The Italian GT Championship Sprint season got underway today at Misano, following on from the Endurance Cup which began a fortnight ago in Mugello. On its debut, the GT Cup class – reserved for single-marque vehicles – saw second spot on the podium occupied by the Greco-Chiesa (Easy Race) pairing, while in GT3 the four Ferrari entrants ended the day between fourth and tenth places.
GT3 – With a formidable comeback, the AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 handled by the Giorgio Roda-Alessio Rovera partnership, achieved a fourth position finish, third among the Pro-Am class, the best amongst the quartet of Prancing Horse competitors in the category. Starting from fourth on the grid, Giorgio Roda turned out a very steady opening stint, keeping pace with the adversaries immediately ahead, before handing over to stable-mate Alessio Rovera. The 2019 Sprint series champion became immediately involved in a compelling brawl which characterized the second phase before a Safety Car incursion re-bunched the pack. Rovera managed to up the pace and climb the order until a decisive overtaking manoeuvre on the final bend allowed him to pass below the chequered flag in fourth place, third in the Pro-Am class. The AF Corse driver will start Race 2 tomorrow from pole position thanks to the fastest time recorded in the second official qualifying session.
A fine showing and comeback also from the other AF Corse crew, made up of Simon Mann and Matteo Cressoni, with the latter second in morning qualifying which will permit him to start alongside Alessio Rovera in Race 2. Starting from thirteenth position, Mann finished his first stint, handing the wheel over to the Italian driver whose overtaking and counter-attacking moves allowed him to climb to seventh position in a gripping final stage, directly ahead of Mattia Michelotto and Sean Hudspeth’s Easy Rider-run Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 which posted eighth, who together registered the fifth fastest times in qualifying sessions 1 and 2.
It was a mixed-bag race for the Daniele Di Amato-Alessandro Vezzoni (RS Racing) duo, title runners-up in 2019 Pro Am. After claiming the second best in Q1, Daniele Di Amato set about hunting down the first position in his Ferrari 488 GT3, which he achieved just prior to entering the pits for the driver change. Back out on track, and after a Safety Car outing, Alessandro Vezzoni began sliding positions, before concluding the race in tenth final place.
GT Cup – Mere bad luck put paid to the hopes of victory for Matteo Greco-Riccardo Chiesa (Easy Race) who started from the pole position in the class and led the race for long stretches, until they were forced to concede the top position in the final laps due to a right rear tyre issue, eventually posting an excellent runner-up position. The #355 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo will likewise begin from pole position among their category in Race 2 after having notched up the fastest qualifying times both in Q1 with Matteo Greco and Q2 with Riccardo Chiesa, reigning champion in GT4 Endurance. Even more unlucky was the 488 Challenge belonging to Luca Demarchi-Gian Piero Cristoni (SR&R), who bowed out after a few laps when Demarchi was forced to retire.
The second Sprint race of the weekend Italian GT Championship on the Misano circuit gets underway on Sunday 2nd August at 14.30 (50 minutes+1 lap).