BMS Scuderia Italia Deliver at Home with a 1-2 Result at Monza

Evgeny Restov and Denis van Walwijk gave BMS Scuderia Italia their first overall victory in over a year, leading home a 1-2 result for the factory Ferrari team at the GT Super Series Round of Italia at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

After the team car of James James Davies and Andrea Constantini lead the way for the Brescia-based team for most of the race, Restov would start to close the gap late with Davies having to spend more time lapping John Magnus and Kjeld Axelsen. With ten minutes remaining the chase was on with Restov starting to gain the effects of the slipstream around Monza. The Russian would then go for the pass at Variante Ascari, which saw the two Scuderia Italia drivers go side by side through the whole corner complex, with Davies forced to concede the position after running wide onto the AstroTurf on exit. The former Formula 1 World Driver’s Champion would hang tough in the closing laps, but would not get close enough to mount a real attack, leaving him to consolidate a popular 1-2 result for Ferrari on their home turf, and the first time this season that a non-Aston Martin entry has won outright.

The pair of factory Aston Martins, run by Gulf Racing AMR and Ravenwest Motorsport, were never able to properly close the gap to the Ferraris ahead; the pair of Scuderia Italia Ferraris seemingly untouchable throughout the race. The Gulf Racing crew did everything in their power, including a bold undercut in the final round of pit stops, but it would be all for naught as even with a full tank of fuel onboard, Matteo Rossi grinded to a halt on the last lap of the race from a fifth place position. Rossi, and second driver Roland Davidson, rallied all day to overcome a middling qualifying result, but were left with their first finish outside of the top three overall since the Molson GT Gatineau last year where they retired with a engine failure. Nathan McKane had major dramas coming to pit the first time when reigning World Driver’s Champion Chris Winter clipped the grass exiting the parabolica and spun in front of the Scotsman. The resulting time loss from the avoiding action meant that catching up to the pair of Ferraris would be out of the question in the long run, and he and Andrej Kremnicky would be stuck battling the lead Solvalou Lamborghini for the duration of the race. That battle, eventually finishing in the favor of Winter and Morgan Le Fay who finished on the final step of the podium.

Honors in the Independant’s Class would be resolved on the last lap with high drama striking the Czechmate Motorsports pair of Phil McCracken and Jiri Komárek who had dominating the running for most of the race. As well as pacing the field for most of the running in class after the class’s pole sitter James Douglas suffered a engine failure, McCracken and Komárek were able to keep the pair of Gerald Pereria Racing Listers at bay for most of the race. As the race entered its late stages, the Czechmate Ferrari was in sixth overall, which would have become fifth with the Gulf Aston Martin to run out of fuel with Fabian Rei in close pursuit. With Rossi having his troubles, Rei took a optimistic dive at the second lesmo on Komárek who was sent spinning into the gravel and out of the lead in the Independent’s Class. Rei was handed a fifteen second penalty and would drop to ninth overall in the classification, with the main benefactor in the Independent’s Class was the all-American pairing at Tom Douglas Racing, Antonio and Vidal Reyna-Sanchez, taking home victory in class and fifth overall.

That fifth place overall finish also gives them the first bonus point to the Independent’s Trophy this year, and puts the pair back into the championship hunt after a pair of non-scores in the last two events. Antonio and Vidal rose to second in class on the back of strong pit strategy which saw them jump the Best In The World pairing of Koyomi Setou and Marlin Hortin after the second round of pit stops before running quietly in second in class, ten seconds behind Komárek before he got spun by Fabian Rei on the final lap. Hortin was too far back to take advantage, leaving McCracken and Komárek to take second in class for the pair’s first run together in the full time Czechmate Ferrari. The three podium finishers would all score points in the outright World Driver’s Championship with a fourth, the Independent’s Championship leading duo of Peter Oliver and David Simmons, finishing tenth overall as well.

Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson weren’t the only heavy hitters to miss out on points in Monza. Both of the Carson Speedworks Corvettes finished outside of the points after both of them were forced to pit off schedule with tire issues plaguing both cars during the middle stint. After coming in for the unscheduled tire change, Oliver Jones would get hit by a spinning Ito Shidehara in the older of the two Boutsen Ginion Corvettes exiting the second lesmo, Shidehara would retire on the spot as a result of the damage and Jones would need to come in for a second time off schedule for repairs. Qi and Jones would finish one lap down while their teammates in Joey Alliot and Jacques Malenfant would rally back to twelfth overall.

The resulting retirements means that the lead that the Rossi and Davidson car has built up in the World Driver’s Championship is down to ten points as we approach the half-way mark of the season with the North American tour. Nathan McKane and Andrej Kremnicky take up that spot in second in the championship, with reigning champion Chris Winter, and second driver in the 01 Solvalou Morgan Le Fay, a further two points behind as the series heads to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Results – After 67 Laps

127MRestov/Van WalwijkScuderia Italia2:01:56.323
228MJJ.Davies/ConstantiniScuderia Italia+1.026
301MWinter/Le FaySolvalou+2.638
5555IA+V Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+59.473
615MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+1:00.220
841ISetou/HortinBest In The World+1.06.503
914MRei/WongGerald Pereria+1:13.590
1443MOlder Jr./JacobsonMacMillan+1:32.602
176MRossi/DavidsonGulf+1 Lap*
18007IMagnus/GeiszlerFalken Tire+1 Lap
1932IAxelsen/PedersenRMR+1 Lap
2064MQi/JonesCarson+1 Lap
2170ITime/ManciniAstana+2 Laps
223IBourne/LuisaBoutsen Ginion+3 Laps*
2330IJenkins/BrunoGlobex Scorpio+6 Laps*
2678IRodriguez/von KoenigLynxeSpun Off
294IDiaz/ShideharaBoutsen GinionAccident
3055IDouglas/MelroseTom DouglasEngine

Fastest Lap – Car 27 (Scuderia Italia Ferrari – Restov/Van Walwijk) – 1:44.352

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – The Independents: Came to play in a big way at the temple of speed, their strongest showing overall after the factory cars have had the measure of them for top ten finishes thus far.

Reject of The Race: Gulf Racing AMR – You don’t get many, or any in some cases, mulligans when fighting at the top of the GT Super Series. This is their one mulligan.