With clear skies and much anticipation, the Saturday morning of the first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia in Misano leads to the first qualifying of the season. A qualification which, if on paper sees Larry Ten Voorde, Matteo Malucelli and Alberto Cerqui as favorites as shown between tests and free practice, on the other hand it is not at all obvious.
Both in the names, many of which said they are confident in view of the battle for pole positions in both races of the weekend, and in the order in which they will be classified.
The differences will be minimal, as has happened so far in unofficial rounds and in such cases, even more so on a track of just 4.2 km like the one in Romagna and with 35 Porsches in action at the same time, some details risk making the difference even more. than the technical-sporting values in the field.
The almost unanimous thought in the paddock is that the pole position time is around 1’35″2-3, but if this remains a relative datum that can be verified at the end of the session, the fact that the strategy on using the tires is almost obligatory, it doesn’t seem to be able to leave room for particular surprises.
This year the device of the inverted grid for race 2 has been eliminated based on the finish of race 1 and therefore the qualification, through the two best times set by each driver, will decide both the starting line-up for race 1 and that of race 2 .
Even though Misano could be an ideal circuit to risk the move, today’s strategy will not allow you to draw the “joker” using only one set and keeping a new one for the race, therefore the two best time trialists will arrive right in the final after having mounted the second set of Michelins.
This will certainly feed the show and the adrenaline, but at the same time it can transform both the traffic on the track (and therefore also the “luck” factor) and the non-compliance with the limits of the track itself into relevant factors.
During yesterday’s drivers’ briefing the high number of track limit infringements recorded in Thursday’s pre-race tests was repeatedly highlighted, but during free practice the symphony didn’t change much. Partly because the riders continued to “experiment”, partly for “normal” competition and partly also because for homologation at Misano the bollards were removed in the areas in addition to the curbs.
The fact is that so far the Carrera Cup Italia drivers have broken the limits on no less than 404 occasions: 133 in the morning test session, 143 in the afternoon session and 128 in the one hour of free practice alone. Maybe it’s a record.
Be careful though, because the drivers have been warned and the penalties will begin to arrive at the third warning. It actually started to “rain” during free practice, when the two Ombra Racing youngsters Armanni and Caglioni were penalized with 10-minute stops in the pit lane for exceeding track limits, Target Competition rookie Zakhar Slutskii, l ex MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo, the returning 2015 champion Riccardo Agostini and the two riders entered in the Michelin Cup Johannes Zelger and Huilin Han, the Chinese rider new to AB Racing.
A very clear warning also in view of the qualification…