Italian GT: Race 1 rained out
The season opener of the 2021 Italian GT has been rained out after a lengthy red flag. The race has been rescheduled for Sunday morning at 09:10.
Carrie Schreiner’s #8 AF Corse Ferrari (with Sean Hudspeth in the driving seat) was sitting second overall and Francesca Linossi’s teammate Daniel Vebster was third in GT Cup.
Having qualified P2 in this morning’s Q1, Sean Hudspeth had started from the front row of the grid with the #8 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo that the Singaporean shares with Carrie Schreiner.
Carrie was fast throughout practice sessions and the young duo had topped both Friday sessions. In Q2, a light rain started to fall on the Monza circuit – making the second 15-minute qualifying a lot more challenging for the drivers of the 34 teams.
Schreiner was cautious on her first laps, but then consistently improved her lap times in very tricky conditions. On her final attempt, though, she found a yellow flag that demoted her to P10.
“Conditions were very difficult, it started to rain ten minutes before the session and then it was quite wet.” – Schreiner told us after qualifying.
“There was a crash at the beginning and then a red flag – but time did not stop so we just had 8 minutes left. I tried to get used to the conditions in the first two or three laps, then I had quite a big improvement on the last lap.”
“Unfortunately, on my quickest lap, someone in front of me spun, so I wasn’t very lucky.”
Italian racer Francesca Linossi – making her series return with the #355 Ferrari 488 of Easy Race, after spending the last two years on Mercedes machinery. Linossi, 2019 series champion in the endurance series, was third and fourth in the GT Cup classify on Saturday, as she shares the car with young Swede Daniel Vebster, at his first race in GT cars.
“Qualifying wasn’t great to be honest: we were fourth in our class but we were wrong with the tyre choice.” – said Linossi.
“It was a 50-50 chance to be fair, at the end of the session rain eased and we were on wets and we didn’t have time to pit. It was a bit of a roll of the dice, but we’re not too bad in class.”
While some of the support races were indeed contested on a dry track, rain intensified throughout the day and heavy rain accompanied the Italian GT cars on the starting grid at 17:50 CEST.
The start went underway behind the Safety Car, with Schreiner and Linossi’s teammates Hudspeth and Vebster in the driving seats.
After two laps, Simon Mann (AF Corse) spun on the main straight and impacted with the guard rail at SC speed. The #21 Ferrari was badly damaged and retired, as the rest of the field was shown the red flag.
After a lengthy stop in the pitlane, the rain showed no mercy and the race officials were forced to call it a day. The Nova Race Honda NSX of Jacopo Guidetti and Francesco De Luca were leading the classify, with Schreiner-Hudspeth in second and Luca Filippi-Alberto Lippi in third. Linossi-Vebster held third in GT Cup, P16 overall.
The race organizers have drafted a new schedule for Sunday’s action: the remaining 36 minutes of the race will be restarted at 09:10 CEST, while the second race will go green at 15:30. Race 2 will maintain its format of 50 minutes + 1 lap.
We will continue to update in due course.