09.11.2020 – An unpredictable finale prevented BMW Team Italia to play all its cards in the exciting finale of the Italian GT Endurance 2020 Championship in Monza.
The team managed by Ceccato Motors Racing Team aimed to the win with the #7 BMW M6 GT3 driven by Stefano Comandini (ITA), Marius Zug (GER) and Jesse Krohn (FIN), while Francesco Guerra (ITA) and Nicola Neri (ITA) targeted the podium of GT4 in Pro-Am.
After the good setup work done during free practice, the #7 car secured a spectacular pole position. In Q1 Comandini gave his best in a very hard-fought session and posted the eighth time 1’47.735s. In Q2, Zug posted the second quickest time in 1’47.583s, as did Krohn in the third session with a best time of 1’46.897s. The drivers earned the pole position start thanks to the combined time of 5’22.215s.
In GT4 Guerra and Neri were second in 5’56.262s: the first ran Q1 and Q2 posting respectively a 1’57.951s and 1’57.970s, while Neri completed his session with a positive 2’00.341s.
The race has been very exciting since the beginning. Comandini ran great first stint in which he fended off the attacks moved by the rivals suffering some hard hits too, but he firmly kept P2 until the pit-stop.
Zug also put in an exemplar performance. He took the car over after the pit stop and started lapping on a very effective pace staying in the slipstream of Tujula (Lamborghini) without attacking him. A penalty to the #63 car would have in fact placed it behind the BMW challenger.
Krohn was on driving duty in the third stint and he engaged a good battle with Drudi (Audi) and Kroes (Lamborghini). On lap 69 at the exit of Parabolica Drudi hit the rear of the #7 BMW M6 GT3 forcing Krohn to go off. The Finn managed to avoid to crash in the barriers, but the long section ran in the gravel trap damaged the car forcing the team to retire it a few laps afterwards.
In GT4, Guerra and Neri put in a great race as the first drove during the first and third stint, while Neri was behind the wheel in the mid part of the race. Well aware of the challenge ahead, BMW Team Italia’s pairing showed great character and ended second securing also the second place in the GT4 Pro-Am Championship.
Roberto Ravaglia (BMW Team Italia, Team Manager):
“We are obviously disappointed. We ran a splendid championship with the BMW M6 GT3: Stefano, Marius and Jesse have been great on track today, they reacted with great focus in all situations and the challenge has been exciting and sportsmanlike until when 30 minutes were left. Our chances were shuttered by the unfair driving of Audi’s Mattia Drudi, who was later on penalized, with what I believe is a too light penalty. The contact has been decisive to make Jesse lose the control of the BMW and only his quick reaction allowed him to avoid the barriers at more than 180 km/h. We tried to continue the race but the damage was excessive and we could not do anything else than retire the car. Francesco and Nicola in the BMW M4 GT4 ran a concrete race and secured another podium that earned him the second place in the GT4 Pro-Am. Well done to them”.
Italian GT Endurance Championship | Drivers’ classification
1. Fuoco-Roda-Rovera (Ferrari) pt. 47; 2. Agostini-Mancinelli (Audi) pt. 39; 3. Galbiati-Venturini (Lamborghini) pt. 38; 4. Drudi (Audi) pt. 35; 5. Comandini-Zug (BMW) pt. 34; 6. Kroes-Schandorff-Tujula (Lamborghini) pt. 33; 7. Sims (BMW) pt. 27; 7. Giammaria-Pulcini (Lamborghini) pt. 27
Italian GT Endurance Championship | Drivers’ GT4 Pro-Am classification
1. Gnemmi-De Castro-Pera (Porsche) pt. 60; 2. Guerra-Neri (BMW) pt. 45; 3. Riccitelli (BMW) pt. 30; 3. Postiglione (Porsche) pt. 20