Sunday, September 21, 2014

EuroV8 Series: Audi Sport Italia's Sachsenring 1-2-3 propels race winner Tomas Kostka back to the top of points tables

Audi Sport Italia Press Release

  • Emanuele Zonzini first tin-top finish is also his maiden Top3 place 
  • Ermanno Dionisio enlivens German round rallying from P7 to P3  
Oberlungwitz (D) – Mixed weather had greeted this corner of Saxony on Saturday, but as race time was approaching rainy clouds had the upper hand over Sachsenring, with a drenched circuit waiting for the start of the next-to-last 2014 EuroV8 Series round. Since Tomas Kostka had led all practice sessions as well as qualifying and warm-up -- mostly on dry-- he and team mates Emanuele Zonzini and Ermanno Dionisio were quite happy, albeit everybody was afraid deep down that Sunday wouldn’t be as smooth sailing as yesterday had been. They had not forgotten that the opening laps in Brno had been an utter disaster for the threesome, who all experienced first-hand what is like to be wiped out of contention after a few corners.

As it is, Sachsenring today again proved a venue friendly for Ingolstadt-hailing cars, and especially for the Italian squad quattros. The Zlin, Czech Republic-based driver and team mates didn't even had to bother about the opening lap this time out, as the race started behind safety-car and when on lap two the green flag was waved Kostka and Zonzini, who had been sharing the front row, disappeared in a cloud of spray, without any competition challenging them. Kostka's third season win, paired with former leader Nicola Baldan P7, translates in the Audi man claiming back the series leadership by two points, a tiny edge he'll try to keep in the season finale, to be staged at Hockenheim in a fortnight. 20-year old Zonzini, who's driving for Audi Sport Italia on a regular basis in the domestic GT3 series, claimed his maiden touring car podium finish in only his second start, in spite of having had to make acquaintance with the track this race weekend, unlike the race winner. Luckily the downshift trouble that had intermittently hampered the San Marino-based driver warm up session had been tweaked before the start by the team crew.

If Kostka and Zonzini smoothly cruised to the checker, their team mate Ermanno Dionisio was the man that made the penultimate season round entertaining for the 10,000-plus crowd. Starting from row four the experienced rally-man bode his time until lap 7, trying to come to grips with scarce visibility. Then he switched to maximum attack mode and challenged BMW's Massimiliano Mugelli for P6, triggering a roll of dice that brought the warring duo surprisingly past AMG Mercedes' Baldan, that was struggling ahead of Mugelli. The end of the following lap was the right moment for the Monaco-based driver to take over P4 from Giovanni Berton's Chevy Lumina. It then took him until lap 12 to catch and slide past Francesco Sini's Chevy Camaro, after a brief tussle. By then the gap from the leading team mates was too big, but Dionisio wasn't less happy to join again fellow Audi drivers on the podium, something that both him and Audi Sport Italia had accomplished at Vallelunga, in a nail-biting race one. However, Dionisio has now moved up to the seventh place in the overall standings, as well as leading the gentlemen-only tables.

1. KOSTKA (AUDI RS 5) 16 laps
2. ZONZINI (AUDI RS 5) +3.518s
3. DIONISIO (AUDI RS 5) +30.366s
4. Sini (Chevrolet) +35.044s
5. Berton (Chevrolet) +37.543s
6. Mugelli (BMW) +37.962s
7. Baldan(AMGMercedes)+1:04.905s

1. KOSTKA 148 points
2. Baldan 146 pts.
3. Sini 135 pts.
4. Mercatali 108 pts.
5. Copetti 92 pts.
6. Mugelli 91 pts.
7. DIONISIO 87 pts.

Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia