Ferrari cars thoroughly dominated the second round of the Italian GT Endurance Championship, held over the weekend at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari International Circuit in Imola. After three hours of entertainment and excitement, AF Corse’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020 no. 71 claimed the overall win, having led throughout, while the Pro Am class saw a Prancing Horse one-two with first place going to Easy Racing’s car no. 3 and second to RS Racing no. 25.
Pro. Alessio Rovera, Giorgio Roda and Antonio Fuoco (AF Corse) enjoyed a perfect weekend in Romagna securing pole position on Saturday thanks to the best performances in all three qualifying sessions followed by a race they led from start to finish. Alessio Rovera set a very high pace from the start, pulling well ahead of his rivals despite the entry of the Safety Car for a few minutes. He then handed the wheel to Roda was also very consistent, keeping the race lead with a commanding performance untroubled by his rivals. Antonio Fuoco, fastest overall in qualifying, took over from Roda, confirming both his excellent rapport with the track and the car’s potential. He maintained a sustained pace for the whole stint, recording a series of fast laps before crossing the line more than 40 seconds ahead of the runner-up.
Pro Am. It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster behind the AF Corse team, with the Ferrari no. 3 of Michelotto (Easy Race) taking third overall at the start, before moving into second overall and first in its class after the Safety Car came out. A rampant Daniele Di Amato (RS Racing) then caught the Easy Race driver who had been slowed down by lapping. Di Amato, at the wheel of the Ferrari no. 25, passed Michelotto and pulled away slightly. Matteo Cressoni mounted a comeback in his first stint in AF Corse’s second Ferrari. After starting from thirteenth on the grid, the Italian to climbed to seventh overall, fighting a spectacular duel with the Lamborghini of Hites for third place in class.
In the second hour of the race, on his season debut, Matteo Greco (Easy Race) brought all his talent to bear, catching and skilfully passing Alessandro Vezzoni, who had taken the wheel from Di Amato. The RS Racing driver gradually slipped down the rankings, suffering brake problems, before finishing in ninth overall. Further back, the highly experienced Peter Mann, Simon’s father, took the wheel of the second AF Corse car. This was his first race in four years, and it showed with various excursions off track that relegated the fourth Ferrari in the race to thirteenth place overall.
There were further thrills and twists in the final stages, with Vincenzo Sospiri Racing’s Lamborghini catching Easy Race’s third driver, Sean Hudspeth, with twenty minutes to go. The driver of Ferrari no. 3 lost second position overall but held the Pro Am class lead down to the chequered flag. Ferrari and Lamborghini fought another duel for fifth position overall, with Di Amato passing Raffaele Giammaria at the Rivazza, before overhauling Bruno Spengler to slip into fourth. Di Amato and Vezzoni (RS Racing) recorded an excellent performance that earned them second place in their class. Matteo Cressoni’s last stint saw a superb comeback, with AF Corse’s Ferrari no. 21 finishing eleventh overall and sixth in class.
Next round. The Italian GT Endurance Championship will be back on track over the weekend of 18-20 September at the Vallelunga circuit in Lazio.