The GT Open Cup Europe offered a superb show within the International GT Open today in Race 1 at Spa-Francorchamps, as Aldo Festante, in the Ombra Racing Porsche, had to fight the whole day with the Baporo Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Manel Cerqueda and Dani Díaz-Varela.
The duel started in the morning’s qualifying, with Festante beating Cerqueda by a mere 0s168 margin.
In the race, the Andorran took a better start and led in the first laps, with Festante always under his tail as from he got rid of Alberto De Martín (NM Racing Team Mercedes). In thre second part of the race, after the pit stop, the duel got even more thrilling, with Díaz-Varela and Festante battling throughout the stint and exchanging position several times, up to the decisive move by the Italian at La Source.
After crossing the line and taking his sixth success, the Italian reckoned: “I had to sweat for that one, but it was a great race. I tried to pass everywhere, on the left, on the right, but it was very difficult, as the Audi could pull away a bit in the straights, and it was impossible to pass it without a tow.”
Cerqueda and Díaz-Varela, although second (but reinforcing their leadership in Am), enjoyed the race as well: “It was tough but great fun and we proved that we can fight up there.”
Luis Silva and António Coimbra took third in the Sports&You Mercedes after a solid race, ahead of the PROsport Racing Aston Martin of Rodrigue Gillion, who had to race alone as Nico Verdonck did not feel well, while Rafa Villanueva had to retire in the closing laps with a mechanical issue.