The tenth edition of the Mini single-brand store began on the Brianza circuit with victories for Bagnasco and Mercatali, at the end of hard-fought tests.
Rain, sun and lots of entertainment on the track: nothing was missing in the first race weekend of the tenth edition of the MINI Challenge, staged on Saturday and Sunday in Monza. In the Temple of Speed it was Ugo Bagnasco who won in the first round of the season for the Pro category, held under water. In race two, however, Niccolò Mercatali was the first to cross the finish line at the end of a hard-fought test. Among the MINI John Cooper Works engaged in the Lite category, victories for Federico Casoli (race 1) and Enrico Pillon (race 2). To ensure health safety measures, the MINI Challenge 2021 Monza tests took place behind closed doors in compliance with the protocols issued by the Automobile Sports Federation. A start to the season that, however, at least on the track, has lost nothing from the point of view of the show, thanks to the enthusiasm and desire for races of the drivers and organizers. The guys in the Pro and Lite categories battled down to the last few meters for the victory, in extremely tight challenges that have characterized the MINI Challenge for ten years. For the next events, the opening to the public will be evaluated, based on the evolution of the pandemic situation.
Mini Challenge 2021 Categoria Pro
In the first race of the MINI Challenge 2021, the rain made the battle behind Ugo Bagnasco even more exciting, first at the finish line from the start and author of the fastest lap in the race. Behind him, Luca Attianese (AC Racing Technology) and Stefano Bianconi (Pro Motorsport) conquer the podium in Monza. Fourth place for Niccolò Mercatali (CAAL Racing) who manages to keep at bay the attacks of the expert Alberto Cioffi (AC Racing Technology), for years a protagonist in the MINI single-brand. In race 2 Niccolò Mercatali redeems himself immediately, hitting the first victory after a hard-fought race full of twists from the start with Roberto Gentili and William Mezzetti immediately out of the game. Shortly afterwards, the winner of race 1, Ugo Bagnasco, was also forced to retire due to the damage suffered by his car after a contact. In the final photo finish, Mercatali has the better of Attianese by only 245 thousandths, while Andrea Palazzo gets on the podium thanks to the overtaking during the last lap against Cioffi, who has to be satisfied with the place of honor. In fifth place is Stefano Bianconi who precedes Ermes Della Pia (DP Reparto Corse).
Lite category, Official engines on the podium
Entertainment and fun also in the hard-fought Lite category, where the MINI JCW number 99 with the Gazzetta Motori livery took third place with Tommaso Roveda. The victories went to victories to Federico Casoli and Enrico Pillon. In race 1 Casoli precedes Giacomo Parisotto and Paolo Marinaro on the podium. In race two Pillon precedes the same Marinaro and Tommaso Roveda completes the podium. The next appointment with the MINI Challenge on 5-6 June in Misano Adriatico.
MINI Challenge 2021: the rankings
MINI Challenge John Cooper Works Pro: Attianese Luca 34 points; Mercatali Niccolò 33; Bianconi Stefano 25; Bagnasco Ugo 22; Cioffi Alberto 22; Of the Pia Ermes 16; Andrea Palace 15; Mezzetti William 6.
MINI Challenge John Cooper Works Lite: Marinaro Paolo 22 points.
MINI Challenge Academy: Pillon Enrico 16 points; Casoli Federico 16; Prantl Selina 10; Parisotto Giacomo 8; Roveda Tommaso 8.
May 3 – 10:42 am
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