Italian Giovanni Lavaggi and Briton Christian Vann scored a sensational victory against all the odds at the end of a thrilling five-hour race that produced three lead changes in just the last 25 laps.
Lavaggi's win was made quite remarkable after he went off at the Prima Variante chicane on just the second lap after his throttle stuck open, and he lost four laps as he tried to extricate his Judd-powered Ferrari 333SP out of the gravel. But once back on track he and Vann put on a stunning charge and, as others hit problems, Lavaggi hit the front with just 10 laps to go to give the 6000 tifosi a Ferrari win to cheer in the first proper running of the classic Monza 1000Km since 1988.
The win could have gone any of three ways, with Werner Lupberger's Ascari holding a 30-second lead until the car failed to fire up at his final fuel stop, and he emerged back in the race just ahead of Lavaggi's GLV car, but behind a charging Guy Smith in the Redman Bright Reynard-Judd.
The Briton put in a virtuoso performance to rise up through the order having taken over from Peter Owen, but it all fell apart after just two laps at the front when his front-right brake disc failed. Smith pitted but nothing could be done, so he was left to cruise around for the final 10 laps with no brakes and to finish a heart-breaking fourth.
This left Lupberger in the lead but he had no answer to Lavaggi's exceptional pace and after a good fight eventually conceded the lead.
The Pescarolo Sport Courage-Peugeot had made all the early running as the rapid Sebastien Bourdais stretched out a lead over the field. Only the Ascari and the two Domes of Jan Lammers and John Nielsen could keep pace, but after Nielsen retired, Lammers' young Dutch co-driver Val Hillebrand spun with gearbox problems and the Ascari needed new brake discs, the French car was left with a healthy four-lap lead. But as Jean-Christophe Boullion seemed to be cruising to victory, an oil pump failure intervened at the four-hour mark.
Briton Sam Hancock impressed by as quickly as team mate Didier de Radigues in the Kremer Lola, and was lying third when his engine overheated courtesy of a damaged radiator. Another early retirement was the Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP of Barcelona winners Christian Pescatori and Marco Zadra, which suffered an electrical failure after just 29 laps.
Le Mans winner Stanley Dickens' Swedish Racing Team Lola-Nissan B2K/40 swept to a resounding SRII class victory as it ran faultlessly throughout.
Monza 1000Km race results, after 173 laps
Pos Drivers Car Time
1 Lavaggi/Vann GLV Ferrari-Judd 333SP 5h17m08.75s
2 Lupberger/Collins Team Ascari Ascari-Judd A410 +5.695s
3 Lammers/Hillebrand Racing for Holland Dome-Judd S101 + 1 lap
4 Smith/Owen/Smithson Redman Bright Reynard-Judd 01Q + 2 laps
5 Bjork/Oberto Swedish Racing Lola-Nissan B2K/40 + 11 laps
6 Zardo/Prospero Lucchini Engineering Lucchini-Alfa + 16 laps
7 Rosa/Rosa/Babini Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-R + 18 laps
8 Grassi/Meunz Grassi Porsche 993 GT2 + 19 laps
R Baldi/Capelli R&M Riley & Scott-Judd MkIII 135 laps
R Boullion/Bourdais/Redon Pescarolo Courage-Peugeot C60 131 laps
R Hancock/De Radigues/FormatoKremer Lola-Roush B98/K2001 63 laps
R Nielsen/Katoh RN Motorsport Dome-Judd S101 57 laps
R Pescatori/Zadra Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP 29 laps
Abu Dhabi / Results
Standings / After 17 races
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|Emilia Romagna||Imola||18 Apr|
|Monaco||Monte Carlo||23 May|
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Berlin / Results
|2||Nyck de Vries||47m23.447s|
Standings / After 11 races
|1||Antonio Felix da Costa||158|
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|Diriyah||Diriyah||26 Feb 2021|
|Diriyah||Diriyah||27 Feb 2021|
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