First and Second for TF Sport Aston Martin at International GT Open

International GT Open (photo by Jurek Biegus)Race 1 was a start to finish victory for the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage of Darren Turner and Jody Fannin. With Turner taking the opening stint, the Le Mans winner set about building a lead in front of the Ferraris of Montermini and Mavlanov in third place.

As Turner disappeared into the distance the battle behind him was hotting up with a three way tussle developing between Montermini, Mavlanov and Perez-Aicart. Mavlanov kept up the pressure on Montermini until an optimistic move at Vale saw the Ferrari of Montermini get spun around by Mavlanov dumping him down to 14th place.

With Montermini out of the running the next battle commenced as Maxime Soulet in a V8 racing Corvette began to challenge the Ferrari of Perez Aicart for third place. With some door handle bashing between the two around Farm they also finally came to grief at Vale. Soulet got the better run out of Stowe and was in front in the braking zone for Vale but as he turned in he took the slightest tag from the Ferrari and found himself facing the wrong way as Perez Aicart took to the grass and his team manager took to the race director’s office.

At the pit stops Darren Turner handed over the Aston Martin to Jody Fannin with a comfortable 30 second lead. It seemed that Fannin would have an easy stint after Turners hard work, aided by a drive through penalty for Daniel Zampieri who had only just taken over from Mavlanov and which effectively removed the only real threat to Fannin. If only it could really be that easy. Fannin was able to comfortably match the pace of the chasing pack and an easy cruise home looked to be in the bag. However an off for Alvaro Barba with 17 minutes of the race remaining brought out a safety car which wiped out all the hard work in the first stint from the Aston Martin factory driver.

With just minutes of the race remaining Fannin found himself leading the pack but the 2012 British GT4 champion was equal to the occasion. With a backmarker between himself and his nearest challenger Fannin was away whilst the pack fell over themselves trying to gain positions in the remaining 3 laps.

International GT Open (photo by Jurek Biegus)International GT Open (photo by Jurek Biegus)At the flag Fannin was nearly 7 seconds clear of Francesco Pastorelli in the Corvette whilst Mateo Beretta stole third place from Giorgio Roda who by the exit of Club found himself dropped all the way to 7th place after coming together with an opportunistic Corvette driven by Isaac Tutumlu at Vale.

4th was the Ramos/Pastorelli V8 Racing Corvette followed by the Selleslagh Racing Corvette of Archie Hamilton and Isaac Tutumlu. A puncture for the Montermini/Schiro Ferrari allowed Roda to grab 6th with Sdanewitsch/Leo 7th, Vinyes/Perez 8th, Campanico/Patel 9th and Schiro limping home in 10th.

In race 2 the Audi R8 of Aditya Patel started from pole ahead of the Porsche of Matteo Beretta with Race 1 winner Jody Fannin starting in 5th place. When the lights went out championship leader Nicky Pastorelli found himself in the wall at Copse after a coming together as the pack raced down to the first corner. At the end of lap 1 the Porsche of Mateo Beretta led ahead of Schmid, Leo and Jody Fannin.

Fannin grabbed third after the Ferrari of Frederico Leo got into trouble at Aintree and left the circuit at the top of the Wellington straight, rejoining the track several places down. The following lap proved worse for Alvaro Barba who lost places leaving the track at Abbey before being nudged off and into a spin at Luffield.

Further down the field the two bright yellow Corvettes of Tutumlu and Pastorelli were tussling through Vale and Club resulting in Pastorelli launching his Corvette over the sausage kerb at the apex of Club and being fortunate that the resulting spin stopped just short of the F1 pit wall.

Back at the front Fannin took second place after a great run out of Copse set him up to take second place from the Ferrari of Niccolo Schiro at Maggotts. Leo then dropped back into the clutches of Daniel Zampieri who completed a similar overtake several laps later at exactly the same spot.

Meanwhile Fannin had closed on the leading Porsche of Beretta and swept by him at Stowe on the very next lap. After just 15 minutes the order had changed to Fanin, Beretta and Zampieri who soon took second and set about chasing Jody Fannin who was lapping in the 2 minute 3’s at the front of the pack and steadily building a lead until handing over to Darren Turner after 35 minutes in the car.

At the end of the pit stops Zampieri had handed over to Roman Mavlanov who held the lead ahead of Archie Hamilton and Claudio Sdanewitsch. Darren Turner was 3.5 seconds further back having lost the lead due to an extra 30 seconds mandatory handicap given to previous race winners.

International GT Open (photo by Jurek Biegus)International GT Open (photo by Jurek Biegus)Within a lap of leaving the pit lane Turner took third place at Vale and at a rate of 2 seconds a lap set about cutting the 10 second gap to the Corvette of Hamilton. 15 minutes later Turner had caught Hamilton and past him at Village leaving him 13 minutes to make up the 18 seconds between him and the SMP Russian Bears Ferrari of Mavlanov.

With Turner on his tail Mavlanov turned on the pace and was able to maintain a comfortable gap between himself and the Aston Martin whilst behind Turner Archie Hamilton found himself coming under increasing pressure from Jose Perez Aicart who himself was in danger of losing 4th place to Andrea Montermini.

At the flag Mavlanov took a comfortable win ahead of Darren Turner whilst Archie Hamilton was able to hold on to third place. Just as Mavlonov took the chequered flag the battle for 4th ended at Village when the 5th place Ferrari of Montermini got onto the grass and left the track at high speed. Narrowly avoiding the wall, Montermini was able to rejoin the track losing only one place and finishing 6th behind the Porsche of Beretta and the Ferrari of Perez.  By Jurek Biegus

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