Italian based, Solaris Motorsports had a good outing this past weekend in northern Italy, at the Imola circuit. The 17-turn, 3.050 mile circuit is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction. The track was inaugurated in 1953, and it had no chicanes, so the run from Rivazza all the way to Tosa, through the pits and the eventually notorious Tamburello was totally flat out. Despite the addition of the chicanes, the circuit was subject to constant safety concerns, mostly regarding the flat-out Tamburello corner, which was very bumpy and had little room between the track and a concrete wall which hides a creek that runs behind it.
Over the years revisions were made in an attempt to make the circuit safer. The flat-out Tamburello corner was reduced to a 4th gear left-right sweeper, and a gravel trap was added to the limited space on the outside of the corner. Villeneuve corner, previously an innocuous 6th gear right-hander into Tosa, was made a complementary 4th gear sweeper, also with a gravel trap on the outside of the corner.
Franscesco Sini, driver of the Solaris Motorsport Chevrolet Lumina CR8, had a successful outing and piloted his car to a 4th place finish in the first race. The second race proved to be more a difficult one for Solaris. Francesco drove a great race, but was forced to retire due to cooling system issues. The next race will take place on May 20th at Donington, which is located in England.