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SportsRacing World Cup Brno 1999

31st July - 1st August 1999

Event report

Friday - 30th June

This year top sports prototypes racing returned again to Brno (Czech Republic), now with newly renamed SportsRacing WORLD CUP, former International Sports Racing Series. Although provisional entry listed 24 cars, on Friday there were seen only 18 cars in the pits, the same number as last year. The missing were Riley & Scotts of RWS and R&S Europe and two SR2 cars - third Tampolli which was entered for the first time, so we may hope would appear soon in the series, and Pilbeam of Redman Bright. There were also other two cars listed in provisional entry list given by organisers but not present - Ferrari of Italtechnica which was heavily crashed in the last race at Donington Park and private entered Kremer K8 Porsche. So we could hope that they appear on Saturday morning.

Among 18 present cars were six Ferraris including both JB and Both BMS Scudderia Italia cars. Riley & Scotts were represented by Target 24 Judd powered car with Apicella/de Lorenzi. This car was now without any success ballast so was expected to surprise in the race. The second Riley & Scott was the Target 24 car from the last year which is still powered by older Chevrolet but Target 24 plans to convert it to Judd power after the Brno race. This car was seen this year usually rented to team Conrero under which name was also listed in provisional entry list but it was finally entered by Target 24 and driven by team leader Fabio Montani. Among strong favorites we should count especially both Lolas entered by Kremer Racing and DAMS Team which was here as a fresh winner from last race at Donington. The only other SR1 car was Lucchini SR1-98 Cosworth of team SCI driven by former Interserie Champion Ranieri Randaccio. Class SR2 counts 7 cars: two Tampollis, two Lucchinis, Pilbeam, Debora and Picchio. From SR2 regulars Brno didn’t see two MBRs and Osella of Luigi Taverna.

Saturday - 31st June

1st free practice (9:00-10:00)

Saturday programme was started with the first free practice of SportRacing World Cup. All 18 cars went on the track to complete their first laps. So no Tedeschi Ferrari or Kremer K8...

Sunny weather and dry track made a good conditions for all competitors which ran all hour more or less without major problems trying to find best setup for this circuit except SCI Lucchini which had to be twice pushed into pits during this session and made only two measured laps. That meant only last 18th place.

After 12 minutes set DAMS Lola with Gounon/Tinseau 1:51.98 and was all time in the lead. Tinseau was called to drive after Eric Bernard was withdrawn because of ALMS race at Portland the same weekend. They were at Brno for the first time but after next half hour they improved to 1:50.70. Second fastest were Baldi/Redon (1:51.38) followed by the second JB Ferrari of Collard/Sospiri (1:52.35). Best R&S was Apicella/de Lorenzi in 5th position (1:53.69). Class SR2 was led by Amati/Lancelotti who were 10th overall with fastest lap 2:01.52.

2nd free practice (11:30-12:30)

Second free practice was a bit slower according to achieved times but more interesting. After 8 minutes were positions Ferrari no.23 (Moncini/Pescatori) before R&S no.15 (Apicella/de Lorenzi) and Ferrari no.1 (Collard/Sospiri). After only four measured laps JB Ferrari no.2 had big problems. While running into pits rear wheels blocked and car spun. It was then lifted and pushed into its box and although mechanics were working hard on it, the car didn’t reappear on the track again this session.

After 25 minutes top three positions were the same, fourth were Angelo and Marco Zadra in the second BMS Ferarri. Only fifth was DAMS Lola Judd. After half hour situation changed when Apicella ran one lap in 1:52.42 beating the leading Ferrari (1:52.54).

Second half of this session saw a very close racing. After 45 minutes top four were in 0.15 seconds difference. Apicella/de Lorenzi stayed first (1:52.42) but Kremer Lola improved very much to 1:52.48 and was second before JB Ferrari number 1 (1:52.54). Leaders of the first part Mancini/Pescatori were now fourth (1:52.57). Kremer Lola ran after 48 minutes even quicker (1:52.12) and became winner of this session. Target 24 R&S and JB Ferrari improved too but 1:52.21 (R&S) and 1:52.29 (Ferrari) meant only 2nd and 3rd places. DAMS Lola stayed 5th, Baldi/Redon were after four laps 8th. Best SR2 car was again Tampolli driven by Amati/Lancelotti – 10th place, time 2:01.62 and Lucchini of SCI ran better (16th in 2:04.54).

SR2 qualifying (15:00-15:30)

After a lunch break and Ferrari Challenge race qualifying sessions were on the programme. Following accidents between SR1 and SR2 cars at Spa and Donington it was decided that these classes would run separate qualifying sessions. First half hour was for seven cars of SR2 field. Quickest were again Amati/Lancelotti running still slower than group CN cars last year – 2:00.22. Second was also like in both practice sessions Lucchini of Peroni/Maddalena 2:01.90 ahead of second Tampolli and Debora which made only one measured lap. Times were very close – all field was in 3.2 seconds.

SR1 qualifying (15:35-16:15)

Five minutes after SR2 finished SR1 cars went on the track for final session of this day. This qualifying saw again very close times. After two laps were best no.12 Gounon/Tinseau and Apicella/de Lorenzi (both 1:52.28) followed by JB Ferrari no.1 (1:51.30) and Moncini/Pescatori (1:51.31). Kremer Lola had 1:51.67, Zadra’s Ferrari 1:51.78 and JB Ferrari no.2 1:51.79. Early Apicella/de Lorenzi set fastest time 1:50.71 that and were long in the lead but finally were beaten by usual pole winners Gounon/Tinseau (1:50.24). This was though their only lap under 1:51 while R&S was four times under this limit. By the end of qualifying the winners of the last year race Collard/Sospiri improved much but 1:50.78 wasn’t enough to put the car to the front row.

