Italian GT: Class victory for Carrie Schreiner in Vallelunga
It was a successful weekend for Carrie Schreiner in Italian GT, claiming class victory and an overall second place in the endurance round at Vallelunga.
Just one week after securing two podiums in the GTC-Race championship in Lausitzring, 23-year old GT3 specialist Carrie Schreiner kept momentum and clinched her first overall podium of the season - and a Pro-Am class victory - at the Vallelunga round of Italian GT Championship.
The third round of the Italian GT Endurance series was in fact contested at Vallelunga, outskirts of Rome, with the German lady joining forces with Antonio Fuoco and reigning champion Giorgio Roda at the wheel of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.
Roda stepped in for Singaporean racer Sean Hudspeth - also Carrie's co-driver in the Sprint series - who is currently recovering from an ankle injury.
Able to adapt her driving style to a different variety of cars week in and week out, Schreiner has been able to familiarize quickly with the AF Corse Ferrari and stepped on the GT3 Pro-Am podium at her series debut in Monza and at Imola - valid for the Sprint series classify - before finally conquering the overall podium in the Endurance round of Vallelunga.
Roda-Fuoco-Schreiner were the fastest team in a FP3 dominated by the Ferrari marque, before the qualifying session brought the #8 AF Corse crew to seventh place and fourth row for Sunday's race at Vallelunga.
Fisichella, Gai and Zampieri (Scuderia Baldini Ferrari) started from pole position, followed by the BMW of Zug/Comandini/Spengler - but the Safety Car was quickly called into action when Salaquarda's Audi Sport R8 came to a stop.
Marius Zug tried the move for lead at the restart, but Zampieri defended the top spot, as Stuart Middleton (Imperiale Racing Lamborghini) joined the battle.
Zug made the winning move on Zampieri on lap 13 - the latter defended the second position from an aggressive Middleton, but the Lamborghini spun in the overtaking attempt and dropped to seventh.
After a very positive start, Carrie Schreiner had to defend the fourth Pro-Am place from the attacks of Pietro Perolini (LP Racing Lamborghini) - the two made contact but fortunately without causing damage to the AF Corse Ferrari.
After a solid stint from Carrie, Italian racer Giorgio Roda took over driving duties and recovered until the third Pro-Am spot, just behind Simon Mann (AF Corse Ferrari) and Alessandro Vezzoni (RS Racing Ferrari).
Mann and Vezzoni swapped places at the top end of the standings in a close fight; Roda was able to take advantage from the battle for the lead and advance to second place, in a AF Corse 1-2 behind Mann.
Roda tried to move into the lead on the following laps, but Mann defended well before the final pit stops for driver-change.
A Safety Car on lap 77 opened the final hour of racing, but the #8 AF Corse trio was hit by a penalty for a pit stop infringement and, once Antonio Fuoco got behind the wheel, he dropped outside the Pro-Am podium.
The former F2 driver, though, showed all his driving skills in the remaining stint and was protagonist of an outstanding comeback: he first moved past Daniel Mancinelli (Easy Race Ferrari) for third, before completing the final pass for second place on Bruno Spengler (Ceccato Racing BMW) on lap 82.
From that moment on, Antonio Fuoco seemed unstoppable and signed the fastest lap of the race as he reduced the gap from the overall leader Mattia Drudi (Audi Sport Italia).
The Audi driver was able to manage the accumulated margin and took the chequered flag securing the victory, just ahead of Fuoco in P2 - that meant the first overall podium for Carrie Schreiner and the first win in the Pro-Am Class in Italian GT.
The next championship round for the German lady on Italian soil will be in two weeks' time at Mugello for the Sprint series.