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Carrera Cup Italia, Imola: Bertonelli Leads in the Tests

With a time of 1'43"848, the 2019 vice-champion returning with BeDriver was the fastest among the 35 on the track today in the early preview of the first round with 4 hours of pre-race shakedown in preparation for the weekend at the Santerno circuit. This circuit will host the debut of the new 911 GT3 Cup in the Porsche Italia monomarque from Friday to Sunday. Cassarà performed well in the Michelin Cup, while Jorge Lorenzo went off the track after his best lap.

The exclusive pre-race test with about 4 hours of on-track practice preceded the first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia today in Imola. This event is scheduled at the Santerno circuit from Friday to Sunday. In anticipation of the much-awaited season opener, with the new 911 GT3 Cup, 35 drivers gathered to prepare for the inaugural challenge.

Between the two scheduled sessions, the morning had favorable weather with spring-like temperatures, while the afternoon presented tricky wet conditions. Only the last 20 minutes were on a dry track, without improving the fastest times compared to the morning. However, in the final minutes, some drivers managed to refine their limits.

The best in the afternoon was the reigning champion of Ghinzani Arco Motorsport with a time of 1'44"649. However, the absolute time of the day belonged to Diego Bertonelli with 1'43"848, an already impressive feat considering that the new 911 GT3 Cup does not have the ABS braking system.

The Tuscan driver, vice-champion in 2019, in his return and first season with the BeDriver team, outpaced the Ombra Racing duo of Leonardo Caglioni, just one-tenth behind, and Quaresmini, three-tenths behind.

A bit further back, with very similar performances in the late afternoon, a quartet of drivers, led by Cerqui, followed by Stefano Monaco, immediately in the top-5 in his return with Dinamic Motorsport, Matteo Malucelli, eagerly awaited with the family team for a full championship return, and vice-champion Ale Giardelli, now with Ebimotors, posting the seventh time, one second behind Bertonelli.

Enrico Fulgenzi secured the eighth overall time, 1.2 seconds behind the leader, thanks to the result obtained in the morning. Just a few laps were enough for EF Racing's standard-bearer. In the afternoon, Giammarco Levorato (Tsunami RT) and Lodovico Laurini (Dinamic Motorsport) improved, entering the top-10 ahead of Aldo Festante (in his first season with Raptor Engineering) and Giorgio Amati (also in his first season with Ghinzani Arco Motorsport).

Thirteenth overall was the newcomer Keagan Masters: the 22-year-old South African, joining A Racing, finished the day ahead of the returning Andrea Fontana, Bonaldi Motorsport's standard-bearer, and Benny Strignano, 15th with the 911 GT3 Cup of Scuderia Villorba Corse in new colors.

The young driver from Barletta preceded Marco Cassarà. With the 16th overall time, the Roman driver of Raptor Engineering was the best of the day among the Michelin Cup protagonists, of which he is the reigning champion. Cassarà, with a good 1'46"049, did not actually drive in the afternoon, and neither did the top-5 drivers in the Michelin Cup improve their morning times.

They are Luca Pastorelli (Krypton Motorsport), just 2 tenths behind Cassarà, Alberto De Amicis (Ebimotors), Alex De Giacomi (Tsunami RT), and Francesco Maria Fenici (AB Racing). Jorge Lorenzo inserted himself between the leader of the Michelin Cup and them in the morning.

It was an unlucky day for the Spanish multi-time MotoGP champion. The Majorcan had debuted on four wheels at Imola, showing good progression during the first round of the Porsche Supercup two weekends ago. However, today he went off the track at Villeneuve just over an hour into the tests.

The driver was okay, and a short red flag was raised to remove the Team Q8 Hi Perform's 911 GT3 Cup, which, despite impacts at both the front and rear, did not suffer irreparable damage. Lorenzo retained the best time of 1'46"080, the 17th overall of the day, representing a better foundation for his Carrera Cup debut compared to the free practice of the Supercup.

Finally, the fastest lap in the Silver Cup was achieved by the vice-champion Davide Scannicchio (ZRS Motorsport), while Risto Vukov and Luigi Peroni were the only two drivers registered for the prestigious monomarque who did not participate in today's tests. Therefore, along with others, they will directly await Friday for the first free practice of the season with the new 80-minute format (instead of 60).

Source: https://it.motorsport.com/pcc-italia/news/carrera-cup-italia-imola-bertonelli-comanda-nei-test/10282849/ Author: Giuseppe Marchese

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