Disconnections were the important variables that impacted the opening round of 2023’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo Esports season. Between Pavlo Polovchuk and Marco Lomi, two podium threats were taken out of Florian Dührkop’s path as he rose eight places – through changeable conditions – to win at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Of course, his success meant that he would play no further part in this stage of the competition. Alongside Amos Laurito, Simon Seminara and Stefano Bonsignore, the Frenchman had earned a ticket to the Nordschleife-based Grand Final to be held at the end of July.
A return home to virtual Italian soil would have been a welcome relief for Lomi as Monza played host to Round 2. Another bite of the cherry was surely all he needed to join those who had already made it.
Surely nobody could be surprised by the composition of the front row upon the completion of qualifying. Lomi claimed a second pole position ahead of his fellow Paul Ricard retiree Polovchuk.
Andrii Pozdniakov would be the next recogniseable name though he would start from fifth on the grid this time around.
Between the Ukranian and the front row lay two new faces; Florian Schießl and Corrado Ciriello. The pair had certainly overperformed against their seedings with neither pre-qualifying within the top ten.
Lomi’s launch off the rolling start was never going to go unchallenged; the Italian forced to go deep into the Rettifilo Chicane in efforts to defend his position. A first major incident erupted just two corners on at the della Roggia Chicane. Sadly, this would be just the beginning of spatial awareness issues throughout the field.
A couple of minor incidents in the midifield preceded another significant loss of position for someone incident the top ten. Riccardo De Marchi was the helpless victim of a hit from Pozdniakov into the della Roggia following a poor opening couple of laps for the Ukranian.
Kalocsai was on De Marchi’s misfortune case in a flash. He would inadvertently send the Italian for a second spin as he met far too aggressive a defensive stance.
So many incidents were getting coverage that important changes to the top five dynamic flew under the radar. Up to fifth, Leonardo Grigis certainly wouldn’t be finishing there barring a minor miracle as he had been slapped with a fifteen-second time penalty. Schießl also had reason to feel down with his loss of third to Ciriello.
Truth be told, the rest of the contest was largely dominated by more scattered incidents. If drivers weren’t picking up penalties for contact, they were picking up penalties for track limits. Heading into the final ten minutes, just fifteen drivers remained in the running with a third set to have time added onto their results.
The top four had no such issues, mercifully. All four deserved their places in the Grand Final just for the virtue of not demonstrating the lack of sportsmanship displayed by so many of their peers. Lomi’s victory and Polovchuk’s podium especially were sweet relief given their unfortunate demises one week ago.
- Marco Lomi – 33 Laps
- Pavlo Polovchuk – +5.046
- Corrado Ciriello – +7.455
- Florian Schießl – +14.739
- Danilo Magnani – +28.755
- Niccolò Soro – +37.156
- Nicola Dessi – +45.169
- Leonardo Grigis – +48.685
- Dávid Kalocsai – +55.842
- Rosario Stimoli – +57.260