Ravenwest Penalty Hands Rossi and Davidson Second Win of 2019

Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson took their second win from three races to start the 2019 GT Super Series campaign at the RAC Tourist Trophy.

The continuation of a unprecedented run for the Gulf Racing AMR duo sees them finish on the podium for the eighth straight event, five of those being overall victories, since their run started with a second place finish at the Round of Germany last year. In order to continue this streak, the duo came from the farthest back starting position to overall victory in series history; thre previous mark being held by Markus Jacobson and Valeri Kozar from Monza last year, where they started fourteenth on the grid. Rossi set the tone early when he became the biggest mover in the early stages of the race, moving to the outskirts of the Top 10 in the first fifteen minutes of the race with much of the midfield pack being held up by front row starter James Douglas. Rossi, and a few others, would rally past the Tom Douglas Racing Saleen in the opening stint of the race, and would drop the leading Independent qualifier outside of the Top 10 before the first round of pit stops.

Leading comfortably throughout the first stint was pole sitter Nathan McKane, who had built up a ten second advantage over Li Qi in second after the second closest car, World Driver’s Champion Chris Winter, retired with a suspension failure from second place. The lead would dwindle in the middle stint of the race with the Scotsman coming in later in the pit window than the other front runners, and some of the other Manufacture entries starting to get clean air after they also started in the middle third of the field. Included in chasing group was Jacques Malenfant, both Scuderia Italia Ferraris of Andrea Constantini and Denis Van Walwijk returning to the team, and Roland Davidson in the Gulf Aston Martin. Constantini would be out of the picture early in the second stint after clipping the grass on entry to Stowe, spinning into the sand trap and out of the race. Davidson would rally to second near the end of the middle stint and launch an attack on the leading Andrej Kremnicky in the Ravenwest Aston Martin as the pit window opened.

The Brit would take the lead in his home race for a brief moment on lap 41 before Andrej would reclaim control at the lead of the field the next lap. Roland would come in to pit after the Slovakian retook the lead, and relinquished control of the Gulf Aston Martin back to Matteo Rossi. Kremnicky would pit three laps later, stay behind the wheel, and would exit the pits in fourth place overall, having been jumped in the order by Rossi, Joey Alliot and a returning Evgeny Restov taking over for Van Walwijk. Kremnicky would get to work right away, closing the gap as the top three battled each other and through lapped traffic. But in his rush to get back into the fight, he spun the factory Ferrari of Restov when he was too far back for an overtake at Stowe, the Ravenwest entry getting dealt a fifteen second penalty for his troubles. That did not deter the ex-AutoReject World Series from attacking further, as he would make short work of Rossi, and then Alliot to take the lead on the road. He would not be able to make the same gap as his team owner would in the opening leg of the race, Rossi, after overtaking Alliot for second on the road with five minutes to go at Copse, Alliot and Restov would do enough to keep the pressure up on Kremnicky to seal his fate as finishing fourth for the race and denying him a second straight overall victory.

Kremnicky would cross the finish line first at the end of the race, but Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson were declared the overall winners of the RAC Tourist Trophy, with the Carson Speedworks pair of Joey Alliot and Jacques Malenfant second, and Evgeny Restov and Denis van Walwijk getting a well deserved third place on their return to BMS Scuderia Italia. After the top four featured, there were another five Manufacture’s Trophy entries in the Top 10, that battle being won by the Solvalou Lamborghini of Emma Pescatore and Antonio Fazio. After Emma struggled early on in the race on cold tires, the pair rallied in the middle and final stint of the race before eventually overhauling the other Carson Corvette of Li Qi and the Pagani of Anton Robishaud with ten minutes remaining. The other Factory teams in the Top 10 were the MacMillan Ford of Darren Older Jr. and Marcus Jacobson who cleared the mid-field pack they were a part of for most of the race in the final stint, and the other Pagani of Amato Agostini and Felix Horvath, giving Pagani a rare double points finish.

The final car to score points for the World Driver’s Championship in Silverstone, and winning in the Independent’s Class was the Team Falken Tire Aston Martin of John Magnus and Olivia Geiszler. A stunning upset for the team and tire manufacture which prides themselves in their wet weather performance saw themselves get put into the catbird seat when the dominant display of the Reyna-Sanchez TDR Saleen come dramatically to a halt when their Saleen suffered a gearbox failure on their out-lap after pitting for the final time during the race. Geiszler still had to earn that class victory after a slow pit stop for the Falken crew in their final stop meant that they had to overhaul the part-time Czechmate Ferrari of Phil McCracken and Natalia Pavlovskaya, continuing the battle the two cars had during the middle stint of the race which also went in the favor of the Aston Martin. Geizler would have pace to burn in the final stint and would fly by McCracken in the Maggots-Becketts complex and would not look back. Falken Tire’s first class victory was secured, but second in class was still up for grabs with a hard charging Melanie Bourne closing fast on the former ARWS driver for the second step on the Independent’s Podium. Melanie left the pass to the very last moment, overtaking McCraken at Brooklands on the last lap before sailing into the distance to secure Boutsen Ginion their best performance of the season thus far.

With their overall victory, the pair of Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson are now on 40 Points from three races thus far. Their current rate of scoring has them projected to score a total of 170 throughout the thirteen race weekend season, 42 more than what it took for Chris Winter and Einar Ármannsson to secure the championship last year with one less race on the calendar.

Race Results – After 59 Laps

327MRestov/Van WalwijkScuderia Italia+3.424
843MOlder Jr./JacobsonMacMillan+1:15.059
10007IMagnus/GeiszlerFalken Tire+1:27.563
113IBourne/LuisaBoutsen Ginion+1:35.687
1430IJenkins/BrunoGlobex Scorpio+1:41.538
1514MRei/WongGerald Pereria+1:41.970
184IDiaz/ShideharaBoutsen Ginion+1:50.465
1955IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+1 Lap
2088IWilkinson/ChoLKM+1 Lap
2113IYaname/KozarWinton+1 Lap
2232IAxelsen/PedersenRMR+1 Lap
2316ISeron/DragunovWestside+1 Lap
24555IA+V Reyna-SanchezTom DouglasGearbox
2728MJJ.Davies/ConstantiniScuderia ItaliaSpun Off
2841ISetou/HortinBest In The WorldAccident
2915MTravesen/SparksGerald PereriaEngine
3001MWinter/Le FaySolvalouSuspension

Fastest Lap – Car 03 (Solvalou Lamborghini – Pescatore/Fazio) – 1:57.257

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Team Falken Tire: The wet weather specialists blew everyone out of the water…and there was no water to do it!

Reject of The Race – Andrea Constanini: If he didn’t spin, the one full-time driver at Scuderia Italia was looking at at least fourth or better in Silverstone. But alas, he cracked under the pressure.