Mission accomplished for Bhai Tech Racing. On the Monza track, where the seventh and last but one International GT Open Championship’s event took place last week end, the Italian team reached the goal it reserved before. In fact, the team’s four drivers Giorgio Pantano, Rafael Suzuki, Van Der Drift and Luiz Razia took revenge of the Spa-Francorchamps’s grim racing week end by becoming the Championship’s leaders again.
The Mestrino-based team, which is managed by the engineer Mr. Roberto Costa, sealed its first win overall, thanks to Pantano/Suzuki’s win in race-1, ahead of their teammates Razia/Van Der Drift. After scoring a win in the GTS class at the Nurburgring and Silverstone, the Bhai Tech Advanced Vehicle Science Centre’s racing team scored another win on the domestic track, bringing the number of wins to four in the year of the debut in the International Championship.
Despite the track’s layout and the weather conditions were not so much compatible with the two McLarens MP4-12C’s technical features, the Bhai Tech’s four drivers fought to recover several positions, driving brightly and avoiding all dangers caused by wet soil.
During the Saturday afternoon’s race Giorgio Pantano, after taking an excellent start from the second row, soon managed to take the lead, giving way to a more performing Ferrari GTS and to the Esta Motorsport’s Ferrari 458 GT3 only when he had to pit. After a perfect pit-stop, Suzuki took control of the car and soon jumped up to the top of the standing. Van Der Drift’s recovery was fabulous, too. The New Zealander driver got the top 5 before passing the baton to Luiz Razia who finished first. The Italian team got the two most important steps of the podium at Monza.
Race-2 was run under the rain, which caused problems for the English car, so, 24 hours after driving a successful race, the car #65 finished seventh in the overall standing. A tyre’s puncture forced Luiz Razia to withdraw. The Brazilian driver started from the second row and set the second best chrono in the GTS class “It was an exciting week end. Our goal in Monza was to score as many points as possible to take the lead of the standing again and so it was. All guys were fabulous, both the drivers and the mechanics made perfect pit-stops. They scored the first win in the overall standing”, said the technical director Mr. Costa, “Unfortunately rain caused some problems for us. We’re working to improve our performances on wet soil. Our strategy was perfect and we developed our entire program. Unfortunately a tyre’s puncture caused by a collision, forced Razia to withdraw and stop the car on the Lesmo corner. I’d like to compliment the Monza circuit’s commissioners as they proved to be the best once again, unlike it happened at Spa”, commented Roberto Costa, “the strategy chosen for Rafael and Giorgio was a good one and it allowed us to recover several positions even in race-2. Rafael was very good at avoiding problems caused by heavy rain and Giorgio, once tyres were brought to temperature, brought the recovery to completion by finishing seventh. We don’t have anything to complain about. We leave Monza as GTS standing’s leaders. We also took the first and seventh place in the drivers’ standing. We’ll play everything at Barcelona.”
Let’s listen to the four drivers’ statements: ““In Saturday race, we achieved the first goal of the week end, which was scoring as many points as possible. It was an important race for the championship, we had a very good pace and we were able to open a good gap. It was also a special victory because it is the home race for us”, said Rafael Suzuki, “It was a tough day because of the rain that started exactly at the time of the race. Our car doesn’t have the best performance in these conditions, and we had to pay an extra handicap of 15 seconds in the pit stop, it was harder to get in the points. But we go to the final round in Barcelona depending only of our efforts, and we will work hard to achieve our goal.” His teammate Giorgio Pantano has the same opinion: “It’s exciting to win at Monza, everything was perfect. We regained the standing’s top position which we share with Bontempelli, this was our main goal. Unfortunately we know our limits on wet soil, but we’re already focused on the Barcelona race for the final challenge. We’ll test the car’s last upgrades during the collective test session to take place before the racing week end”, ends Giorgio.
“In race – 1 Chris took a good start and the pit stop was also very important for this result. We count a bit on luck because others had problems, but it was good to complete a well done job and be on the podium at Monza is always special”, said Luiz Razia, “Unfortunately we had to abandon the race because of a flat tire. It was a shame, because I believe that even having to pay extra 10 seconds in the pits, we could have scored points, but let’s think forward, because we still have two races”, said Van Der Drift and Razia.