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    Weekend notebook: victories in Italy and Japan

    Maranello 18 luglio 2022

    Ferrari won the Mugello leg of the Italian GT Endurance Championship, courtesy of Bontempelli, La Mazza and Demarchi of SR&R. The trio were first to cross the line in the GT Cup Am, with other Prancing Horse cars also climbing the podium in the various classes. Ferrari also enjoyed success in Japan with CarGuy Racing with a guileful win in Race-1 at Suzuka in the GT World Challenge Asia.

    Italian GT Championship. The Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo of SR&R crewed by Bontempelli, La Mazza, and Demarchi, was first under the chequered flag in the GT Cup Am in round two of the Italian GT Championship Endurance series at Mugello. Teammates ‘Aramis’-Baratto-Pennisi in a 458 Challenge closed fourth in the same class, while the SR&R team’s third car with Buttarelli-Cossu-Bacci had to retire. The AF Corse car with Cressoni-Pulcini also finished early due to a broken radiator.

    Again among the one-make cars, but in the GTC PA class, the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo driven by Donno-Risitano-Menichini of Best Lap, took second place. Coluccio-Mazzola-Postiglione of Easy Race came in third. After starting from the last row of the line-up due to a gearbox problem during qualifying, they made up several positions during the first stint to take second place: however, all the good work was undone by a puncture while Coluccio was driving. The incident forced the number 323 car to pit, losing time and ground. However, in the third part of the race, Mazzola staged another recovery to cross the line in third place. With this result, Mazzola and Coluccio are still leading in the class standings.

    The third and penultimate round of the Endurance series championship will feature a single two-hour race on 18 September at Vallelunga.

    GT World Challenge Asia. Suzuka hosted round two of the GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS, which saw a surprising win in Race-1 for CarGuy Racing’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 with Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura. The two managed to turn the race around after Kimura, who started fourth, spun and slipped to twelfth place. The decisive move came in the last thirty minutes when the team decided to switch to slicks during the mandatory pitstop, even though track conditions indicated otherwise. This strategy led to the comeback of number 777, which lapped six to eight seconds faster than its rivals, taking first place and crossing the line with a splendid victory. LMcorsa’s Ferrari crewed by Kei Nakanishi and Shigekazu Wakisaka took fifth place, while the third car from the Maranello-based manufacturer belonging to Yogibo Racing didn’t participate in the race.

    In Race-2, CarGuy Racing failed to repeat the feat, finishing in fifth partly due to an extended pit stop time because of their win in the first round. LMcorsa’s Ferrari finished ninth, while Yogibo Racing, with Naoki Yokomizo and Kiyoto Fujinami at the wheel, came in thirteenth place overall.

    The series cars are back on the track again next weekend, with round three at the Fuji International Speedway circuit.