Overcast skies, a dry track and a massive crowd set the tone for Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto and Andrea Belicchi in their first run this season in the European Le Mans Series. The 4 Hours of Monza, the second round of 2019, should have had a better outcome for Cetilar Racing as the team was stopped after only 35 laps, one-third of the race.
Following a qualifying session complicated by having to solve electronic power steering issues emerged in practice, Sernagiotto took-off from the 8th row. At the end of the opening lap though, the Italian was forced to come back to the pits to replace a punctured right front tire courtesy of a mid-pack contact. It was an unfortunate circumstance and definitely not a good omen considering what happened later.
The quick work done by the mechanics enabled the #47 Dallara LMP2 racecar to get back to the track as fast as possible. Having fallen back, Sernagiotto put his great determination and experience to fruition, one pass after the other, climbing up to P17 after 19 minutes. Following the first pit-stop, the comeback continued up to the 14th place. Unfortunately, though, the power steering issue that plagued the opening part of the weekend was back, shattering any chances to do well, if only to see the checkered flag. In a bitter ending, Sernagiotto parked the car in pit-lane despite an excellent pace.
“The 4 Hours of Monza ended too early for us due to a power steering-related electronic problem that haunted us all weekend”, commented Roberto Lacorte, “Unfortunately, the issue jeopardized the work done by Sernagiotto, who put up a really fast pace after making a great start, but had his early run ruined by a contact. On the positive side, our Dallara showed that it has the right pace to fit into the top five with great ease. It’s a pity not to have seen the checkered flag. We would have liked to reward the many people who came to support us in our home race. Unfortunately, bad luck made it impossible for us.”
Cetilar Racing is already looking forward to their next race outing as the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be raced next 15th and 16th of June.
Source. Cetilar Racing/Photo. Fabio Taccola