Guy Cosmo failed to make the most of his starting second position after jumping the gun. This false start was punished with a drive-through by the officials. Englishman Freddie Hunt, son of the 1976 F1 world champion, James, suffered a transmission problem and was unlucky to slip down the field from his pole position to an eventual seventh after leading for a number of laps.
Fourth across the line was Giuseppe Fascicolo whose careful drive saw him close out ahead of Carlo Curti. Sixth came Monti's closest title rival Riccardo Ragazzi: trying to avoid colliding with American Jeffrey Courtney, after he had made a mistake. In eighth came Cosmo whose early penalty did not stop him getting the better of Andreas Segler, Alessandro Iazzetti and Jim Taggart.
Italo-Canadian Gianmarco Raimondo, driving the No.3 decked out in Chase livery, sponsored by Chase Auto Finance, did not make it to the finish: a puncture signalled the end of his race when in third.
A GTS-spec Maserati GranTurismo MC, the No.33 driven by Josh Hurley, continued the project that will see Maseratis compete in the next round of the Pirelli World Challenge. This will be run at Laguna Seca, in the US, on 13 September.
Race 2 in Virginia is timetabled for Saturday 22 August from 17.35 to 18.20 (local time).
"It was not an easy win", declared Romain Monti. "It was my first time at this venue and I was also limited by the extra 50kg I was carrying. My aim was to make as few mistakes as possible and to try to stay on the track; this turned out to be the winning formula. I will still have the extra weight tomorrow and, with today's finishing positions being inverted, I will have a few drivers to overtake. This will make things even tougher".
Race Results 1:
1 Romain Monti 42:36.032
2 Lino Curti 42:36.672
3 Adrien De Leener 42:37.226