Audi Sport Italia Press Release
- Tomas Kostka only 0.4s off maiden podium finish in his RS 5 debut
- Davide Stancheris makes up four spots from starting grid position
Monza, April 6 2014 – Ultra-slick Monza as usual proved a windfall for AMG Mercedes drivers: this time out Eddie Cheever III and Nicola Baldan--who also sweeped the front row--comfortably led lights-to-flag leaving the opposition to dice for P3. In his debut at the wheel of the car that claimed the available titles in the past two seasons, Czech Republic's Tomas Kostka has quickly learned how tough and frustrating used to be the life at the historic venue for RS 5 drivers: starting from row two he had to get rid of the swifter BMW M3 driven by series mainstay Max Mugelli. In the closing laps Kostka zeroed in on former Simtek F1 driver Mimmo Schiattarella, but he ran out of time, taking the checkered flag only 0.4s behind the Italian driver's Chevy Lumina.
Monza has always been Davide Stancheris favorite circuit, but sitting in a tin-top Audi instead of a sleek GT car that he'd been driving in the past seasons forced the Bergamo-based driver to overhaul his tactics. Instead of a charge from the green light on, he made the most of surrounding foes' woes: as BMWs and AMG Mercedes dropped down in the tables due to drivers' mishaps he did not put a wheel wrong, movng up from P11 on the grid to a P7 that will enable him to start race two from the front row on the reversed grid. Stancheris' main scare turned out to be the rolling start, when Jonathan Giacon hit the Audi rear bumper compromising his own race but luckily not Stancheris' one.
Race 1 results:
1. Cheever (AMG Mercedes) 14 laps 27:28.660 avg speed 177.1kph
2. Baldan (AMG Mercedes)+4.913s
3. Schiattarella (Chevrolet) +7.909s
4. KOSTKA (AUDI) +8.365s
5. Mugelli (BMW) +18.468s
7. STANCHERIS (AUDI) +27.335s
Standings after race 1 at Monza:
1. Cheever 27 points
2. Baldan 20 pts.
3. Schiattarella 17 pts.
4. KOSTKA 15 pts.
5. Sini 13 pts.
6. Mugelli 11 pts.
7. STANCHERIS 10 pts
Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia