31.08.2020 – A fourth place overall and a third in GT4 are the haul of the weekend in Imola at the second round of the Italian GT Championship Endurance 2020.
After the great start in Mugello, the Italian team defined a stellar drivers lineup for the #7 BMW M6 GT3 car where the official drivers Stefano Comandini (ITA) and Marius Zug (GER) have shared driving duties with the Canadian BMW Motorsport factory driver Bruno Spengler. The drivers of the BMW M4 GT4 were confirmed instead with Simone Riccitelli (ITA), Francesco Guerra (ITA) and Nicola Neri (ITA) behind the wheel.
After the three free practice sessions, the whole team thoroughly prepared qualifying and the race aiming to be among the protagonists. The three qualifying sessions defined the starting grid and Comandini-Zug-Spengler secured the third place overall with the combined time of 5:07.084s, while Riccitelli-Guerra-Neri started on pole in GT4 thanks to the overall time of 5:36.987s.
The race of the #7 BMW M6 GT3 started with Stefano Comandini at the wheel. He had an eventful stint full of battles. The driver from Rome had to concede a few positions, but he focused on the race pace and got in the pits in fifth place early when the pit-stop window opened. After serving part of the handicap time following the result in Mugello, the mid part of the race saw Marius Zug behind the wheel. He completed a solid performance lapping on interesting times without running unnecessary risks. The very young German driver handed the car over to Bruno Spengler, who confirmed his class in the third stint overtaking Ralf Bohn (GER) and securing P4.
The battle in GT4 has been quite intense. Riccitelli fought for the lead with Riccardo Pera (ITA) in the opening stint before handing the wheel over to Neri who confirmed a good adaptation on the car in what was his second Endurance race with BMW Team Italy. His crescendo of performance allowed him to stay in the fight for the podium. Guerra completed a very good final stint recovering some ground on the rivals and closed his effort in P3 of GT4, that was the second of Pro-Am.
Roberto Ravaglia (BMW Team Italia, Team Manager):
“We knew this would have been a tough weekend, especially for the BMW M6 GT3 due to the handicap time we had to serve following the second place in Mugello. I have to admit that all drivers reacted with great resolution though. Having the experience of Bruno Spengler on our side has certainly boosted motivation. In GT4 we had a more difficult race than expected after what seen in qualifying. The race got tricky, but our boys drove very well and secured some further points for the classification. From today on we will focus on filling the gap to our rivals aiming to claim our maiden endurance win in Vallelunga in 20 days time”.
Italian GT | Overall classification
1. Fuoco-Roda-Rovera pt. 27; 2. Agostini-Mancinelli pt. 24; 3. Comandini-Zug pg. 22; 4. Kroes-Shandorff-Tujula pt. 21; 5. Drudi pt. 20
Italian GT | GT4 Pro-Am classification
1. Gnemmi-De Castro-Pera pt. 40; 2. Riccitelli-Guerra-Neri pt. 30
Italian GT Championship 2020 calendar
July 18-19 | Mugello | Endurance
August 2-3 | Misano | Sprint
August 29-30 | Imola | Endurance
September 19-20 | Vallelunga | Endurance
October 3-4 | Mugello | Sprint
October 17-18 | Monza | Sprint
November 7-8 | Monza | Endurance
December 5-6 | Vallelunga | Sprint