Cape Town’s David Perel won’t take many happy memories away from his first visit to the Misano circuit on the Adriatic Coast following a pair of non-finishes in the Italian GT Cup races there, both times while fighting for the race lead.
Perel and Italian teammate Mirko Zanardini qualified the Peresoft Obox Bonaldi Lamborghini fifth for both the weekend’s races and following a tough first few laps of the first heat, Perel had made his way up to second, but bumping and barging on his way there likely punctured a tyre.
“I fought my way up to second place and was catching the leader,” Perel reported. “Then on the same lap I was about to pit I got a puncture – we reckon it was from contact on that chaotic first lap, which really wasn’t ideal. “We pitted but still finished outside of the points – that’s not good for our championship – we had to win this race to have a realistic chance
“There are three races left in the championship, so best we win all of them.”
The second race saw Zanardini putting in a strong charge to put Perel in position to challenge for the lead once he took over at the wheel and was lapping almost a second quicker then the next car in the class, but then disaster struck.
“Mirko had a good start but then slipped to 6th place and we pitted as soon as possible for me to get in,” Perel explained. “I came out 2nd however after two laps my front left brake disc exploded on the fastest part of the track. Game over. The car caught fire as well but luckily the marshals put it out in time.
“It’s such a pity, we comfortably had the pace to win this race, but the real pity is that the championship is now over for us, although we can still finish in the top three…”
The Italian GT Cup concludes at Mugello on 18 October, where without championship pressure, Perel and Zanardini can just go for it – and who knows, a couple of wins and bad luck for those Porsches could just see the Italo-South African duo pull off a come from behind shock…