Remember, there were Every Flavour Beans in the Harry Potter: maybe you'll get an orange flavour, or maybe an inedible muck... The same in motorsports: it's clear that surprises await you, but it's not guaranteed that those surprises will be pleasant. This time we have got the 27 familiar turns on two tracks plus a completely unexpected turn of the plot...
It is not the first time when Tsunami RT competes on two different circuits in two different countries at the same weekend. We distributed everything very nicely this time: the Italian champion (Alessio Rovera) goes to the French Dijon, and the contender to the champion's title in the overall classification Tommaso Mosca and the contender to the title in Michelin Cup Alex De Giacomi go to the Italian Mugello. Everything was going perfectly... till the beginning of the Italian qualification.
Act I. Mugello. Actors: Tommaso Mosca, Stefano Stefanelli, a tow truck, radiologist.
During the qualification Stefano Stefanelli flies off the track onto the gravel, having raised an opaque cloud of dust. After him Tommaso Mosca flies off in the same turn; everything could have ended up differently if the dust had been settled till then. As it was not the case, Tommaso ran into Stefanelli's car at full speed. It became clear that the car was unrepairable "under the field conditions", but forget about the car! The worst thing is that Mosca proceeds to the hospital with the broken leg! Our talented karter, the star of the season-2018, is knocked out of the competition...
Alex de Giacomi remains the only Tsunami RT driver in Mugello.
Intermission. The play viewers discouraged with the first scene betake themselves to the snack bar, meanwhile the scenery changes.
Act II. Dijon. Actors: Alessio Rovera, Julien Andlauer, Valentin Hasse-Clot, Michelin tyres, abrasive tarmac.
Alessio Rovera started from the second row of the grid, while the pole position belonged to the Cup leader Julien Andlauer.
Andlauer is well known by the fact that, if not overrun at once, he will just drive forward, and you can forget about him till the checkered flag under which he will be the first to pass. In general, that was what he did, and the main competition began for the second position. There were four contestants for it: Alessio Rovera was companionized by Ayhancan Güven, Valentin Hasse-Clot, and Chevallier Hugo. Periodically these four drivers were changing their order pleasing the viewers with spectacular attacks, until one more character interfered in the scene, that was the abrasive cover of the track.
So, the next turn, Rovera and Hugo are attacking Hasse-Clot simultaneously, and at that moment the tyre of the latter gets a puncture! He loses control over the car, adjusts the trajectory pushing Rovera's car (the team clutches their hearts unitedly) and drives to the pit lane. Now Alessio is the fourth, two seconds behind Hugo...
We had no sooner count the cars in the leading group than Hugo made a mistake and flew off onto the gravel, having successfully given way to Rovera. It is clear that Andlauer is impossible to catch up, but the question is if Alessio will have enough time to make things rough for his nearest competitor, Ayhanchan Güven?..
And suddenly, two minutes before the intermission ... that is, to the finish – one more wheel takes the leading role! The left rear wheel of Andlauer's car gets a puncture – and the leader of the race has to make an urgent visit to his mechanics. And Alessio Rovera finishes on the second place. The silver podium is ours!
#112 Alessio Rovera: "It was a good race and it brought us points for the championship. A strong rival – Julien Andlauer (#555) – had a puncture. But his car setup was very aggressive, and we, on contrary, were very conservative with it, as we knew that Dijon track is rough for the tyres. It was a tough moment when Valentin Hasse-Clot (#27) had a touch with Guven, got a puncture, lost control of his car and hit me. I had a slight damage on the left side of the car, but didn't lose my pace. Tomorrow I'll try to take the pole position and possibly to win".
Porsche Carrera Cup France. Circuit de Dijon-Prenois. Race 1. Final ranking:
1. #56 Guven Ayhancan (TUR) Attempto Racing 00:30:05.786
2. #112 Rovera Alessio (ITA) Tsunami RT +5.804
3. #77 Sarhy Jeremy (FRA) Sébastien Loeb Racing + 8.643
Intermission. It will be very short: less than half an hour left to the start in Mugello.
Act III. Mugello. Actors: Alex de Giacomi, Marco Cassara, Bashar Mardini and someone there leading the pelotone.
To tell you the truth, the situation in the overall classification is not so interesting for us this time: our attention is focused on the fight in the Michelin Cup, where Alex de Giacomi attacks Luca Pastorelli. For a while Riccardo Cazzaniga, who fell down from the leading group, sticks in the peloton just between our driver and his rival to be overtaken, but Alex does not care much: if he needs to overtake – he overtakes. However, here Marco Cassara appears from behind being obviously at his best today: he overruns De Giacomi and begins to forecheck Bashar Mardini, the leader of the class. Cassara overruns Mardini on the penultimate lap, and we can see the beautiful fly-offs with rotation before the finish performed by Niccolo Mercatali and Alfredo De Matteo.
Alex de Giacomi took the bronze podium. Thank you Alex for keeping us on the high level!
#67 Alex De Giacomi: "I am not happy because we had the pace, the car was perfect but throughout the race I had Pastorelli in front of me closing in every corner for not letting me pass. This way Cassara overtook us when I tried to pass from the outside".
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia. Mugello. Race 1. Final ranking:
1. #12 IAQUINTA Simone (ITA) OMBRA RACING 31'11.873
2. #39 SEGU' Luca (ITA) GHINZANI ARC +7.685
3. #32 QUARESMINI Gianmarco (ITA) DINAMIC MOTO +9.530
10. #67 DE GIACOMI Alex (ITA) TSUNAMI RT
Long intermission with the transit into the night sleep. The third wake-up call begins the Sunday racing day.
Act IV. Mugello. Actors: Alex de Giacomi, a treacherous tyre, that somehow moved during the night from Dijon to Mugello specially to spoil the race.
The race starts with Marco Cassara's giving his leading position in the Michelin Cup class to Bashar Mardini, and the place of his main competitor – to Alex De Giacomi. Our driver is now the second, and he is quite able to "eat" Mardini (which he has shown on the previous round). Nobody knows that, from the third lap, Alex is figthing not only with the rival, but also with the steerability: the left rear wheel began to live its own life, and in the right corners the car has to be guided through a variety of preparatory actions, as well as evocative Italian expressions. Will de Giacomi hold the second position?..
Everything is resolved on the penultimate lap, and, alas, the swing vote there belongs to the damned wheel: it suddenly completely loses pressure, and Alex stops on the gravel – the race finishes without his participation. What an unlucky weekend!
#67 Alex De Giacomi: "I have no words, I don't know what happened. From the third lap I started having problems with the rear left tyre - I couldn't make the right corners. Then, all of a sudden in the lap we were under yellow flags, the tyre lost pressure immediately. I am mostly sorry about the team, for all the work they have done all these days".
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia. Mugello. Race 2. Final ranking:
1. #32 QUARESMINI Gianmarco (ITA) DINAMIC MOTO 32'20.353
2. #44 MALUCELLI Matteo (ITA) DINAMIC MOTO +0.370
3. #12 IAQUINTA Simone (ITA) OMBRA RACING +0.747
18. #67 DE GIACOMI Alex (ITA) TSUNAMI RT
Intermission. A prompt change of scenery in Dijon where everyone aspires to finish the racing weekend in time, because right after it the French football team will play in the World Cup final.
Act V. Dijon. Actors: Alessio Rovera, Julien Andlauer, the track drying after the rain.
Morning qualification again set Andlauer to the pole position, but right next to him it put Alessio Rover. And our driver knows very well what he needs to do. In the first corner, he gracefully overtakes the leader, and then Valentin Hasse-Clot immediately begins to attack Andlauer. However, after a while the pelotone stretches, and only Rovera and Andhauer remain ahead. Alessio's car has the rain setup, and our driver is aware that his main task is not to let the rival pass forward, because it will be very hard to win the position back.
The defending champion of France is attacking the defending champion of Italy within 30 minutes, and the latter is successfully defending. The breathtaking show is interrupted with the checkered flag that Alessio Rovera is the first to pass under! After all, the last bean in this weekend was with the right flavour – the flavour of victory!
#112 Alessio Rovera: "It was a hard fight... I started really well but I didn't have Andlauer's pace, who was on a dry setup. So I focused to keep him back and I managed it. I'm really happy because this wasn't a good weekend for the team in Italy, but we finished in an amazing way. So thanks to all the mechanics and Paolo - our engineer!"
Porsche Carrera Cup France. Circuit de Dijon-Prenois. Race 2. Final ranking:
1. #112 Rovera Alessio (ITA) Tsunami RT 00:30:18.392
2. #555 Andlauer Julien (FRA) Martinet by Alméras +0.315
3. #53 Guven Ayhancan (FRA) Attempto Racing +0.849
Curtain is down. And our show goes for the summer vacation. Spectators and drivers will look forward to a new racing weekend (it will also be a double one, at the same time in the Italian Vallelunga and French Magny-Cours), mechanics will repair Tommaso Mosca's car, the doctors will restore Mosca himself. And the workers at the Michelin plant will make new wheels. Better than the previous ones. Pay special special attention to the left rear tyre, please.
By: Irina Boyarskaya
Photo: Akis Temperidis, Alexis Goure