20.09.2020 – A great performance at a circuit that on paper did not suit much the BMW car earned BMW Team Italia an important third place in the third round of the Italian GT Endurance Championship 2020 in Vallelunga.
This was a double-faced weekend for the team managed by Ceccato Motors Racing Team, as Stefano Comandini (ITA), Marius Zug (GER) and Alexander Sims (GB) claimed a great result in the #7 BMW M6 GT3, while Simone Riccitelli (ITA), Nicola Neri (ITA) and Francesco Guerra (ITA) had a racing accident with their #215 BMW M4 GT4, which affected their end result.
The values on the field in qualifying were opposite. The #7 car ended the three timed sessions with the seventh-fastest time and an overall time of 4’36.833s as Comandini-Zug-Sims struggled to show their raw pace. On the contrary, in GT4, Neri-Guerra-Riccitelli claimed a very good second place with a combined time of 5’04.090s, that was only 0.039s off the pole position time.
The race management of the BMW M6 GT3 has been very effective though. Comandini got a great pace in his home circuit, which allowed him to stay close to the top and Zug drove a solid second stint in P4 hunting for the podium. After the second pit stop Sims took the third place and kept it all the way to the flag. This result allowed Comandini and Zug to head back home from Vallelunga with 34 points in the bag and the drivers’ classification lead when one race is left to run.
The race of the #215 BMW GT4 has been less lucky. After a great opening stint by Guerra who led the GT4 category, at the beginning of the second hour Nicola Neri was flawlessly involved in a contact with Marchi, that was sanctioned later on. Neri was forced on the gravel trap and to an early retirement a few laps in.
Roberto Ravaglia (BMW Team Italia, Team Manager):
“We are obviously happy with the performance of the BMW M6 GT3. Vallelunga is a circuit where we knew we would have struggled, but drivers and team reacted with great determination and we came back on the distance taking a third place that seemed hard to get. I am sorry for the result of the BMW M4 GT4. We had the pace to fight for the top, the victory was at our reach, but our race, unfortunately, ended too soon”.
Italian GT Endurance Championship | Drivers’ classification
1. Comandini-Zug (BMW) pt. 34; 2. Galbiati-Venturini (Lamborghini) pt. 32; 3. Fuoco-Rovera-Roda (Ferrari) pt. 29; 4. Sims (BMW) pt. 27; 5. Giammaria-Pulcini (Lamborghini) pt. 25; 6. Agostini-Mancinelli (Audi) pt. 24; 7. Kries-Schandorff-Tujula (Lamborghini) pt. 21; 8. Drudi (Audi) pt.20; 8. Frassineti (Lamborghini) pt. 20; 9. Greco-Hudspeth-Michelotto (Ferrari) pt. 30; 10. Postiglione (Lamborghini/Porsche) pt. 17
Italian GT Endurance Championship | GT4 Pro-Am Drivers’ classification
1. Gnemmi-De Castro-Pera (Porsche) pt. 60; 2. Riccitelli-Guerra-Neri (BMW) pt. 30; 3. Postiglione (Porsche) pt. 20