A spoiler: no, it was not the beginning of the season we had been dreaming about.
When you are waiting for the start of a new racing season impatiently, imagining cars of various colors are racing beautifully under the bright Italian sun, how accurately and seamlessly the team works, how the drivers perform their spectacular overruns...
However, the destiny sometimes has totally different ideas on how the first round of the season should look like.
All the Campionato GT Sprint participants really gathered in Monza and could participate in free practices. Brothers Lino and Carlo Curti recalled with pleasure how to drive a car: it was not a simple task after a year without races.
Carlo Curti: “Finally back! After more than one year of stop due to covid situation we are back in Monza, where we had our last race in 2019. Lot of rust to remove still, but session after session we are getting more confident. Happy to be back in the team and share some times with the fantastic Tsunami RT guys... Let’s see tomorrow!"
Everything started on Saturday. At the moment the first drop of rain fell on the team engineer’s nose, we still did not understand that it was the drop from which everything went wrong.
Lino had not a very successful qualification and demonstrated the eighth place in his class.
Lino Curti: "It hasn’t been an extraordinary qualifying: I didn’t find the right moment to make the best lap. Starting in race 1 from P8 it would be tough. But I’m confindent in a comeback!"
The qualifying session was more successful for Carlo: the third result in his class and the relevant position on the starting grid of Sunday.
Carlo Curti: "P3! I’m really happy about Q2. We started with slick tyres after the first lap we went for the rain. Thank to the team great job I got back in to the track and I made my best lap in the right moment when the track conditions were optimal. Now all focus in race 1!"
It was coming down in buckets till the moment of the first Saturday race. In four laps it became clear that we would better change the race cars for canoes. As the teams did not have any canoes by an odd coincidence, the stewards made a consistent decision to postpone the start. For example, for tomorrow.
That is how Saturday ended.
On Sunday we continued from the place where we had stopped the day before. It was Lino Curti’s moment of glory, as he managed to shoot ahead from the seventh to the fourth position.
However, if something could go wrong this weekend, it did. That is why Lino’s successful overruns culminated not in the prizing podium, but in a punctured wheel! At the moment he arrived to the pit lane it look like that:
... believe us, we have seen more equal and nicer wheels.
There was nothing to be done with such a loss of time, but Curti brothers were trying to do their best. Never mind, we had the second race in reserve...
Let us count. We had a rescheduling of the race because of the weather. Then we had a punctured wheel (let us remember that it is not a frequent event in the circuit races, it is not Dakar!). What is missing? That is right, flying off the track.
It was performed by Carlo Curti who had passed three turns and tangled up the dirty part of the track with the wheel in the fourth one.
Carlo Curti: "My mistake. At turn 4 I braked on the dirty part and I went too far crashing on a BMW. I’m sorry for Marius Zug whom I hit, Lino Curti and the whole team for ending this weekend too soon".
Indeed, we shrug our shoulders looking back at the last weekend. We could not make it.
However, if we collected a stiff set of troubles, the next rounds should be perfect and smooth.
Maybe, somebody will turn the sun on. All in all, it is Italy!