The three-time FIA GT champion tried out a few technical solutions on his Trofeo, ahead of 2011, as he stopped the clock at 2’00”197. In second was Peter Sundberg with Pietro Zumerle taking third. As Bertolini does earn any series points, the point on offer for taking pole went to the Swedish driver who is now just two down on Zumerle. Only two tenths separated the Swede from the Italian (2’01”237 versus 2’01”477), so it promises to be an exciting race.
Paolo Necchi (2’02”060) took fourth and was once again competitive and close to the lead drivers though he did run three laps more than the four covered by Sundberg and Zumerle.
The weekend’s surprise package is, without a doubt, Davide Baldi. The Italian 2009 Climbing champion got to grips with the GranTurismo MC Trofeo straight away. Making his debut in the Modenese car, Baldi closed out the session in 2’02”289, just in front of Nicolò Piancastelli (2’02”394). Piancastelli, from Romagna, did better than Sergio Rota (2’02”618) and Ardagna Perez (2’02”863) with all three running four laps. In ninth was Niek Hommerson who, after his fine third at Zolder, has climbed back into the Trofeo this weekend. Another driver making a comeback is Leonardo Maddalena, who came home tenth.
In GT4, the top driver was Gabriele Gardel, making his debut in a Maserati. After a splendid display in the second free practice session where he set the second best time overall, the 2005 FIA GT champion posted a time of 2’03”466. A few tenths down on him came Francesco Maggi (2’03”605) and Belgian driver Louis Machiels (2’03”605). The next GT4 driver was Cedric Sbirrazzuoli but he was hampered on his quick lap by a much slower car along one of the straights. The Monaco-based driver still managed to edge out the Autosprint director, Alberto Sabbatini, and Pietro Negra.
Tiziano Frazza and Martin Lanting fill lap nine, followed by Francesco La Mazza and Marco Caldani’s GT4. Towards the back of the field is Andreas Segler, Antonio Camassa, Marcel Pawlicek and the Automobile Revue journalist, Peter Wyss. Bringing up the rear is Massimo Larciprete and Dario Bertanza.
The race will take place tomorrow afternoon at Mugello. Bertolini, from Sassuolo, waited until the session was coming to an end before rolling out to set the fastest lap time of (2’00”385). Next up was a superb Davide Baldi, the first of the drivers in a 2010 spec Trofeo. The Tuscan is improving all the time and posted his best lap time on the second of his three laps (2’01”497). It was an amazing result considering that Baldi is making his Maserati debut.
Row two will be shared by two journalists: Paolo Necchi (2’02”251), in the Motormedia car, and Luigi Moccia (2’02”402), at the wheel of the Autosprint vehicle. Little more than a tenth separates them.
The third row is occupied by Sergio Rota (2’02”484) and Louis Machiels (2’02”637), another driver getting better as the weekend goes on. Eighth and ninth are taken by Nicolò Piancastelli (2’02”835) and Gabriele Gardel (2’03”030), respectively. Gardel was the quickest GT4 driver with Cedric Sbirrazzuoli, the second, in twelfth.
Things didn't go so well for Francesco Maggi or Gaetano Ardagna Perez. Maggi will line up in thirteenth and Perez could not improve on fifteenth, just behind Pietro Negra. Leonardo Maddalena could not build on his earlier form and came sixteenth, with Francesco La Mazza seventeenth.
Ronnie Kessel, in a GT4, finished eighteenth, alongside Tiziano Frazza. Right behind them are two newcomers: Martin Lanting and Antonio Camassa. Andreas Segler, Marcel Pawlicek, Franco Gallina, Massimo Larciprete and Dario Bertanza rounded things off in session two.