Peter Praller wins the Alfa Revival Cup 2024 first round in the rain at Vallelunga

Many laps with yellow flags, Daniele Perfetti and Davide Bertinelli complete the podium

April 21, 2024: Campagnano di Roma – A racing weekend, marked by cold and then rainy weather, set the stage for the 2024 season debut of the Alfa Revival Cup at the Vallelunga circuit. The “Piero Taruffi” event marked the long-awaited return of 30 classic Alfas competing in the single-make series organized by Canossa Events. Friday’s free practice preceded an eventful qualifying session on Saturday morning. Peter Praller, driving the Giulia Sprint GTA for Formula GT, triumphed in the rain-soaked race after a flurry of yellow flags. The next round will be at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, from June 7 to 9, 2024.

The qualifying session immediately offered some surprises, with Christian Ondrak and Massimo Bortolami in the Giulia Sprint GTA of the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team getting stuck in the sand just a few meters from the start on exiting the Soratte corner. The removal led to a yellow flag for almost 10 minutes. Despite a gearbox failure just moments before the session ended, Ronnie Kessel, driving the GTAm for the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team, impressively secured the sixth fastest time.

Emilio Petrone and Giacomo Barri got off to a strong start in the GTAm of the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team, taking pole with a time of 1’52.166, narrowly beating teammate Daniele Perfetti in the same type of car by just 93 thousandths of a second. The crew Laber Bernhard and Lukas Stojetz and Davide Bertinelli, also from the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team and driving GTAm cars, were tightly grouped, finishing within a second and a half of each other. Also interesting were the class poles: Massimo Guerra and Giovanni Serio from Carrera Team achieved a time of 1’53.278 in the Giulia GTA, and Fausto Amendolagine and Gianluca Bardelli recorded 2’10.161 in the Alfa Romeo GT Veloce 2000 for Irpinia Northwest Jolly.

The 2:00 PM race was declared a “Wet Race”, setting the stage for an elimination challenge. Early issues arose during the formation lap for Stefano Barbieri and Giovesi Kevin from AMG RS, who were forced to stop at the Trincea with their GTAm.

Daniele Perfetti took an early lead, followed closely by Davide Bertinelli and then Massimo Guerra. Emilio Petrone was unable to capitalize on his pole position, losing ground and enabling the breakaway of Daniele Perfetti and Davide Bertinelli. The battle for third place was fiercely contested, with three cars separated by less than nine tenths of a second. Rain disrupted the race, forcing Marco Guerra and Franco Mischis in the Giulia Sprint GTA of the Carrera team off the track, followed by Benedetto Cardillo in the GTAm of OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team. The first yellow flag was raised after 20 minutes, followed by the Safety Car, to allow for the removal of the GTV6 of Francesco Liberatore and Vincenzo Ferlito of Scuderia del Grifone, which was stuck in the gravel of Cimini 2 following an intense tussle exiting a curve. In the meantime, the driver change window opened and the pitlane started to get crowded due to the unusual fitting of the “rain” tyres. Under relentless rain, the race briefly resumed. The GT Junior from the Irpinia Northwest Jolly team, driven by Nicola Cippone,  skidded off at the Tornantino, still recorded the fastest times in the wet and took the first place in the class. The heavily soaked track delayed the resumption of the race.

The green flag came just as the race hour was about to expire. Peter Praller was in the lead, closely followed by Daniele Perfetti and Peter Bachofen in the GTAm of the OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team. At the Semaforo corner, two spins: Giampaolo Benedini and Antonio Crescenti with the GTAm of the Carrera team and Marco Milla and Sergio Imbimbo with the Giulia Super of the Irpinia Northwest Jolly. The checkered flag saw Peter Praller in the lead, Daniele Perfetti second and Davide Bertinelli third. Francesco Pantaleo and Antonio Crescenti of the Carrera team finished seventh with the Giulia Sprint GTA in the F TC 1600 class and Gianluca Bardelli and Fausto Amendolagine climbed from twenty-fourth to sixteenth place, leading the H1 T2000 class.

Weather conditions had a significant impact on the race, dramatically changing the grid: only Daniele Perfetti maintained his starting position. The season continues with the next race scheduled at the Red Bull Ring from June 7 to 9.

Despite being an amateur championship, the event is characterized by high-quality organization. Leading teams, including OKP Alfa Delta Racing Team, Jolly Car Squadra Corse and Formula GT offer outstanding technical and logistical support, ensuring that independent racers can compete without feeling at a competitive disadvantage. The same goes for the drivers, some of whom bring a wealth of expertise and impressive sports credentials.

The Championship, organized under the guidance of CSAI and ACI Sport, enjoys support from sponsors such as Caffè Cagliari and OKP, the latter renowned for its quality and expertise in supplying parts for classic Italian brands, particularly Alfa Romeo. Over the years, OKP has evolved into a global benchmark for car enthusiasts, with over 10,000 items for Italian vehicles dating from 1950 to today. Its international logistics network not only supplies parts but also offers a range of original spare parts, exclusive new products and lifestyle items. OKP’s proactive involvement in racing underscores the superior quality and longevity of its parts.