Squadro Ghostworx’s Basheer Jadwat won the first race of the season at Vallelunga.
Due to technical issues the fastest man in qualifying for race 1, Denis Mitchell, had to start Race 1 from the pit lane. This enabled Jadwat to start from pole position, however he would start from the less favored left hand side of the grid, less favored because Turn 1 is a right handed corner and with just a short run-up it was suspected that Revlimit Racing’s Jason Absmeier, who started in second position, may be able to clinch the lead before the exit of turn 1.
Both front starters had good starts but it was Jadwat who maintained his lead exiting Turn 1. Absmeier was un-able to capitilise when Jadwat made a slight error locking up into the tight Turn 3 left hander on the opening lap, with a better exit out of the corner Absmeier tried to out-drag Jadwat into the Esses but Jadwat was able to hold his poisition and that proved to be the only chance Absmeier had of challenging Jadwat for the victory.
Further back a great start by Jadwat’s Squadro GhostworX teammate, Jonathan Bentz, saw him jump from P6 on the grid to P4 before Turn 3. On lap 5 Steven Pelser went off at Turn 1 unfortunately tagging Team Ryoku’s Yasteel Ragubeer in the process.
By lap 8 Mitchell was challenhging for 8th position joining the Chris Browne / Willem van Zyl battle. An enthralling battle between Browne and Mitchell commenced, Browne driving very well to keep Mitchell behind him. Browne and Mitchell caught up to the internal JVR GhostworX scrap of Willem van Zyl and Johannes Coetsee. Mitchell then sighted an opportunity to pass Browne but failed by bumping front wheels with Browne. Browne was able to re-join the track in front of Mitchell maintaining P8. Later a mistake by Coetsee allowed Browne to attempt a pass slip streaming Coetsee into Turn 1 but unfortunately the two cars made contact. Browne accepted responsibility for the incident and conducted a self-penalising drive through penalty and dropping back down the field. Hippo Rock Racing’s Craig Hume took advantage of a recovering Coetsee to cease P6.
Jadwat led from flag to flag relatively unchallenged to take the first race win of the season.
Race 1 video: