Dino Zamparelli was dealt the toughest of blows as he spun out from the lead of the penultimate Carrera Cup race at Brands Hatch, as coolant/oil from a competitors broken radiator caused the Nationwide racer to spin whilst dominating proceedings.
Having qualified his Nationwide car on the front row, with Daniel Harper (JTR) on pole position by the smallest of margins; Zamparelli’s chief rival Tio Ellinas (Slidesports) was down in 6th place and with Zamparelli having to just finish ahead of his rival in race 1 to win the title, it was all looking strong for TeamDZ.
Off the start in Race 1, Zamparelli launched off the line and claimed the lead going into turn 1. From there he controlled from his rivals, with Ellinas down in 4th place, it was all still under control.
However, disaster struck on lap 5, as Zamparelli entered Hawthorns corner and with oil/coolant being dumped by a backmarker the previous lap, the unsuspecting Zamparelli lost control of his car and spun out of the lead and back down to 20th place. After struggling to get the car going, the Bristolian finally managed to get the engine going but a long way behind. He fought his way up to 13th place at the finish but lost his crucial 8 point lead in the championship to Ellinas who lucked into 2nd place.
For the final round, both Zamparelli and Ellinas were level on points but the latter starting in 5th place and Zamparelli starting in 13th, where he finished race 1. It was a valiant effort through the field and he managed to claim 5th place at the line. But unfortunately for Team Dino fans, Ellinas clung onto 3rd place and with it, the title swung in his favour.
Of his final day disappointment, Zamparelli said: “That is definitely the worse thing in racing that’s ever happened to me. Honestly, it’s tough to find the words because we worked so hard all year and to be undone by a bit of oil that I just couldn’t see, was the cruelest of cruel blows.”
“We had that misfortune at Oulton Park earlier on in the year with a loose bollard hitting my radiator, which forced me to retire from 2nd place, and as well here at Brands, whilst leading the race and everything under control, this happens. I’m truly stunned.
“I can only thank my sponsors, friends, family and supporters for their efforts and naturally to the race team for everything. Redline, Nationwide and I gave it everything, and we’ve been undone by some bad luck. Tio (Ellinas) got lucky and we didn’t…as simple as that.”
“We’ll go away, recover from this moment and pick ourselves up for whatever we do next year.”
Thank you for all your support in 2018.