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Gollin, Cappellari take dramatic season finale.

An action-packed race around the ultra-fast Monza circuit in Italy closed the 2003 season of the FIA GT Championship in style.

With 30,000 spectators lining the track, situated in the beautiful Monza park, the 500 km, 87-lap race was completed in 2 hours and 40 minutes. 2003 Champions BMS Scuderia Italia sealed their winning season with another victory, this one for Fabrizio Gollin and Luca Cappellari. In N-GT, while JMB Racing took a fourth win of the season, second place was good enough for Stéphane Ortelli and Marc Lieb to win the Drivers' Championship, while giving the Teams title to Freisinger Motorsport. A good end to a good season.

At the start, the nr 22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari got ahead of the pole-sitter, the nr 5 Force One Viper, and began to pull away. The nr 2 Konrad Saleen was close behind in third. By lap ten, the Saleen moved up into second place, and the nr 21 Care Racing Ferrari took third, overtaking for second seven laps later.

The two cars, fighting for second place in the Championship, continued their close battle, while the nr 2 Saleen made an early stop for fuel. This meant that Walter Lechner Jr took the lead when the other cars made their scheduled driver change stops, followed by the nr 21 Care Racing car, which took the lead when Toni Seiler took over the Saleen on lap 46.

With its different pit schedule, the Saleen took the lead again by the time it pitted for Franz Konrad to take over. On lap 50, the nr 5 Force One was reported going slowly on the track, and retired with transmission problems, meaning that the car failed ot finish a single race this season.

However, on lap 67, an incident involving the nr 15 Lister Storm, Gabriele Lancieri at the wheel, saw both cars spin and stop, blocking the track and briefly delaying the nr 14 Storm. This put the Konrad car out of contention, and it retired shortly afterwards.

The nr 9 took advantage to take third from the nr 14 Storm. It looked as if Care Racing would take its first win of the season, but a last-minute splash and dash on this fuel-thirsty track put the nr 22 back into the lead, while a similar situation placed the nr 14 Storm back up to third.

At the chequered flag, the nr 22 BMS won ahead of the nr 21 Care Racing, with the nr 14 Lister Storm third. The two new Ferrari 575M Maranello cars came in fourth and fifth, with the nr 23 BMS Ferrari and GT Champions Bobbi and Biagi, damaged in a collision with a Porsche early on, recovering to sixth. The second Lister Racing Storm of Piccini, Sterckx and Lancieri was seventh, with the nr 6 Lister Storm of Verdon-Roe and Zadra taking the final point for eighth.

In NGT, the nr 61 EMKA Racing Porsche got ahead of the pole-sitting nr 52 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena at the start. However, it was caught out when a slower GT car braked ahead of it, and Emmanuel Collard spun out into the gravel on lap11. This put Bertolini, in the nr 52 JMB Racing Ferrari, in the lead, a position he only lost during pit stops until the end of the race.



Related Pictures

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Luca Cappellari/Fabrizio Gollin - BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello
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Mike Hezemans/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Start of Race 1, Mike Hezemans/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06 lead
Mike Hezemans/Marcel Fassler/Jean-Denis Deletraz/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Marcel Fassler/Jean-Denis Deletraz/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Marcel Fassler/Jean-Denis Deletraz/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Marcel Fassler/Jean-Denis Deletraz/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Marcel Fassler/Jean-Denis Deletraz/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Marcel Fassler/Jean-Denis Deletraz/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Carsport Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Racing Corvette Z06
Mike Hezemans/Fabrizio Gollin - Phoenix Racing Corvette Z06
Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler
Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler
Race Start - Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler lead
Race Start - Deletraz/Hezemans/Gollin/Fassler lead

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