Saturday, September 20, 2014

EuroV8 Series: Promising start to Audi Sport Italia's EuroV8 Series weekend at Sachsenring: RS 5 drivers sweep front row spots

Audi Sport Italia Press Release

  • Tomas Kostka, Emanuele Zonzini lead next-to-last season grid 
  • Ermanno Dionisio to take on German round starting from row four
Oberlungwitz (D) –  The penultimate leg of the 2014 V8 series promoted by Maurizio Flammini's FG Group witnessed a first day dominated by the best-placed Audi driver in the points standings: Tomas Kostka. The Czech actually happened to be the lone man in the EuroV8 Series paddock that had already raced at the track renowned for its MotoGP meeting and made the most of it topping the time sheets in both practices no matter if dry or rain-soaked. When qualifying beckoned the session got underway in half-wet/half-dry conditions, with some areas still sodden but the lines relatively dry and fastly improving.

The pole position chase saw no less than five drivers swapping the most coveted spot: in addition to the Czech that ultimately repeated himself on top also his teammate Emanuele Zonzini, the provisionale series leader Nicola Baldan and the Chevrolet duo composed by Francesco Sini and Giovanni Berton. Whilst Kostka prevailed with rain tires fitted to his RS 5 his lap (1'36.893) was soon shredded by rivals as soon as they switched to slick tires: Baldan was the first to change of tactics and looking at the AMG Mercedes lap of 1'34.371 the whole pit lane followed him. Obviously Audi Sport Italia were not there to watchand the first to roll the dice was the young man from San Marino: Zonzini pushed hard and for the first time since he joined EuroV8 he led the whole field: he even pipped Kostka by 41 thousandths of a second. Thereafter no car but Audis led the standings: the Czech claimed back the pole with a lap (1'30.101) that improved the best morning time by two tenths of a second. In order to avoid being pipped, Kostka improved it twice as the track was drying: 1'28.908 was the final word and also the lap that granted the point awarded to the polesitting car. Tomorrow the Czech will have nineteen points to recover from leader Baldan, who will start in the row three, behind the Chevys. The battle for pole between the Audis of Kostka and Zonzini apparently benefitted both: their duel in qualifying mirrored the previous at Brno, which wound up with a first and a third place on the grid, but this time out the young San Marino driver moved up one spot to runner-up, albeit by only 0.626s. Unfortunately, Audi Sport Italia's Ermanno Dionisio will not be behind them as it happened instead in the soaked free practice session. The Monaco-based driver did not pulled punches to make it happen, but as time was expiring he could not make it -- he went wide in the grass in the downhill section of the Saxony venue and tomorrow he'll have to settle for seventh place on the grid.

1. KOSTKA (AUDI RS 5) 1'28.908s
2. ZONZINI (AUDI RS 5) 1'29.534s
3. Sini (Chevrolet) 1'30.691s
4. Berton (Chevrolet) 1'30.592s
5. Baldan(AMG Mercedes) 1'30.793s
6. Mugelli (BMW) 1'31.356s
7. DIONISIO (AUDI RS 5) 1'31.875s

1. Baldan 133 points
2. Sini 116 pts.
3. KOSTKA 114 pts.
4. Mercatali 108 pts.
5. Copetti 92 pts.
6. Mugelli 91 pts.
7. STANCHERIS 71 pts.

Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia