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Mugello meeting first burnishes, then burns Audi Sport Italia's GT Sprint crown hopes

Mugello meeting first burnishes, then burns Audi Sport Italia's GT Sprint crown hopes

21.07.2019: ē Pierre Kaffer, Andrea Fontana seal Top3 finish on Saturday at Tuscan venue ē On Sunday Safety-car seems to help R8 LMS duo c


•   Pierre Kaffer, Andrea Fontana seal Top3 finish on Saturday at Tuscan venue

•   On Sunday Safety-car seems to help R8 LMS duo charge, then puncture saps it





With a little over ten minutes to go in Italian GT Sprint round six, Audi Sport Italia pit wall may have tinkered with the idea of wrapping up the Mugello meeting with double Top3 finishes. Riding on the coattails of Saturday 3rd place, and with a car whose driveability was improving over the weekend, Pierre Kaffer was in P5 and in attack mode after a three-lap safety car had bunched up the GT3 pack.


Unfortunately, on Lap 19 a puncture affected car No.7 rear left tyre: albeit the experience of the battle-hardened German pro was crucial in keeping the damage to the car to a minimum, making his way to the pitlane translated in dropping out of the Top10, an outcome that put an end to drivers' title hopes for Kaffer's team mate Andrea Fontana.




After a double effort in which both drivers had made their best to stay in the limelight, this was a disappointing ending to a weekend that barely a day earlier had boosted the young gun ambitions after the 3rd place in round five.


Mugello's first Italian GT Sprint race had sealed off the second podium of the season for Kaffer and Fontana after Vallelunga on the season opener. The Audi Sport Customer Racing driver had started from row three and early on had to stay in P6 behind Ben Gersekowsi's Lamborghini.




Kaffer had to elbow his way around the Italian car, as the Aussie driver had developed across the first five laps an irking penchant for blocking. Once claimed the fifth place, Kaffer could drive freely, however, the spell spent behind the Huracan had helped the leading rivals to build a comfortable edge.



It wasn't the last word for a Top3 finish, though, as the leading Ferrari 488 (Fuoco/Hudspeth) and the fastest Lamborghini Huracan (in the hands of Series' leaders Vito Postiglione and Jeroen Mul) had to cope with hefty time handicaps at the time of the mandatory driver change.



Therefore, Fontana resumed the race after taking over from Kaffer in P4, behind Hudspeth's Ferrari. In spite of pressure from the series leader Postiglione, the young Italian tried hard to get ahead of the 488 and he succeeded in a breathtaking maneuver on the twentieth lap, leapfrogging the Prancing Horse car in the middle of a chaotic lap hampered by backmarkers.




Eventually, the Ponte delle Alpi, Italy-based driver soldiered on to claim P3 as Postiglione had an eye on the points standings rather than on Saturday's silverware.


 
 
RACE 1     


1. Comandini/Johansson (BMW) 28 laps 52'43.927s avg. speed 167.101 kph
2. Agostini/Rovera (Mercedes AMG) 4.173s
3. KAFFER / FONTANA (AUDI) 43.751s
4. Postiglione / Mul (Lamborghini) 44.017s
5. Fuoco/Hudspeth (Ferrari) 49.186s
6. Di Amato/Vezzoni (Ferrari) 54.868s
7. Veglia / Casè (Ferrari) 57.882s
8. Mann / Cioci (Ferrari) 1'33.161s
9. Andrea Larini (Mercedes AMG) 1'45.691s
10.Perolini/Gersekowski(Lamborg.)1'46.604




RACE 2


1. Agostini/Rovera (Mercedes AMG) 26 laps
52'12.617 avg. speed 156.716 kph

2. Postiglione/Mul (Lamborghini) 1.204s
3. Comandini/Johansson (BMW) 14.294s
4. Fuoco / Hudspeth(Ferrari) 18.333
5. Di Amato/Vezzoni (Ferrari) 27.566s
6. Perolini/Gersekowski(Lambo.) 33.221s
7. Andrea Larini (Mercedes AMG) 57.067s
8. Mann / Cioci (Ferrari) 1'00.348s
9. Lippi/Sernagiotto (Ferrari) 1'08.534s
10.MattiaMichelotto(Lamborghini)1'27.698s

   
 

     
Carlo Marzetti - photos Audi Italia

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mugello-first-audi-sport-italia-gt-sprint-kaffer-fontana---194483.html

21.07.2019 / MaP

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