Plots of most races resemble the tracks where they take place. Vivacious and energetic beginning of the weekend is a start. Unexpected problems that happen sometimes are a jam in the first turn. Controllable difficulties are groups of turns. A smooth running of a weekend is a finishing line. The rest is clear: either champagne on the podium or a blamestorming and an object lesson.
That is how the whole Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2018 season looked like, except for the final race in Imola. Its plot reminded not a racing track but a pathway trailed through a bog by a drunk heron in the dark of the moon. Nobody could imagine that...
The beginning, by the way, was smooth and vivavious. Tommaso Mosca who had escaped from the tenacious grip of physiotherapists, with two legs and battle-ready. Alessio Rovera who was only five points apart (basically, within arm reach) from the champion’s title, after the two skipped rounds. Alex De Giacomi, ready to compete for the silver in the Michelin Cup classification...
The qualifications finished triumphantly: two Tsunami RT cars on the first starting grid row! We were anticipating a spectacular competition, but at that moment... A drunk heron got into the game and strolled away from the track through some gorges.
Everything started with the weather. The sky was overcast from the morning, showering the track with the downpour with all its might till the moment of start. The race directors scratched their heads over and announced the start with the safety car.
It was not very showy, but an effective decision. Some participants were slipping even following the safety car. However, viewers were waiting impatiently for the real start that took place in 10 minutes!
Alessio Rovera kept the first position, but an attack on Tommaso Mosca performed by Diego Bertonelli was successful: Bertonelli overran our young driver. Mosca was competing intensely, but Bertonelli cut one of the turns and created the gap.
Of course, nobody gave up, there were 16 minutes till the end of the race! However, in 15 seconds... the safety car appeared on the track again.
Water flows running on the track made the organizers to waive the red flag: the race is stopped. In some time it revealed that the race would not be restarted, the half of the points would be given to the participants according to their results demonstrated within 2.5 minutes of racing time.
#1 Alessio Rovera:"Sincerely the track was a nightmare, there was a lot of water and we had aquaplaning on the straight. It's a petty for receiving half points - I don't know how much more time we needed for reaching 75% but in anyway it was a race behind the safety car, so it's fair taking half points"
#19 Tommaso Mosca:"It's been a useless race. I lost a position from Bertonelli in the Tamburello corner with him on the outside and then we had a fight for the next three corners, till he cut through in the Villeneuve corner and gained some metres".
#67 Alex De Giacomi: "It's ridiculous, just ridiculous giving a start under these conditions!"
Then the situation becomes completely unpredictable: Alessio Rovera gets a penalization for the violation of the restart rules after the safety car and rolls back onto the seventh position!
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia. Imola, 7th round. Race 1
1. BERTONELLI Diego (Dinamic Motorsport) 5 laps
2. MOSCA Tommaso (Tsunami RT) +0.711
3. QUARESMINI Gianmarco (Dinamic Motorsport) +1.113
7. ROVERA Alessio (Tsunami RT) +4.575
11. DE GIACOMI Alex (Tsunami RT) +9.287
19. CAZZANIGA Daniele (Ghinzani Arco Motorsport) +29.874
1. PASTORELLI Luca (Dinamic Motorsport)
2. MARDINI Bashar (GDL Racing)
3. DE GIACOMI Alex (Tsunami RT)
10. CASSARA Marco (Ombra Racing)
A sunny Sunday morning added the hope, at least, that on that day it would go without the stop of the race. However, both logic and predictability were absent in Imola that weekend.
A new red flag was needed to restore a destroyed barrier in Acqua Minerale turn. The drivers are hanging out on the pit lane again, the viewers keep yawning in front of their screens... It took one hour to restart the race...
We mean, to give a new start! The Sunday results will be summed up from the two races – those before and after red flag. Who has not made it to win several positions before the race stopped is in a losing position now. This happened to Alessio Rovera who had started on the seventh position in the morning.
As ill luck would have it, in the rest of time some drivers had an urge to visit road sides and admire the track fencing pattern very close. Two fly-offs, two safety-cars, and less and less chances to overrun. Nevertheless, our drivers Mosca and Rovera clear the path to the second and the third position correspondingly following Simone Iaquinta.
It does not change anything. Iaquinta, Mosca and Rovera are consecutively driving under the checkered flag. According to the total result of the two race parts, Iaquinta, Mosca and Bertonelli podium. The most interesting in this story is the fact that Gianmarco Quaresmini becomes the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia 2018 champion at that rate!
#1 Alessio Rovera:"given that in the first race I was pretty distant, the safety car didn't help us in the second race. Even If I won that race wouldn't have changed much. Everything started from yesterday's race".
#19 Tommaso Mosca:"the race went well, we are happy, but we had the safety cars employed and they probably cost us time and maybe a win. I gave it during the championship but I had many drawbacks. But we are happy with the way it ended. Unfortunately, after the accident at Mugello I committed mistakes in Vallelunga I shouldn't have. Without them the title could be in our hands".
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia. Imola, 7th round. Race 2
1. IAQUINTA Simone (Ombra Racing) 3 laps
2. MOSCA Tommaso (Tsunami RT) +3.439
3. QUARESMINI Gianmarco (Dinamic Motorsport) +3.722
5. ROVERA Alessio (Tsunami RT) +5.331
21. PASTORELLI Luca (Dinamic Motorsport) +4 laps
Let us leave behind a sad Sunday evening with its endless calculations and recounts of penalizations, the results of which were announced very late. Let us leave behind this season...
You know, this is interesting. If it had happened five years ago, we would have written: “Stunning success! Tsunami RT is the vice-champion in the team classification of Porsche Carrera Cup Italia! Alessio Rovera is the vice-champion in the individual classification! Alex De Giacomi is the vice-champion of the Michelin Cup!” Now we take these deserved and earned titles for granted! New level of the team, new ambitions mean that we are advancing and going forward!
By the way, as for the going forward: Porsche Carrera Cup France final lies ahead! So, stay tuned!
By: Irina Boyarskaya
Photo: Akis Temperidis