Romeo Ferraris completed an intense weekend at the Vallelunga circuit, for its home round in the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup.
It wasn’t a weekend which went to plan for the manufacturer based in Opera, Milan, as despite showing themselves to be right on the money in terms of race pace, the squad had to finish earlier than foreseen a weekend that could have led to the second consecutive victory after the one in Zolder.
In the Pool FAST DHL Super Final reserved Bruno Spengler had a violent crash, while Luca Filippi suffered from a tyre puncture. Consequently, in one case due to the extent of the damage suffered by the car, and in the other for safety reasons, fellow drivers Maxime Martin and Giovanni Venturini were unable to compete in their Pool FURIOUS DHL Super Final.
Following his incident, Spengler was promptly taken to the circuit medical centre and was later transferred to the Sant’Andrea hospital for further precautionary checks, which diagnosed the slight fracture of the T6 thoracic vertebra.
Martin, who shares the Giulia ETCR with the Canadian, would have lined up at the start of the last heat with full points and in pole position, after having soared in qualifying with the absolute best time (1:19.692) and winning Quarter Final 1 and Semi Final 1.
Despite the absence in the DHL Super Final, the Belgian still closed this round in fifth position with 60 points collected, while it was 44 for Spengler, third in the FAST Pool and then second at the finish in Quarter Finals 1 and Semi Final 1.
To confirm the great speed potential of Romeo Ferraris on its home circuit, Filippi enjoyed his most profitable weekend of the season, with 43 points obtained, while 15 went to Venturini even after missing his Super Final too.
“I was expecting a sweet weekend in Vallelunga but sometimes motorsport is so cruel,” said Venturini.
“First of all, I’m super happy that Bruno is fine after his big crash during his super final! From my side what can I say, from qualy after my mistake in Q1 it was a nightmare. At the end, for obviously safety reason we decided to don’t race my super final, so looking forward for the next race weekend, where I really hope that everything will be better.”
For Filippi, the weekend had added importance.
“It was definitely a really important weekend,” he said. “It has been amazing to see how much the championship and the team has progressed over one year, in the same place in Vallelunga. The performance have gone so much high. And as a team, we improved so much. And it was an interesting fight between all three manufacturers.
“With Romeo Ferraris, it was nice to see so much attention with media and PR activities, nice and organised. And I think, also from that point of view, the team has done as an amazing step forward, which has been really incredible.
“On track from my side, I think I had much better potential than what we achieved, starting from the Quarter Final where I had my first tyre issue with the delamination. That put us on the backfoot for the rest of the weekend and in final we had the same issue again. It’s a shame. But from this point of view, I think we have a lot of positive and the biggest positive definitely that the car was very safe when Bruno had the accident and we are all happy and glad that he came out of the car in a good shape and we all wish him a very speedy recovery.”
Romeo Ferraris is now third in the constructors’ ranking with 627 points with Hyundai Motorsport N just edging two points ahead of them in the standings.
Martin remains the best placed among the drivers of the Opera-based team, fourth in the standings at 360, and mathematically always in the race for the title.
“Our home stage has closed as we never would have hoped,” said Romeo Ferraris Team Prinicpal, Michela Cerruti.
“What matters most now, however, is that Bruno is fine after the bad accident he was involved in. We hope he recovers as soon as possible.
“In the impact, the car was seriously damaged and therefore it was not possible for Maxime to compete in the Final of the FURIOUS pool, in which we could have celebrated the second consecutive victory after that of Zolder. We did not consider safe to let the other car and Giovanni race, also given that Luca suffered a puncture in the FAST pool.
“Besides the races, we experienced a few days enriched by numerous parallel initiatives with sponsors, guests and customers of our road cars that we welcomed with extreme pleasure. I thank Tenuta Montemagno, Delitaly and the staff of the Vallelunga racetrack for what, beyond the final sporting result, was a very successful event.”