18.10.2020 – BMW Team Italia had a great weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale of Monza, that has just staged the third round of the Italian GT Sprint Championship 2020. The Italian team claimed the overall victory in race one and that of GT4 in race two.
Ahead of the weekend, the team was resolute to take a strong result in the GT3 classification with the #7 BMW M6 GT3 driven by Stefano Comandini (ITA) and Marius Zug (GER) and in GT4 with the #215 BMW M4 GT4 driven by Simone Riccitelli (ITA) and Francesco Guerra (ITA).
Excitement has started since the first qualifying session, when Zug set a nice pole position in 1:47.670s. A great battle took place also in GT4, when Riccitelli displayed a great pace but was stuck in traffic and could not put together all the best sectors ending fourth with a best lap of 1:58.051s.
Comandini secured P3 in Q2 and qualified the BMW M6 GT3 in the second row of the grid in 1:47.837s. Guerra claimed the pole position of GT4 instead with his best loop completed in 1:57.771s.
The #7 pairing ran an exciting race. In the heat of the opening stages, Zug conceded a few positions into the first chicane, but then got them back without losing contact with the rivals ahead. At the pit-stop, Comandini successfully completed the overtaking move for the lead on Vezzoni. After this, he kept the lead until the flag that saw BMW Team Italia securing the maiden win of the season.
The #215 pairing also completed a strong performance with Riccitelli first and Guerra then that fought with the front runners and crossed the finish line at the feet of the podium in P4, securing important points for the classification.
The #7 car was initially driven by Comandini in race two. He kept the lead confirming the values shown on Saturday. At the pit-stop the BMW M6 GT3 had to serve the handicap time handed due to the win in race one and Zug rejoined the race in sixth place. He started closing in on the rivals ahead, but a technical problem forced the German driver to park his car in the pits when a few laps were left to go.
The race in GT4 was more satisfactorily though, as Guerra and Riccitelli shared driving duties in the #215 BMW M4 GT4. The pairing completed a great performance with Guerra losing the lead early on and then getting it back six laps later with a great move on De Castro. In the closing stages, Riccitelli has been very effective in defending himself from Belicchi and managed to take the third win of the season in GT4.
Roberto Ravaglia (BMW Team Italia, Team Manager):
“It has been a good weekend, we won the race on Saturday and on Sunday and all in all we cannot be but satisfied. We displayed a good speed, great race pace. and we have been very effective. What a shame for race two, we could have been among the protagonists again with the BMW M6 GT3. We are still in the fight for both classifications – overall and GT4 PRO-Am– and we will get ready for the grand finale in Vallelunga with the usual motivation”.
BMW Team Italia will be back on track in Vallelunga from 4th to 6th December for the last round of Italian GT Sprint Championship.
Italian GT Sprint Championship 2020 | Drivers’ standings
1. Agostini (Audi) pt. 83; 2. Roda-Rovera (Ferrari) pt .58; 3. Ferrari (Mercedes), Drudi (Audi), Nemoto-Tujula (Lamborghini) pt. 51; 4. Zug-Comandini (BMW) pt. 48; 5. Kroes-Pulcini (Lamborghini) pt. 42; 6. Galbiati-Venturini (Lamborghini) pt. 37
Italian GT Sprint Championship 2020 | GT4 PRO-Am drivers’ standings
1. Segù-De Luca (Mercedes) pt. 85; 2. Belicchi-Vullo (Mercedes) pt. 83; 3. Guerra-Riccitelli (BMW) pt. 79