Press conference with SR1 and SR2 pole winners Gounon/Tinseau and Amati/Lancelotti followed. While DAMS drivers saw their chance to win good (although carrying extra weight 30 kg which would make effect to tires), laughing Giovanna Amati answering question who would be their biggest rival for the SR2 win said that they even don’t hope to win because they are trying to do it from the start of the season but various problems stopped them to win. She also said that she is satisfied with the Brno circuit.

Sunday - 1st August

Warm Up (9:15-9:30)

In warm up DAMS Lola was quickest setting best time at 1:51.61 followed by Collard/Sospiri and other Ferraris. Target R&S was 6th with 1:54.03. Kremer Lola stayed early on the track with some problems and was only 8th. In only 15 minutes session retired many cars. Except Kremer Lola it was also Lucchini SR1 of team SCI and Bruneau Debora. Best time in SR2 now achieved second Tampolli driven by Maccari/Merzario (2:02.18) ahead of works Lucchini of Ronca/Saccomanno (2:02.64).

The Race (13:30-16:00)

When on Sunday afternoon cars left pits to the starting grid SCI Lucchini-Cosworth stayed at its pit and didn‘t run anymore after many problems during all weekend. All rest 17 cars started to formation lap. In the first row there were both Judd powered cars, second row consisted from both JB Ferraris. After the start DAMS Lola took the lead followed by Target 24 R&S Judd and Lola of Kremer Racing which had very good start from sixth position on the grid. Best Ferrari was car driven by Collard/Sospiri. Race didn't start good for Ferraris. In the first lap Redon had collision with Scuderia Italia Ferrari number 23 and left the track. The race was over for Redon and Baldi. Ferrari no.23 slowly continued and had to stop in the pits. Repair longed very long and the car returned to the race with six lap loss. Third Ferrari that had problems very early was Lavaggi’s car which ran sixth but should turn to pits in the fourth lap. After two laps Lavaggi returned to race. Then he ran well but in lap 27 retired from 8th position.

Class SR2 was led from the start by both Tampollis Amati/Lancelotti before Maccari/Merzario. Third and fourth were Lucchinis Peroni/Maddalena ahead of Ronca/Saccomanno. Siliprandi Lucchini run very quick and in the sixth lap overtook slower Tampolli and in 15th lap took the lead in SR2 category. In this time was Merzario’s car out of race because of engine failure. Engine of number Tampolli 55 of Giovanna Amati lasted only a little longer. It stayed in the pits after lap 17.

Besides leading DAMS Lola run one second before Apicella in Target 24 Riley & Scott. But it was very dramatic battle from lap 15 when both cars run together R&S strongly trying to overtake. Apicella was successful in lap 17 and took the lead. Lola soon came to pits to change tires. After pitstop of R&S Kremer Lola was one lap in the lead. After first series of pitstop lead Apicella before DAMS Lola, Zadra’s Ferrari, which ran surprisingly quick at Brno. Fourth was JB Ferrari ahead of Kremer Lola which after long pitstop lost two positions but overtook JB Ferrari soon. Sixth was Ferrari of Calderari/Bryner running with one lap loss. Seventh was SR2 leader - works Lucchini but it wasn’t pitting yet and stayed on the track without fuel in lap 29. In lap 24 second Target 24 car had big problems wen went off the track and lost four laps. Then it turned to pits and was there long seven laps.

Overall positions didn’t change then, only by half of the race DAMS Lola shortened loss for leading R&S from 17 seconds in lap 31 to 12 second in lap 37. In SR2 after retirement of factory Lucchini lead Siliprandi car before Debora and Picchio. Last and only other runner in this class was Pilbeam – winner of Donington race. The field was completed by two SR1 car which had ealier long pitstops. They were BMS Ferrari of Moncini/Pescatori and Target 24 R&S of Zardo/Montani. Debora had early second pitstop so Picchio of Scuderia Giudici got the second place and after leading Lucchini retired in lap 40, Picchio could be easily winner because Debora was behind it and had besides very long pitstop in lap 54. But Picchio had wheel nut problem in lap 56 and retired. At the same time Debora was still in the pits and wasn’t sure whether it would run again. It was chance for Pilbeam to reply win from Donington but it went to the pits with broken rear suspension and was out of race too. So Debora was repaired and slowly finished the race as the only SR2 finisher running 7th overall.

Lets return to SR1 battle. In lap 40 leading R&S turned into pits and so did DAMS Lola soon after. Battle continued in the pits. First was started Lola and took the lead. But two laps before Kremer Lola was leading again because pitting a little later. Target 24 had problems in the pits and returned to third position. Second was very good running and pitting Ferrari of son and father Zadra. Fourth was JB Ferrari followed by Kremer Lola, which had more and more problems. Later was overtaken by yellow Autosport Ferrari number 4 and in lap 56 was in the pits repaired for more than 11 laps. Orbell and Nielsen chance for good position was over.

After the third series of pitstop Target 24 R&S returned to a second place moving Zadras Ferrari to third. Still four cars were in the lead lap. The final part of the race showed strength of Collard/Sospiri. They had a great finish when overtook Zadras and three laps before the end of the race also de Lorenzi in Target 24 R&S. So they finished 2nd and returned to the lead in the championship standings. De Lorenzi had big problems with tires and ran very slowly last few laps so Zadra could attack from fourth position. In final lap he was successful and finished 3rd. Finish line saw only 9 cars and only 5 of them ran without trouble causing long pitting.

Race was very interesting and John Mangoletsi promised that his series will return to Brno next year and he believes the race would be even better hopefully with many more cars on the grid.

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82 - Bentley 4 ½ #102/50 ML - S. J. Lawrence
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