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Rome 6 Hours: Audi Sport Italia seals off 2014 GT3 season cruising to win at 6 Hrs of Rome


Audi Sport Italia Press Release

•  Thomas Biagi, Filippo Francioni, Ferdinando Geri lead GT3 class from second hour to the checkered flag, also making bid for overall Top3 finish 

Campagnano, Italy – Audi Sport Italia's GT3 competition today at Vallelunga only had reasons to smile in the first hour of the 24th running of the Italian enduro. Nissan's Rangoni-Mulacchie and Porsche's Beretta-Romani-Cerati were both able to fend off Emilio Radaelli's car early moves, but soon after Filippo Francioni let the wheel to Thomas Biagi, Audi took the lead for good. Biagi and his "wingmen" Francioni and Ferdinando Geri cruised to a GT3 class win in their #23 R8 LMS ultra previously driven by Thomas Schoeffler, Marco Mapelli in the Italian GT series. Francioni had already put his mark on Audi Sport Italia's 2012 GT3 win, whilst for both Biagi and Geri this was their maiden Audi class win, one that looked increasingly safe over the final hour as the Autorlando Porsche was nursing braking problems.

After 2 hours and half, Biagi had found himself leading both in class and overall, although the out-of-sync pit stop schedule had played a role in this brief spell on top ahead the eventual winner (AF Corse GT2 Ferrari driven by Fisichella, Cioci, Perazzini) and runner-up (Sernagiotto, Lacorte's CN2 Tatuus). As overall win hopes faded, nonetheless the Audi crew tried to snatch the last available Top3 finish spot from the second GT2 Ferrari entry. Ultimately the Prancing Horse's Cameron-Griffin crew prevailed, as the Audi drivers were intermittently hindered by misfire problems, more over realizing that their comfortable cushion in the GT3 standings could easily disappear if their risk-taking had triggered a bad break.

OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER 6 HOURS:

1. Fisichella-Cioci-Perazzini (Ferrari 458 Italia/GT2) 214 laps
2. Sernagiotto-Lacorte (Tatuus/CN2) +1:25.582s
3. Griffin-Cameron (Ferrari 458 Italia/GT2) -2 laps
4. BIAGI-FRANCIONI-GERI (AUDI R8 LMS ULTRA/GT3) -3 laps
5. Beretta-Romani-Cerati (Porsche 911 GT3R/GT3) -6 laps
6. Grumert-Coll (AMG Mercedes SLS/GT3) - 9 laps

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