"A disaster", "the usual bungling", "more timing problems". These were the most popular phrases on Saturday evening, at the end of the 28th edition of the San Marino Revival, valid as the sixth round of the Cireas, when Francesco Galassi, the tireless organiser of the race in the shadow of Mount Titano, appeared before the competitors on the arrival stage to inform them that a technical problem would have extended the time taken to publish the classifications.
Amongst (justified) curses and disconsolate faces, for those who couldn't wait to get home after a demanding and tiring day of racing due to the technical difficulties and high temperatures.
However, no one, perhaps not even Galassi himself, could have imagined that it would take more than 24 hours to crown the winners of the 2021 edition of his race.
Obviously, even on social media there were many trials, judgments and condemnations, as unfortunately often happens, those who weren't there stirred up the crowd by pointing out what was happening and judging the facts, in a superficial way (from the armchair at home is a must), you could not blame even the smallest keyboard lion: the situation was inconceivable.
But at the same time, what we were experiencing and what we experienced, first in San Marino and then at the headquarters of the timekeepers' delegation in Pesaro, was dramatic and epic at the same time.
But let us come to the facts. What really happened in San Marino during those long hours? What was hiding behind that "technical problem" mentioned in all the press releases of the race direction?
A damned server that decided to crash.
All the data of the PCs, sent in real time from San Marino to Rome, first disappeared and then, when the server was restarted, reappeared in bulk, so as not to be "digestible" for the software of the ranking centre.
Only the first 39 trials had already been reordered before the fatal block.
And while it would have been simpler for everyone to end it there, the Pesaro timekeepers took the more difficult route, abandoning modern electronic equipment and going back to the old beloved paper. Timing was done in the old way, analysing each strip, time by time, with just a few hours to rest on Saturday night and switching the lights on again at four in the morning on Sunday.
An exorbitant work that allowed the race direction, at 21:00 on Sunday, the publication of the final classification, which became final at 22:32, well beyond the canonical time dedicated to checks, corrections and assignments of averages, all received via email as indicated in the circular issued.
The timekeepers of Pesaro may not be thanked by the 60 crews of San Marino but certainly by the CIREAS, which was able to archive the sixth race of the 2021 season.
For the Drivers' and Teams' title, without the night in white of the FICR men, what would have become of the two 300 gained by Fontanella in the two PCs of the last sector? Or, if we think of the Teams' classification, even the withdrawal (due to breakage) of Gamberini would have been irrelevant.
But no, those bright lights of Pesaro are the lights on one of the most beautiful challenges of recent years with two teams, Classic Team and Scuderia Nettuno that are playing race after race the possibility of sewing on the Italian championship.
Here, thinking about the challenge between the teams, perhaps the least romantic image of this whole affair was the post race, where in a normal situation we would have imagined Luciano Lui and Massimo Dalleolle sitting in front of the roll of race waiting for the rankings, anxious as two husbands out of the delivery room, wrapped in a cloud of smoke.
But no, the damned Covid has given us the "Register of Race On Line" with rankings posted on the race website and email or messaging for the verification times .... (we hope it ends soon), each huddled at home with eyes glued to a display, but, you know, sometimes the life of the DS is hard.
In this "long weekend of Cireas" the online album has given us in order:
1 - Friday 28 May at 18:00 information circular indicating the address of the Roll;
2 - Saturday 29 May at 17:50 race director's notice with postponed classification publication time at 19:30;
3 - Saturday 29 May at 19:25 race director's notice with postponed classification publication at 18:00 on Sunday 30 May;
4 - Sunday 30 May at 18:00 hrs race director's notice with postponed classification publication at 21:00 hrs on Sunday 30 May;
5 - Sunday 30 May at 21:00 hrs publication of the final (provisional) ranking;
6 - Sunday 30 May at 22:32 publication of the final classification;
All this, however, did not hide the race report, with Alberto and Giuseppe Scapolo who took their 1937 Fiat 508C once again on the top step of the podium ahead of their teammates Armando Fontana and Silvia Grossi, who, in their 1972 A112 Abarth, put in a great performance.
Third place for Francesco and Giuseppe Di Pietra on their 1958 Fiat 600.
Among the ladies Federica Bignetti Bignetti and Luisa Ciatti had no rivals, preceding Maria Luisa Chillemi (A112 Elegant) and Veronica Parma (Porsche 912 Targa).
The Scuderie classification goes to the Scuderia Nettuno from Bologna, which took advantage of the false step of the Classic Team rivals to shorten the championship classification.
Third position for Scuderia Kinzica that scores 15 points in the championship, moving up from last place and trailing EMMEBI 70 by only one point.
In RC1 Gianmario Fontanella, navigated by Luciano Lui, puts in safe precious points for the Italian Championship.
In RC2, behind Scapolo, winner of the day, Sergio Sisti and Anna Gualandi on Lancia Aprilia did a great job. Third place, on a twin car, for Giuliano Canè navigated by Giovanna Gallini at 56 penalties.
RC3 category that smiles at Di Pietra who precede Fabio and Marco Salvinelli on Fiat 1100/103 of 1954. Closing the podium was Giuseppe Rapisarda, navigated by Danilo Piga on Mini Minor Mk1 of 1965.
Armando Fontana, returned to victory by closing with only 134 penalties ahead of his teammates Marcello Gibertini and Lisa Sighinolfi on a Lancia Fulvia Montecarlo of 1974.
Just one penalty away from the Scuderia Nettuno drivers were Claudio Lastri and Valter Pantani in a 1975 Alfa Romeo Giulia from the Scuderia Kinzica.
Andrea Malucelli does not give, not even in San Marino, the slightest hope to the opponents bringing the Fiat Duna Franciacorta Motori to the victory of the category.
Giovanni Gualtieri and Alessio Morosi on the 1984 Autobianchi A112 Junior are 90 penalties behind.
Sandro Pegni and Andrea Fissi complete the podium in a 1986 Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Here is the RELIVE of the Regolink Power Stage