequent season, with a logjam in the first turn or with a finish of two leaders with half-a-second difference. A season can also begin with a dream race.
What is exactly a dream race? It is a dream team plus the result to dream about. Such a precise formula fully justified itself in Imola, in the first round of Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2018.
We were actually going to start with two vehicles, but our dream team had been equipped with hardcore by means of the reigning champion of the Italian series, Alessio Rovera, at the last (and very pleasant) moment. Plus we had the most experienced Alex De Giacomi (minus his injured wrist). Plus young and ambitious Tommaso Mosca.
It must be said that everybody remained dissatisfied with the qualification results: Alessio Rovera demonstrated only the fifth time because of his mistake, Tommaso Mosca was disappointed because he had not reached the second position, and De Giacomi obtained the position among the last ten participants of the peloton, and, of course, was very disappointed.
However, the long-expected race was waiting for us, and anyway we had not much time to get out of tune.
Start! The pole position holder Enrico Fulgenzi loses his leadership immediately due to the successful attack of Diego Bertonelli. Alessio Rovera gives way to Gianmarco Quaresmini... and it is actually the moment when the half of the race ends. This is due to the fact that the warm welcome of Luca Pastorelli and Riccardo Cazzaniga logically migrated to the first appearance of the safety car. Now you have 14 minutes to grab a coffee, admire clouds or pick your nose, because nothing interesting is happening on the track.
14 minutes left to the finish, and we have a restart. An energetic push of Sergio Campana makes the Gianmarco Quaresmini's vehicle to rotate beautifully. Fulgenzi is preparing to attack Bertonelli again, and Alessio Rovera aims at the Daniele Cazzaniga's position (it is not a misprint, the surname of Cazzaniga is itemized twice in the list of participants: the first is Riccardo who has already flown off the track, and the second is our acquaintance Daniele). While we were clarifying this... That's it, the safety car appears on the track again.
The restart is 3 minutes and 10 seconds before the finish of the race. What can we do in such a short time?! Turns out that it is whatever you can think of, completely changing the plot and the distribution on the prizing podium.
Enrico Fulgenzi (yeah, we've been talking about that already) is going to attack Bertonelli again. Having taken advantage of the fact that the two competitors are busy with each other, our 18-year old driver Tommaso Mosca overruns both of them unexpectedly but very elegantly. How did he manage to do it?! The Tsunami RT vehicle is already ahead, leading the peloton. Everything took just some fractions of a second.
Bertonelli was so distressed because of the mistake and of course rolled back in a wink. Alessio Rovera impeded a lot from the podium by Sergio Campana, was signaling the latter with his lights, overrunning... Meanwhile, the race was approaching its last lap! We are practically sure that we will have a double podium today...
Unfortunately, Sergio Campana does not buy it and pushes Rovera out of the track in the Rivazza turn. Alessio passes the checkered flag only with the seventh result.
However, Alex De Giacomi who was stubbornly and systematically making his way up finishes the 12th in the overall classification having started from the 20th position.
Alex De Giacomi: "This time it was much better especially with my wrist - I didn't feel so much pain in the race like previously. If it was not for the second safety car I would be in a higher position. I am very satisfied".
What about Tommaso Mosca?.. At the same time Tommaso is being honored on the finish, interviewed and douched with the prizing champagne – our young driver has had a brilliant debut in Porsche Carrera Cup Italia! By the way, it was a new track for him – he had only one test here but no competition! Well done!
Tommaso Mosca: "We can say it has been an annoying race for all those safety cars but I enjoyed it so much in the end. We touched a bit with Fulgenzi on Tamburello and he came accusing me for that but I did nothing wrong. As we know from kart racing whoever is on the outside can't make it first. I want to thank my team for all the support and for this success".
In the evening we receive the stewards decision: to suspend Campana from the classification and penalize two more drivers, so Alessio Rovera rises on the forth place in the first race.
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2018. Round 1. Imola.
