Perel’s Ital­ian GT Cup dream goes up in flames

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

THE pro­gram­mer who is liv­ing the dream, Cape Town’s David Perel, won’t take many happy mem­o­ries away from his first visit to the Misano cir­cuit on the Adri­atic Coast, fol­low­ing a pair of non-fin­ishes in the Ital­ian GT Cup races there, both times while fight­ing for the race lead.

Perel and Ital­ian team-mate Mirko Za­nar­dini qual­i­fied the Pere­soft Obox Bonaldi Lam­borgh­ini fifth for both the week­end’s races and fol­low­ing a tough first few laps of the first heat, Perel had made his way up to sec­ond, but bump­ing and barg­ing on his way there likely punc­tured a tyre.

“I fought my way up to sec­ond place and was catch­ing the leader,” Perel re­ported. “Then on the same lap [when] I was about to pit I got a punc­ture — we reckon it was from con­tact on that chaotic first lap, which re­ally wasn’t ideal.

“We pit­ted but still fin­ished out­side of the points — that’s not good for our cham­pi­onship — we had to win this race to have a re­al­is­tic chance

“There are three races left in the cham­pi­onship, so best we win all of them.”

The sec­ond race saw Za­nar­dini putting in a strong charge to put Perel in po­si­tion to chal­lenge for the lead once he took over at the wheel and was lap­ping al­most a sec­ond quicker then the next car in the class, but then dis­as­ter struck.

“Mirko had a good start but then slipped to sixth place and we pit­ted as soon as pos­si­ble for me to get in,” Perel ex­plained. “I came out sec­ond, how­ever af­ter two laps my front left brake disc ex­ploded on the fastest part of the track. Game over. The car caught fire as well but luck­ily the mar­shals put it out in time.

“It’s such a pity, we com­fort­ably had the pace to win this race, but the real pity is that the cham­pi­onship is now over for us, although we can still fin­ish in the top three …”

The Ital­ian GT Cup con­cludes at Mugello on Oc­to­ber 18, where with­out cham­pi­onship pres­sure, Perel and Za­nar­dini can just go for it — and who knows, a cou­ple of wins and bad luck for those Porsches could just see the Ital­ian-South African duo pull off a come-from-be­hind shock.

Af­ter the race, Perel posted on so­cial media he will aim to make up for the bad luck at the last race left on the cal­en­dar, the Ital­ian GT Champs in Mugello in Oc­to­ber. “Thanks to ev­ery­one who’s sup­ported me so far, ev­ery­thing from likes to com­ments to ac­tual do­na­tions. I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing like it and can barely de­scribe how grate­ful I am,” said the co-founder of @obox.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Rac­ing at the Misano cir­cuit on the Adri­atic Coast last week, Cape Town’s David Perel was on fire — lit­er­ally, af­ter his front front left brake disc com­busted.

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