Marinangeli-Agostini (AF Corse) give maiden GT Open win to the Ferrari 296


Youth won again in Race 2 at the Red  Bull Ring as Riccardo Agostini and Nicola Marinangeli took their first win of the year and the maiden one  in the series for the Ferrari 296. The AF Corse pair imposed itself in a closely-fought race, rich in incidents before and after the pit stop. It ended behind the safety car, which had to intervene three times.

Sam De Haan and Chris Fagg were second in the Optimum Motorsport McLaren, making up some of the points lost yesterday, thanks also to the ‘zero points’ incurred by Menchaca-Siebert (Motopark Mercedes). It was actually the accident involving Siebert and Daan Arrow (Oregon Lambo) which prompted the final safety-car period.

Third overall was the Eastalent Audi of Simon Reicher-Christopher Haase after that Marco Pulcini-Eddie Cheever (AF Corse Ferrari) were demoted to sixth because of a 3-position for an overtaking infringement, which relegated them to third in Pro-Am behind Jedlinski-Basz (Olimp Audi) and Rosi-Schirò (Kessel Racing Ferrari).

In Am, first win of the season for Kiki Sak Nana and Adam Osieka (GetSpeed Mercedes), ahead of the AF Corse Ferraris of Cozzi-Sernagiotto and Forgione-Montermini.   

THE RACE – Having taken his first pole of the season, Charlie Fagg takes a perfect start in the Optimum McLaren ahead of Chovet, who also started from front row, Barr, L.Proctor, Cheever, Haase, Menchaca, Mettler, Basz and Schirò. The initial laps see Cheever taking third ahead of Haase and Basz, who has passed Proctor, Mettler and Barr, who is dropping positions with an apparent issue. Walker spins in turn 1, while Grunewald leads in Am.

By lap 7, Fagg has a 2.6-second advantage on Chovet and Cheever, while behind them there is a fierce Audi duel between Haase and Basz. Soon the four of them get together and the battle is even fiercer, with Basz and Basz exchanging positions. Eventually, the Pole goes through. At the back, there is a contact between Osieka and Perolini.

In lap 11, Cheever and Basz pass Chovet, whose pace drops and has to let past also Haase and Proctor. Fazal-Karim spins in turn 10 and remains stranded in the straight, which prompts the safety-car out in lap 15. At the restart, the driver change window opens, with numerous cars diving into the pit lane, while Pavlovic spins and gets stuck in the gravel trap after being hit, which means safety car again.

After re-start and all changes (lap 27), Agostini is in the lead, with De Haan right behind, then Pulcini, Reicher, Jedlinski, Saada, Rosi and Müller, while the fiercest duel is between Arrow, Siebert and Rueda for tenth, while Cipriani is sent into a spin at turn 1 by Neumann.

More drama strikes in lap 33 when Siebert hits Arrow between turns 6 and 7. The Lambo is sent against the barriers and gets airborne, but luckily lands back on its wheels, with no harm for the Dutch driver. The safety-car is back on duty and the race ends under yellow.

(NB: The results is sub judice as Team Motopark presented a protest and subsequent appeal concerning the safety car procedure)