Erika Lavazza steps back on the podium in Vallelunga
Young promising talent Erika Lavazza brings home another great result in the Mini Challenge Italia: after a hectic Race 1, she managed to step on the class podium, while also improving her race pace in Race 2.
Close to the eternal city of Rome, Autodromo Vallelunga hosted the fourth round of the Mini Challenge Italia, in a windy and surprisingly cold weekend - two weeks after the Imola round. The roman track had already hosted the category during the first round in July – and for the first time this year, Erika Lavazza went to a track that she already knew.
Her weekend was off to a great start, with the two Qualifying sessions: Lavazza stood out on the timings' screen, as she improved lap by lap, almost gaining a fourth place in the starting grid. Unluckily, a red flag destroyed her attempts and she had to settle for sixth place.
At the first race of the weekend, all eyes were set on the Mini Challenge grid: Erika started pretty well, managing to stay close to Adam Sascha and attacking him at the end of the first lap – at the Roma corner. Even if every drivers' performance was pretty close, Erika was able to take advantage of Maccari and Roveda's mistakes to climb up to the third position.
The race was overall drama free, without many twists and turns, but still some good scraps were underway in the different classes: in the EVO class, Bagnasco and Silvestrini fought for the win throughout the race but had to settle for the recovering Gentili, who better managed the tyres and could overtake both. Marulla and Macina, despite being teammates, battled hard for the third step of the podium in the PRO division, with Macina ultimately retiring after a contact.
Erika joined LITE class poleman Mattia Raffetti, winner, and Matteo Luvisi on the podium, gaining enough points to maintain her position in the championship. "Racing in Vallelunga again surely helped me to set some goals for myself, I knew how my last performance there was and I wanted to do better. The podium surely is satisfactory." Erika told us.
Race number two went underway on Sunday morning, with a pretty cold breeze around the track: drivers surely had to warm their tyres properly. Erika had an amazing start and tried to close the gap to the front of the pack right from the start – until the first safety car was deployed due to Pietro Agoglia's crash.
As soon as the race resumed, Paolo Maria Silvestrini held his overall lead and Erika kept improving her race pace, showing great progression from Saturday's race. The second safety car was out when "Micio" went out and crashed at the Semaforo corner. The two safety car periods didn't help Erika – and every other driver – who was looking strong to gain a few more positions, so she crossed the finish line sixth in her class.
Erika impressed everyone at Vallelunga – packed of fans who came to support every category during the day – with her stunning orange MINI Challenge LITE; she stepped on the brand new circuit's podium and found herself in front of a huge crowd, that surely was happy to see a young talented lady.
The MINI Challenge Italia will be back in two weeks' time in Monza, the temple of speed and Erika's home circuit, where we're sure she'll be able to do well and make everyone proud.
"I'm overall happy about this weekend, despite not feeling too confident during the first few sessions. I already can't wait for the Monza round as it will also be my home race. I want to collect as many points as possible to climb up the standings a bit."