Loris Spinelli took his second consecutive win in the International GT Open, with a superb success from pole to flag in a very hot afternoon at Imola. For the series’ return to the iconic Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari after ten years, the Italian driver, at the wheel of the AKM Motorsport Mercedes he drove alone, took no prisoners. Championship leaders Michele Beretta and Frederik Schandorff (VSR Lamborghini) extended to 8 points their lead after beating for second in the final laps their most direct rival, the Lechner Porsche of Al Faisal Al Zubair-Andy Soucek.
In Pro-Am, Jens Reno Møller and Marcus Påverud conquered their maiden success of the year, at the wheel of the Honda NSX of Reno Racing, ahead of the Inception Racing McLarens of Nick Moss-Joe Osborne and Brendan Iribe-Ollie Millroy. AKM Motorsport also won in Am, thanks to Florian Scholze-Jens Liebhauser, who beat Giuseppe Cipriani (Il Barone Rampante) and took their fourth win of the season.
THE RACE – Spinelli, in pole for the second time this season, keeps the advantage at the start, ahead of Beretta, Soucek, Ferrari, Nemoto and the Pro-Am leader Paverud. In the initial laps, positions remain quite stable with gaps growing marginally. The nicest duel is between Paverudd and Osborne for the leadership in Pro-Am.
By lap 12, Spinelli leads Beretta by 5 seconds, with Soucek and Ferrari two seconds further back and starting to fight for third. In lap 18, opens the window for driver change, with Spinelli, Beretta and Iribe being the first to stop. In lap 21, eventually, Osborne passes Paverud, following a slight mistake of the Norwegian.
After all stops, Spinelli is still in the lead, 11 seconds clear from Al Faisal and 19 from Schandorff, with Agostini 30 seconds from the top (after losing a lot of time in the pit stop because of a blocked wheel), closely followed by Moulin, then Moller and Moss fighting for the Pro-Am lead. Scholze is first in Am.
Not much will happen in the closing laps, except that Moller secures the Pro-Am win and that there is a superb duel for second between Al Faisal and Schandorff. The Omani resists well until the penultimate lap, when the Dane passes him from the outside before the first chicane.