Carrera Cup GB: Zamparelli & Gamble Win Italian Job
GT Porsche contributor, Dino Zamparelli, maintained his championship lead of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB following its first-ever visit to Monza in Italy. The 2018 championship’s blue riband event was run in support of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in front of 20,000 international spectators, they witnessed Zamparelli and Rookie George Gamble become the season’s first repeat winners in two eventful races – both timed 28-minute races featured early safety car periods due to first corner incidents.
Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior Dan Harper took his maiden pole position in qualifying for round five of the championship, his time would’ve been good enough to have put him on the front row of September’s Supercup race at Monza. However, the teenager made an error under braking into the first corner setting off a cascade of collisions that brought out the safety car. With 20 minutes of the race remaining, the safety car returned to the pit lane leaving Zamparelli to lead Gamble and Tio Ellinas at the restart.
Battles also raged in Pro-Am between Caton and Dan Vaughan, Jennings and Kyle-Henney in Am – all four cars were nose to tail in an exciting dice for position. Just a few minutes from the end of the timed race Zamparelli had managed to build a five-second lead over Gamble in second. Ellinas was closer than ever to Gamble who then ran wide into the gravel trap at Parabolica, Ellinas moving to P2 and Wrigley up to P3 as a result and that’s how the first race ended.
The grid positions of the top six overall race finishers from round five were reversed to form the grid for round six. Therefore it was rookie Esmee Hawkey started who on pole position for the 28-minute reverse grid race ahead of Seb Perez, directly behind on the second row came George Gamble. In the run down to the first corner Pro-Am runner Justin Sherwood and Am runner Peter Kyle-Henney collided while several further cars also made contact with one another. The two Amigos Team Parker cars, Gamble and Perez, headed the field out of Rettifilio before the safety car was immediately called into action to clear the stricken vehicles in a repeat of race one.
At the restart with 20 minutes of the race remaining, Pro runner Gamble led Pro-Am category team mate Perez from former GP3 race winner Ellinas. With 15 minutes of racing to go, Ellinas ran wide at Parabolica while mounting a challenge on Perez for P2, his championship rival Zamparelli took advantage moving up from P4 to P2 in one sweeping move. That made the order at the front; Gamble, Zamparelli, Ellinas – the trio ran nose to tail, Gamble being forced to defend his lead from a looming Zamparelli on more than one occasion, but eventually crossing the line to clinch an overall victory, his second of the season, with Zamparelli and Ellinas taking the remaining podium places.
For the next meeting the Carrera Cup GB returns to the TOCA package at Oulton Park in June.