Monza - ITA

Stefano Gai

Stefano Gai doubles up

Stefano Gai won the battle for the first two pole positions. He did not let slip the chance to perform well on his home circuit in front of friends and sponsors.

The Lombardy driver was not content with taking top spot in Race 1 and also scooped pole for Race 2(1.58.005) with a combative Manuel Villa again placing second (1:58.416).

This session also saw all the drivers trying hard for the top spot. Among the liveliest was David Baldi along with Nicolò Piancastelli and Andrina Gugger, the twenty-year old Swiss driver who took the fifth best time(1:59.011). Baldi saw third place slip away just a few seconds before the chequered flag was shown. The man who snatched it was Gaetano Ardagna whose flying last lap nudged the Tuscan off the virtual podium.

Compared to Race 1, Mario Cordoni improved his performance and position in taking sixth. The debut driver placed ahead of Lorenzo Casè, first in the Team standings, and Niccolò Piancastelli, whose puncture prevented him from pushing for pole. Behind him in ninth (2:00.513) was another Trofeo first-timer, Swiss driver Durante (an ex-national billiards player).

In the Team championship behind Swiss Team came Swiss driver Olivier Doeblin (Jolly Club), twelfth overall, followed by Alessandro Chionna (AF Corse) and Marcel Pawliceck. Splitting these last two entrants was Striscia la Notizia reporter, Jimmy Ghione, in fourteenth.

Stefano Gai takes his first pole of the season

After notching the fastest time in the second free practice session, Stefano Gai also topped the timesheet in the opening round of qualifying. Gai’s time of 1:58.288 means that he will start tomorrow morning’s 9.50 race up front.

The Lombardy driver did not have an easy ride. Pushing him hard was Manuel Villa who appeared at ease in the Maserati GranTurismo MC after an encouraging start at Imola. Villa battled hard with Gai, racing on his ‘home’ circuit, and only lost out towards the end of the session with a time of 1:58.761.

In third came championship leader Baldi. Driving a back-up car, he managed to find his rhythm and robbed Cedric Sbirrazzuoli of spot number three. Still, Sbirrazzuoli, from Monaco, headed the Team standings with his performance. A few tenths back came Lorenzo Casè to set up an exciting contest tomorrow as the Pavia driver is turning out for Swiss Team in the Team championship.

Ardagna, from Venezuela, posted sixth to edge out Swiss driver Andrina Gugger. Next up were two debutants, Grassi and Cordoni, and then came Nicolò Piancastelli. Olivier Doeblin classified eleventh (third in the Team standings), just ahead of Jimmy Ghione, the Striscia la Notizia reporter.

The other journalist taking part, Radio Monte Carlo’s Paolo Ciccarone, closed out in seventeenth spot after his effort was compromised by Belgian De Leener, who eventually finished sixteenth.




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