Victory in Monza as 2 Seas Motorsport continues impressive 2021 season

September 25, 2021
International GT Open
Race Report

Victory in Monza as 2 Seas Motorsport continues impressive 2021 season

The perfect run of race results in 2021 continued in Monza for 2 Seas Motorsport as the Bahraini-British team took overall honours at the first International GT Open race of the weekend. Drivers Martin Kodrić and Ethan Simioni paired up as the team made its championship debut, driving the #9 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to a hard-fought victory around the ‘Temple of Speed’.

The pace of the Mercedes-AMG had seen Martin and Ethan consistently at the top of the timesheets, with Ethan’s performances in the opening sessions of particular note as the 23-year-old Canadian embarked on his first GT3 race weekend. Martin made a welcome return to Monza and the championship having won on his last visit in 2019, looking to secure a front-row position for the first race. However, the session was interrupted with red flags on both of the Croatian’s quick laps. One final sprint in the dying seconds of the session would see the blue and black Mercedes-AMG spring up the timing screens to secure 4th place for the opening race of the weekend.

A chaotic start to the race initially saw Martin boxed in traffic and drop a position into turn 1, but he avoided the melee as the lead group of cars battled through the chicane. He immediately recovered and made a bold move to pass two cars in the braking zone to the second chicane. From here, he pressured 2nd-place to prevent the race leader from gaining too much of an advantage. A Safety Car intervention brought the leader back within reach, and Martin immediately resumed pressure on the restart, forcing an error from the 2nd-place Honda. Once Martin had made the pass on the exit of the 2nd chicane, he set about closing down the leader with a flurry of fastest laps.

As the pit window opened just before the mid-point of the race, the leaders continued to circulate with Martin less than one second behind. This gap reduced further over the following two laps as the field started to pit, and Martin assumed the lead with 40 minutes remaining. Over the following laps, Martin ran in clear air and built a 6-second gap before pitting to hand over to Ethan.

The 2 Seas Motorsport pitcrew set to work and produced a faultless stop to send Ethan back out on track still holding the overall race lead as the stops played out. The young Canadian then set out on his debut GT3 race stint with an impressive and mature drive. He was quickly up to speed, maintaining the gap to the chasing pack. Over the course of the following half an hour, he soaked up the continual pressure from two fast-charging attacks, including from the current championship leader, crossing the line with a 2.7-second winning margin.

“What an incredible effort by Ethan, Martin and the whole 2 Seas Motorsport team to take the victory here in Monza. We have shown strong pace in every session, and Martin was unlucky with the timings of the red flags in qualifying, but his pace during his stint and then the faultless drive by Ethan showed a real level of maturity and ability. I missed the victory in Silverstone earlier this year, but I am hugely proud to have been able to see the team take the win today, and to stand on the famous Monza podium and hear the Bahrain national anthem playing. We now focus on tomorrow, and let’s see what we can do.”

Sh. Isa Al Khalifa team co-owner, 2 Seas Motorsport.

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