1. Tommaso Mosca (Tsunami RT) 13 laps
2. Daniele Cazzaniga (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) +0.628
3. Enrico Fulgenzi (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) +3.877
4. Alessio Rovera (Tsunami RT) +7.006
12. Alex De Giacomi (Tsunami RT) +11.401
18. Giovanni Berton (SVC Sport Management) +31.325
1. Bashar Mardini (GDL Racing)
2. Niccolo Mercatali (Dinamic Motorsport)
3. Marco Cassara (Ombra Racing)
4. Alex De Giacomi (Tsunami RT)
7. Federico Reggiani (Dinamic Motorsport)
Sunday morning turned out to be dull. It also was rather early for the drivers who were gathered for an urgent briefing where they were explained in plain language how they had not to behave on the track and that the penalization like yesterday was expecting for those who would disobey. Then the officials meaningfully waved with penalizations.
The drivers were so impressed that the second race passed without any safety cars which was also not a bad thing. So, the top-6 starts in the reverse order. Mosca is the sixth, Rovera – the third, Bertonelli has the pole position.
Start! At this very moment Alessio Rovera decides that he has enough of these vehicles shimmering ahead, overruns everybody and peacefully drives ahead.
Serious passions behind are running high! Fulgenzi is attacking Bertonelli: the impression is that these two have started from the same place where the checkered flag interrupted them. Tommaso Mosca who has won back two positions is sticking a bit behind watching their competition with interest. Sometimes he probably casts a glance at the side mirror where no less heated competition between Simone Iaquinta and Gianmarco Quaresmini is happening. Sergio Campana and Simone Pellegrinelli are competing in a very fascinating manner a bit further.
The most complicated competition is when a sportsman is injured. Alex De Giacomi is having a tough time, and acute pain fulgurates the injured hand on the kerb when the vehicle is tossed up. However, De Giacomi is not the kind of a driver that gives up easily. It is not simple for his competitors!
Meanwhile, Enrico Fulgenzi collides with Diego Bertonelli in the leading group (in our case, leading is the group that is competing for the silver and the bronze podium, having completely got over it that Rovera is far ahead). The latter manages to keep the vehicle on the track, but Fulgenzi is jumping on the gravel which turns into the loss of position to him: of course, Tommaso Mosca was hovering and standing gaping about for a reason.
The rest of the race is pleasing us with energetic attack techniques and efficient defense among the threesome of Bertonelli-Mosca-Fulgenzi. The above mentioned duets of Iaquinta-Quaresmini and Campana-Pellegrinelli are demonstrating not less spectacular and tough competition. Thank you, guys, it was a real pleasure!
Admittedly, the greatest pleasure is definitely waiting for us on the finish! Alessio Rovera is the race winner! Tommaso Mosca is the bronze prize-winner! Alex De Giacomi is the bronze prize-winner in the Michelin Cup classification! Moreover, Tsunami RT wins gold in the team classification to complete the set! So, who has done a good job? We have, haven't we?!
Alessio Rovera: "It was a redemption for me, this race. The car was fine and easy to control from the start to the end".
Tommaso Mosca: "Third place, nice race even If I struggled a bit in the end of the race, but the car was good. I didn't manage to make it to second, I did a mistake in the last corner behind Bertonelli and finished slightly on the gravel, lost distance and I couldn't gain it in the remaining laps. Even if I thought I could win yesterday I thought it would be impossible to get on the podium today. I would like to thank everybody, the team, the car, even the race!"
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2018. Round 1. Imola.
1. Alessio Rovera (Tsunami RT) 17 laps
2. Diego Bertonelli (Dinamic Motorsport) +4.964
3. Tommaso Mosca (Tsunami RT) +5.699
13. Alex De Giacomi (Tsunami RT) +37.536
18. Alessandro Satta (Ghinzani Arco Management) +2 laps
1. Bashar Mardini (GDL Racing)
2. Marco Cassara (Ombra Racing)
3. Alex De Giacomi (Tsunami RT)
10. Alessandro Satta (Ghinzani Arco Management)
So, friends, we opened this season very well... It is only Italy, but there is a Porsche Carrera France Cup race in Spa in a week. Let's not lose momentum!
By: Irina Boyarskaya
Photo: Akis Temperidis