Photo: ACI Sport

Luigi Ferrara wins Monza race as Salvatore Tavano clinches title

Luigi Ferrara won the first race of the weekend at Monza in damp conditions, despite a 5-second penalty for track limits, but it was not enough to keep his title hopes alive as Salvatore Tavano’s fifth place was enough for the SEAT Motorsport Italia driver to win the championship. Eric Scalvini came second in his BRC Hyundai, with Enrico Bettera completing the podium in his Pit Lane Competizioni Audi. All of the top three drivers were hit with track limits penalties.

At the start pole sitter Igor Stefanovski lost the lead in favour of Scalvini, with Tavano second ahead of the Macedonian and Ferrara’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Apulia-based driver quickly went from fourth to second as Stefanovski went straight at Roggia and the V-Action driver overtook his title rival Tavano just before Parabolica.

Tavano looked all but comfortable, and Stefanvski added to that by hitting the Cupra driver from behind at Roggia, which resulted in the Macedonian losing a place in favour of Bettera. On the fourth lap everything changed again, as Ferrara overtook Scalvini for the lead at Roggia and Bettera passed Tavano for third.

A fantastic scrap ensued as Tavano defended fourth (which would have certainly handed him the title) from a charging Stefanovski and Andrea Larini, and the three Cupras passed each other several times. On lap 8 the situation settled with Stefanovski ahead of Larini and Tavano, who was covered by team-mate Matteo Greco in his DSG-equipped Cupra in seventh.

A raft of 5-second penalties were issued, which included the top four – Ferrara, Scalvini, Bettera and Stefanovski. The latter’s penalty handed fifth to Tavano, who was then able to win the championship as Ferrara failed to score the fastest lap.

The V-Action driver won the race ahead of Scalvini and Bettera. Larini finished fifth on track, but was promoted to fourth ahead of Tavano, as Stefanovski’s penalty meant he was demoted to seventh behind Lorenzo Nicoli in his Honda Civic TCR. Matteo Greco was eighth outright and won the DSG Trophy class, ahead of Jürgen Schmarl in his Target Competition Honda Civic. Massimiliano Gagliano completed the top ten for SEAT Motorsport Italia, meaning the Cupra team placed all of their three cars in the top ten.

The season finale will take place tomorrow at 10:00 CEST.