Oschersleben - DEU

Sundberg gets the better of Zumerle

Peter Sundberg secured his third win in Maserati’s single-make championship in this morning’s race. The drivers competed on a track where the fog made visibility far from ideal.

The weather was not that great either meaning that the drivers ran two laps to get their tyres up to temperature before lining up on the grid.

Despite pre-race worries about turn one, all the Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos came through unscathed. First out was Swedish driver Peter Sundberg and he quickly stepped on the gas (his fastest was lap five in 1:39.034) to put some space between himself and Pietro Zumerle.

Also quick off the start was Rota and La Mazza with La Mazza climbing five places into fourth. The battle for third place was hard fought over the early stages with Rota attacking Necchi. The fight ended in a collision between the two that also involved other cars. Both Necchi and Rota managed to continue but they were well off the leading pace.

Once they had taken a look at the film of the incident, the race officials decided to hit Sergio Rota with a drive-through that further compromised his chances.

While Sundberg and Zumerle were pulling away up front, the tussle for third was heating up again with Heyrosky, La Mazza, Ardagna and Necchi, who had made a fine comeback, all contesting it. On lap eight though, Necchi’s race came to an end after he suffered a puncture when he had earned a place on the virtual podium. The director from MotorMedia magazine has the misfortune of leading the puncture standings with three.

Two more drivers dropped out on lap twelve: Enrico Moncada and Emanuele Smurra. With Sundberg and Zumerle alone up front, Heyrosky closed in on Venezuelan Ardagna Perez, having tyre wear problems, in third. The two soon had La Mazza for company and he was quicker than both of them. The race was full of excitement with plenty of clashes all over the track. One of these saw the Austrian lose control of his GranTurismo MC Trofeo which went into a spin. With third place up for grabs, lead man Sundberg was also having to manage his tyres, allowing Pietro Zumerle to close in. Now, the race and championship lead were both there for the taking.

In the end, Sundberg managed to take the chequered flag despite Zumerle trying everything he could to take top spot. Third went to La Mazza with Ardagna Perez in fourth and Austrian Heyrosky fifth. A little further back, in sixth, came Sergio Rota.

Gebhardt won the private duel between the journalists by taking seventh but didn’t pick up any points as he was a guest racer. His colleague, Naumann, finished fifteenth even though he didn’t make it back out onto the track after pitting on lap 18.

With this win, the Sundberg/Goldstein pairing extends its overall lead, especially over Zumerle. Still, anything could happen as Zumerle is on pole for race two.



Necchi storms to his first win

The start of race 2 was much livelier than the first with Pietro Zumerle and Steven Goldstein both overshooting turn one. Sergio Rota benefited most.

After starting in seventh, he pulled into Emanuele Smurra’s slipstream, who was tucked in behind Paolo Necchi. In turn, Necchi was doing his best to build a lead after starting on pole.

Rota was in decisive mood and overtook Smurra on lap two. Heyrowsky also edged past Smurra while Goldstein and Zumerle were trying to make their way back into the points zone.

Necchi and Rota were pushing on in the hope of pulling away from Smurra, making the most of the ex-champion’s tussle with surprise package Heyrowsky. Just behind, Moncada and Ardagna Perez were going head-to-head for fifth with La Mazza ready to pounce on the slightest mistake.

With Rota posting his fastest lap (1:38.923) in trying to catch Necchi, Zumerle had Goldstein and eleventh spot in his sights: on lap seven, Zumerle sneaked past, setting the race lap record of 1:38.475 in the process.

Ardagna Perez was also mixing it up as he overtook Moncada. This part of the race saw all eyes drawn to Smurra and Heyrowsky as they set a series of quick laps in trying to close the gap to the front two. The Austrian’s pressure on Smurra paid off for the chasing Ardagna Perez and Moncada who took only a few laps to close in.

The race was now exciting both up front, with four drivers contesting the lead, and in the middle of the pack with Zumerle and Goldstein’s comeback. The Brno winner soon swept past Bellin to take tenth and move into the points. This was because the two guest-driver journalists ahead of him would not pick up any championship points. Goldstein was sitting in twelfth.

Lap 15 saw Ardagna Perez pull off a stunning overtaking move on Heyrowsky while Zumerle got the better of Naumann and then Gebhardt to make eighth his own. Two laps later, Heyrowsky missed a braking point and opened the door for Moncada to sneak through. However, Moncada’s luck did not last as he ran off the track and retired not long after.

Up front, Necchi was keeping Rota at arm’s length. Smurra was in third but almost six seconds down on Rota and he had to keep an eye on Ardagna Perez’s attacks.

Just behind, Zumerle had notched more important championship points when he exploited a La Mazza mistake to take sixth. This only stirred him on and soon Zumerle was targeting Heyrowsky but the clock was ticking.
Ardagna Perez was playing cat and mouse, ready to profit from any mistake Smurra might make in trying to get past Rota. The strategy paid off with the Roman driver failing to round off a solid drive by running off the track twice in the space of a few hundred metres. The Venezuelan did not need asking twice and pinched Smurra’s spot.

Title contenders Goldstein and Zumerle finished in sixth and eighth, respectively.

After a weekend of racing, current leaders Goldstein-Sundberg have done well: before the meet, they held a one point lead over Zumerle but come away from Germany with a four point advantage. However, the series is still wide open and anything could happen in the final two Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC races.



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