Brands Hatch - GBR


Pier Guidi out on his own in Race 1

It was a typically English setting for race 1 of the Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC at Brands Hatch with cloudy skies, spring-like temperatures and a light breeze.

Even though the drivers were worried about the first corner before the race, the start went off without incident. Paolo Necchi was the only driver to suffer as he slipped down to eleventh spot.

Things got heated between Blakeney and Meaden as they sped up Hawthorn Hill side-by-side before the Evo journalist managed to sneak past his fellow Englishman into third. Up front Pier Guidi was beginning to stretch his lead and was a second up on Sundberg by lap 2.

On the second lap, Pier Guidi was leading, Sundberg was in second and Meaden third. Next came Blakeney, Ardagna Perez, Petrini, Smurra, Maddalena, Green, Giordanelli and Paolo Necchi. The MotorMedia director tried to climb back up the field and got into a fight with Roberto Giordanelli. The English journalist did his best to defend his spot but eventually had to give way to Necchi on lap four. Necchi now had the bit between his teeth and overtook Green and Maddalena. While this was going on, Richard Meaden swept past Peter Sundberg into second place.

The Evo journalist was very aggressive, often racing on the limit. At Paddock Hill Bend he attempted an improbable move on the inside that saw him nearly put all four wheels on the grass. He clipped the back of Sundberg’s GranTurismo MC Trofeo and almost sent him into a spin. Luckily, the Swede managed to correct and hold off the man chasing him.

As usual, there were duals going on all over the track and this kept the fans happy. Journalists Roeger Green and Roberto Giordanelli, especially, were two drivers who left the braking as late as possible to pick up a few tenths.

Meaden and Peter Sundberg’s private tussle was a closer affair. On lap nine it was Meaden who got the better of the Swede. Sundberg tried to hit back but was having trouble with his car. He also had Blakeney looming in his rear view mirrors to worry about. On lap seventeen at Druids Bend, Blakeney didn’t step on the brakes until it was too late and careered into the right of Sundberg’s GranTurismo MC Trofeo. Even after the clash, both drivers got back into the race and kept their positions.

The action was not finished for lap seventeen: Andreas Segler, taking on Francesco La Mazza, ran a little wide at Clark Curve, and put two wheels on the grass. He lost control of the car and smashed into the wall flanking the main straight. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt but had to pull out of the race. Meanwhile, Paolo Necchi was steadily making his way through the pack. A series of quick laps saw him catch and take Emanuele Smurra. He was now in seventh, not far down on Marco Petrini.

On lap 20, Alessandro Pier Guidi was in total control with a 10.1 second lead over Meaden, 13.8 over Sundberg, 14.1 over Blakeney, 26.5 over Ardagna Perez, 28.7 over Petrini, 30.4 over Necchi and 32.1 over Smurra.

Just five laps from the end, Giordanelli attacked Leonardo Maddalena a little too aggressively at Druids Bend resulting in the commissioners waving the black and white flag at the Auto Italia journalist. One lap later, at the very same spot, the English driver spun and dropped to eleventh.

As the race director was showing the chequered flag to Alessandro Pier Guidi, Paolo Necchi was keeping pulses racing by taking on Marco Petrini. Necchi stole sixth place with an overtaking move going into Clark Curve but, in doing so, the MotorMedia director drifted onto the dirty part of the track. This meant that he was forced to lift off the gas, allowing Petrini to come back. At the finish line, Petrini just edged it, finishing 31 thousandths up on Necchi.

Behind the front two came: Alessandro Pier Guidi, Richard Meaden, Peter Sundberg, Pat Blakeney and Gaetano Ardagna. Wrapping up the top ten were Emanuele Smurra, Leonardo Maddalena and Roeger Green. Behind this group finished Roberto Giordanelli, Francesco La Mazza, Marcel Pawlicek and Massimo Larciprete.



The Pier Guidi show runs and runs

The clouds that sat above the track in Race 1 gave way to splendid sunshine by the time Race 2 came around.

The drivers all got off to a smooth start as they filed through turn one. Pier Guidi was leading a group with Meaden, Blakeney, Necchi, Ardagna Perez, Maddalena, Sperati, Giordanelli, Piancastelli, Green and Moncada in it.

Ardagna Perez wasted no time in hounding Paolo Necchi but the MotorMedia director kept him at arm’s length. The group was bunched over the first few laps and this made things spicy. Nicolò Piancastelli, once he had shaken off Segler and Pawlicek, chased down and pick-pocketed Roberto Sperati of his seventh spot. Taking their cue from the Trofeo’s youngest driver, Moncada and Goldstein also moved up the rankings as they made the most of their fresh tyres.

Piancastelli didn’t drop his tempo and eased past Maddalena on lap seven with Moncada getting the better of Green after some close quarters action.

As in Race 1, it was Paolo Necchi who attracted the spotlight. The Italian buzzed around Blakeney until he forced the Englishman into an error on lap 11; now third place was his. However, his spot on the podium was lost on lap 14 when he made a mistake at Paddock Hill Bend as he tried to catch second-placed Richard Meaden. Blakeney managed to retake third but again had Necchi to fend off.

Behind the leaders, Goldstein overtook Moncada on lap 15, with the race order reading: Pier Guidi up front from Richard Meaden (5.7 down), Pat Blakeney (7.5 down), Paolo Necchi (7.7 down), Ardagna Perez (20.9 down), Piancastelli (23.5 down) and Maddalena (28.6 down).

The race lost one of its main players when Enrico Moncada had to retire after Goldstein slammed into him. On the same lap, Roberto Sperati also dropped out after putting his GranTurismo MC Trofeo into the sand at Surtees. The incident saw the safety car come on.

The action was put on hold for two laps and, when it got going again, one of the back markers caused a bit of confusion. Piancastelli made the most of his chance and roared past Ardagna Perez just before the start-finish line. Goldstein was also quick to profit, gaining two places.

With just three minutes left on the clock, Paolo Necchi launched one last assault on Blakeney. The Italian attempted to sneak past the Englishman on the inside of Clark Curve but Blakeney shut the door on him, causing him to spin. Necchi’s podium hopes ended in the sand.

The chequered flag was shown to Pier Guidi a few minutes later for another peerless display of driving. Next up was Richard Meaden (4.6 down), Pat Blakeney (5.5 down), Nicolò Piancastelli (7.9 down), Ardagna Perez (15.4 down), Goldstein (16.8 down), Maddalena (17.8 down), Giordanelli (19.4 down), Green (34.6 down), Segler (56.1 down) and Pawlicek (1 lap down).

Once the race was over, Piancastelli and Goldstein were hit with a 30 second penalty by commissioners for overtaking before the start-finish line at the safety car restart. However, it was a conditional penalty and so the original race order stands.

The next round on the Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC calendar is Brno (Czech Republic) on 1 August.



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