Drudi-Agostini-Mancinelli (Audi R8 LMS) win the opening race of the Italian GT Endurance Series at Mugello

After dominating qualifying, Audi Sport Italia's drivers pipped the BMW M6 GT3 of Comandini-Zug-Sims by 0.026s in an exciting finale- The victory in GT4 went to the Porsche Cayman driven by Gnemmi-De Castro-Pera (Ebimotors) that proceeded the BMW M4 GT4 of Guerra-Riccitelli-Neri (BMW Team Italia).

A very nice race that has been hard-fought until the final meter and won by just 0.026s by Audi Sport Italia’s Mattia Drudi, Riccardo Agostini and Daniel Mancinelli from the BMW M6 GT3 of Comandini-Zug-Sims (BMW Team Italia). This is the result of the opening race of the Italian GT Championship Endurance Series ran at Mugello where the spectacle and excitement did not lack for the whole weekend. The first podium of the season was rounded off by Galbiati-Venturini-Postiglione (Lamborghini Huracan-Imperiale Racing), while in GT4 the top step of the podium went to Gnemmi-De Castro-Pera (Porsche Cayman-Ebimotors) that proceeded the BMW M4 (BMW Team Italia) of Guerra-Riccitelli-Neri and the Mercedes AMG GT4 of Magnoni-Schjerpen (Nova Race).


A well-deserved win, built from the ground up since qualifying with a fantastic pole position and completed by three stunning stints by Drudi-Agostini-Mancinelli. Audi Sport Italia’s lineup started in the best possible way the Endurance Series of the 18th Italian Championship producing spectacle, fair play on the track and a lot of exciting actions thanks to a red-hot finale that saw the battle between Audi Factory driver Mattia Drudi and the Brit Alexander Sims of BMW Italia with Stefano Comandini and the 17 years old German Marius Zug.

The final rewarded Audi’s colors after two perfect stints by Agostini, who took the lead from Comandini on lap 21, and Mancinelli who kept the lead before handing the car over to Drudi. The driver from Rimini, despite losing a lateral appendix on the rear wing, managed to fend off Sims’ comeback four times at the San Donato corner, when the BMW driver managed to take the lead for a few meters. The photo-finish end saw Audi’s driver on top by just 0.026s.

This was a splendid win for Audi, but BMW Team Italia claimed an as great P2 after a good first stint by Comandini, who suffered an excess of understeering and tyre wear in the final stages, and a second one by the 17 years old German Marius Zug, who was at ease on the track despite this being his maiden race on this tricky circuit.

The third step of the podium was completed by the Lamborghini Huracan of Galbiati-Venturini-Postiglione, with the driver from Lucca that managed to stay close to the top in the first stint, while Galbiati – at the debut in the higher class – was also quite skilled to hand the car over to Venturini in P2. The latter could not fend off Sims’ attacks but the third place is a great result for Imperiale Racing, especially considering that the Huracan seemed a bit behind compared to its rivals.

The fourth place went to the Ferrari 488 of Roda-Rovera-Fuoco (AF Corse), that kept themselves close to the podium with a great first stint by Roda – at the debut in the Italian series – and the closing two stints driven by Rovera and Fuoco that managed to lap on times close to those of the front runners. They ended their effort leading the two Lamborghini Huracan of VSR driven by Kroes-Shandorff-Tujula and Aghakani-Giammaria-Pulcini and the Mercedes AMG GT3 (AKM Motorsport) of Linossi-Colombo-Ferrari, that were involved in a contact with the Lambo of the team led by Vincenzo Sospiri in the closing stages. The eighth place went to Mann-Cressoni (Ferrari 488-AF Corse) that received a 2 minutes time penalty because the American driver could not start due to a heatstroke in the opening stint. They led the sister car run by Easy Race for Hudspeth-Michelotto-Greco and the Porsche GT3R of Venerosi-Baccani-Pera (Ebimotors).


In GT4 the victory of Gnemmi-De Castro-Pera that started on top was never questioned. The win of Ebimotors was built in the first stint when Pera pulled away on the Mercedes AMG GT4 of Magnoni and on the BMW M4 GT4 of Nicola Neri and the second car driven by Di Giusto by more than 40s. In the second stint, Gnemmi managed the race leading Schjerpen, while Riccitelli, who took over from Neri, completed a good comeback and ended the race close to the Norwegian driver. The overtaking for P2 happened in the closing stages when BMW Team Italia’s Guerra led Magnoni and Piccioli, who took over from Marchi, at the flag.


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