Sunday, May 11, 2014

Italian GT: Dominant weekend for Audi Sport Italia at Misano

Audi Sport Italia Press Releases

Audi Sport Italia newcomers make waves in Italian GT: Emanuele Zonzini wins home race alongside Dindo Capello

  • Marco Mapelli, Thomas Schoeffler get high marks but hit trouble 
  • Misano Adriatico opener boasts healthy field and exciting racing

Misano Adriatico, Italy - Audi's twentieth season of racing involvement in Italy began in style with a stark success. Taking the start from row three in the first round of the Italian GT Championship, the R8 LMS ultra of Dindo Capello and Emanuele Zonzini quietly rose through he ranks, then staging a comeback from P5 after the mandatory pit stop, with the 20-year old born in San Marino stubbornly making up ground until he could take the lead with five laps to go. Home boy Zonzini, who received accolades from Audi mainstay Capello for his run, has just moved to sportscars after a season spent in GP3, and he took the checkered flag ahead of a trio of Ferrari 458 Italy. Zonzini has not been the lone high-performing Audi Sport Italia newcomer. Marco Mapelli and Thomas Schoeffler have concluded the second round in P8, a result that fails to show their committment: the Monza-based driver had grabbed a stunning pole position and led until Lap14 (also posting the fastest lap in the process) in spite of electronic gremlins that hindered his early run and then forced him to give way to the competition just before the drivers swapped places. His German colleague was then blighted by these same problems until the end of the race, moreover having to fend off occasionally reckless moves from rivals. The young pair has a score to settle with luck now, and they could well do so as early as tomorrow morning, when the track named after Marco Simoncelli will host the second round of an Italian Gran Turismo, a series whose level is enviable this year after many under-average seasons.

Race one: 

1. CAPELLO-ZONZINI (AUDI) 30 laps 50'20.392
2. Lucchini-Pier Guidi (Ferrari)
3. Balzan-Benucci (Ferrari)
4. Giammaria-Casé (Ferrari)
5. Mora (Mercedes AMG)


1. CAPELLO/ZONZINI 20 points
2. Lucchini/Pier Guidi 15 pts. 
3. Balzan/Benucci 12 pts. 
4. Giammaria/Casé 8 pts.
5. Mora 7 pts.

At Misano Marco Mapelli and Thomas Schoeffler break their duck claiming race two and Italian Gran Turismo lead

  • Accident shortens the race of Emanuele Zonzini and Dindo Capello 
  • Audi Sport Italia crew now topping points standings after opener

Misano Adriatico, Italy – Marco Mapelli and Thomas Schoeffler reply to Saturday victory of team mates Dindo Capello and Emanuele Zonzini clinching the second round of the Italian GT Championship today at the Riviera venue named after Marco Simoncelli. The German-Italian couple (which started on pole yesterday before having their dreams shelved by an electrical problem) today was moving from row three with their Audi R8 LMS ultra and had to stage a comeback race, as the young German was eighth on the opening lap. With Zonzini closely behind him, the Singen-based EuroGTSprint champ began to press Stefano Pezzucchi's Porsche managing to move on the inside of him on lap seven. The move wasn't as smooth for the 20-year old from San Marino, who was pushed onto the grass at the last corner by the rival, therefore  dropping to P12. More bad news were still ahead for Zonzini, who on lap nine made contact at Sunset bend with Lorenzo Case's Ferrari. The two drivers went out and the safety car came in for a 6-lap spell. The pit stop benefitted Schoeffler's team mate Mapelli, who resumed the race in P3 after a near miss in the crowded pit lane with a GT Cup class Porsche. It was the start of the Lombard comeback, who as the track returned to green moved past Alvaro Barba's Ferrari on lap 16 and then grabbed P1 the following lap moving past Vincenzo Donativi's Porsche at the first corner. It was not the end of the day, for Mapelli, tho: the timekeepers mistakenly handed him a 10-second penalty, forcing him to push hard until the chequered flag, which the race one polesitter did, claiming the first place in front of the Ebimotors Porsche. After the prizegiving Mapelli and Schoeffler learned that their penalty had been uphold to the wrong pair of drivers, and besides their silverware they also got the 10-second plus edge that they had deservedly built on track on the opposition. After two rounds Mapelli and Schoeffler lead the points standings, three points ahead of unlucky Capello and Zonzini.

Race two:

1. MAPELLI-SCHOEFFLER (AUDI)   28 laps 50'13.481
2. Donativi-Gagliardini (Porsche)
3. Amici-Barri (Lamborghini)
4. Balzan-Benucci (Ferrari)
5. Babini-Bianco (Porsche)


3. Balzan/Benucci 19 pts. 
4. Pier Guidi/Lucchini 17 pts.
5. Donativi/Gagliaridini 15 pts.

Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia