Twin Spins from Davies Hand Antonio Fazio Maiden GTSS Victory

Racing Team Solvalou drivers Emma Pescatore and Antonio Fazio won the GT Super Series Round of Germany, giving Fazio his maiden victory in the championship he’s raced in since it’s inception in 2016.

Having raced with Solvalou that entire time, the Italian’s prior best finish came last time out in Azebaijan where he finished second after having a late race duel with Morgan Le Fay. A late race duel was what he had to deal with while defending the lead from a hard charging Rhys Davies. After Rhys’s co-driver Tomo Kazama was in total control in the middle stint, CWG Team MacMillan pitted late to ensure Davies would have the freshest tires at the end of the race. In contrast,  Racing Team Solvalou used the undercut after co-driver Emma Pescatore’s double stint to jump Fazio’s car up from fourth to the lead of the race with a six second gap over Davies. Once his tires got up to temperature, the former F1 and ARWS Champion wasted no time to close down the gap.

In the first two laps after Davies came out of the pits, the gap was effectively gone with the Australian putting back to back Fastest Laps of the race on the warpath to the Lamborghini ahead. But before Davies was able to launch his initial attack on Fazio, he would show how hard he was pushing by going over the limit of what his car was capable of doing. Davies would lock up a rear tire on entry to the turn 7 hairpin and go into a half spin, bringing his MacMillan Ford to a halt before getting going again past the mid-apex of the corner. Davies left himself with no choice but to eradicate a six second gap again to Antonio. The gap to the lead would once again be reduced to zero in little time and Davies wouldn’t make the same mistake twice, powering by Fazio around the outside at turn 2 for the lead with ten minutes remaining.

Fazio would hang tough behind Rhys Davies, keeping the gap between the two close in case another spin happens. The factory Lamborghini driver would try for the overtake around the outside at turn two himself although lacked the grip to make the move successful. On the same lap would come a more successful move to take the lead back for Fazio, a late braking dive at turn 7 left Davies no choice but to concede the lead back. While these two were battling, it allowed the following BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari of Denis van Walwijk to close to the top two giving him a chance to steal second or even the win. He wouldn’t have to steal second however, as Rhys Davies shocked the GTSS field by having a second spin in a matter of laps. He tried to ride the inside lip of the kerb at turn 4 with a wayward bounce sending him into the second spin, but this time out of send place and back down to sixth overall.

And while this opened the door for the South African to attack for the overall victory, there was simply not enough time to close the gap and go for an overtake. Antonio Fazio scored his first GTSS race victory with Pescatore taking her second, after she won the opening race of the Baku Grand Prix in July. The other big benefactor of Davies’s spin was the Carson Speedworks duo of Joey Alliot and Jacques Malenfant, as they moved to the third step of the podium after being in the lead group for the duration of the race. The spin also moved up Davies’s teammates in Darren Older Jr. and Markus Jacobson up to fourth, their best race finish of the season. Jacobson was running in team formation behind Kazama during the middle stint, but he too was pitted late in the stint but wasn’t able to make up any positions in the final run to the finish.

Finishing fifth and reducing the points gap to the leading pair of Chris Winter and Morgan Le Fay was the Gulf duo of Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson. In the final stint Davidson was putting the pressure on Older Jr. for fifth before Davies had his spins and simply was not able to make a pass for position stick. The additional point for the Gulf duo is huge after a pair of low scoring results in the last few rounds, combined with Winter and Le Fay only managing to finish tenth overall after spinning at turn 8 early in the race. The gap between the duos is now down to seven markers with four races remaining.

Finishing eleventh overall and winning the race in the Independent’s Class was the Euromotor International duo of Patrick Feldhoffer and Helena Bertinelli. It is the pair’s first class win since the RAC Tourist Trophy last season and continues their run as the lone bright spot in a tough 2019 campaign for the team. After qualifying on the back row of the grid yesterday, the pair quietly would climb up the field to where they were in the top 5 in class at the race’s halfway mark. The Euromotor team would take the initiative on the final pit window and be the earliest of the independent teams to get fresh tires. But while they were second in class after the pit cycle finished behind the Boutsen Ginion Corvette of Melanie Bourne, a slow out lap combined with Chris Winter battling for tenth opened the door for Feldhoffer to take top honors at his home race after starting twenty-ninth.

The second place in class for Bourne and Marie Alberta Luisa still gives the duo a healthy score in the Independent’s Trophy and puts them equal on points with the Oliver Motorsports duo of Peter Oliver and David Simmons, with Bourne and Luisa currently holding the tie breaker. Oliver and Simmons did finish fourth in class after a steady race in the midfield, with the Best In The World Lamborghini of Koyomi Setou and Marlin Horton beat them to the final spot on the Independent’s Podium.

Race Results – After 62 Laps

227MRestov/Van WalwijkScuderia Italia+0.577
443MOlder Jr./JacobsonMacMillan+1.461
915MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+7.458
1001MWinter/Le FaySolvalou+7.934
123IBourne/LuisaBoutsen Ginion+19.856
1441ISetou/HortinBest In The World+23.595
1514MRei/WongGerald Pereria+24.011
21555IA+V Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+1:14.914
2255IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+1:21.781
23007IMagnus/GeiszlerFalken Tire+1:26.404
2430IJenkins/BrunoGlobex Scorpio+1:30.157
2728MJJ.Davies/ConstantiniScuderia ItaliaGearbox
284IDiaz/ShideharaBoutsen GinionEngine

Fastest Lap – Car 40 (MacMillan Ford – Davies/Kazama) – 1:50.752

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Patrick Feldhoffer and Helena Bertinelli: Twenty-Ninth to Eleventh in a Euromotor. Need I say more.

Reject of The Race – Rhys Davies: I mean a pair of spins from a near surefire win is one way to blow it..