13th October, 2019 – GT Cup Open Europe, Monza
JP Mauro and Rodolfo Toni won Saturday’s race and won theirclass again on Sunday to seal second in the Am Championship. Hans-Peter Koller added the GT Cup Open Europe title to his Pro-Am Championship and VSR claimed the team Championship in a successful Monza finale.
Having bagged the Pro-Am title at Barcelona last time out Hans-Peter Koller arrived in Monza for the final round of the Championship aiming to also seal the overall Championship. The Swiss driver was once again sharing his VSR Lamborghini Super Trofeo Huracan with Edoardo Liberati whilst the team’s Am entry was driven as always by the Brazilian duo of JP Mauro and Rodolfo Toni. Early qualifying was a chilly start on Saturday morning for Koller and Mauro, the drivers designated for the first session. Mauro qualified on the front row after Leutwiler beat him to the pole on his final lap and Koller was fifth fastest overall, second in Pro-Am. At the start of the race Mauro slotted into second behind Leutwiler but there was almost immediate disaster for Koller who was hit by Curti at the first chicane and forced to retire with damage to the front of the Lamborghini. Out in front for the opening laps was the trio of Leutwiler, Mauro and Vivacqua, covered by less than two seconds and pulling away from the rest of the field. The gap separating Leutwiler and Mauro remained much the same as the pit window approached and the McLaren of Vivacqua dropped back. On lap ten Mauro was nose to tail with Leutwiler and passed the Porsche under braking to take first place. Four laps later he pitted and Toni took over the VSR Lamborghini and the race lead. In an impeccable stint the Brazilian held off the battling trio of Leutwiler, Font and De Fulgencio to take the win by just eight tenths of a second.
Sunday morning qualifying saw Liberati take his fifth pole of the season in characteristically convincing manner, beating the rest of the field by close to two seconds. Toni qualified the VSR Am entry on the third row, setting the third quickest time in class. Liberati held the lead easily at the start and began pulling away from the McLarens, Porsches and Audi following him, setting a series of fastest laps. On lap five Toni had a coming together with Fontes which dropped him back to twelfth overall and left the VSR Lamborghini with light damage. By the time the pit window opened on lap eleven Liberati had a ten second advantage to Cerqueda’s Audi which had broken away from the rest of the pack. Toni stopped immediately to handover to Mauro as the pair discounted their ten second success penalty. Liberati pitted four laps later just as the pit window closed and handed a healthy lead over to Koller. Mauro began climbing up through the field and was quickly the fastest man on track. Victory looked certain for Koller until two laps from the end when he was swiped by Leutwiler. Both cars were damaged and the pair fell back down the order. Mauro took the flag in third place overall and won the Am class.
The second victory of the weekend for Mauro and Toni allowed them to finish second in the Am Championship whilst Koller won both the Pro-Am and the Overall Championships and VSR collected the Team trophy.