The penultimate round of the Italian Gran Turismo Sprint Championship at Mugello saw the Prancing Horse cars earn class victories, podiums, and genuine title hopes for the last round at Imola at the end of October.
CIGT. While after Saturday’s unfortunate race, Stuart Peter White and Jean-Luc D’Auria, in AF Corse's Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 number 52, wrapped up the weekend with an excellent third place in Race-2, Jules Castro and Luka Nurmi in the sister-car number 51 in the Pro-Am class left Tuscany after a fantastic round.
Starting from the front row in Race-1, with the class pole, Luka Nurmi handed the car over to Castro, who crossed the finish line second, ahead of the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 number 88 of Custodio Toledo and Riccardo Agostini, also of AF Corse, who were sixth in Race-2.
Sunday’s race was even better for the Belgian and the Finn, ending with a victory that extended their lead in the overall standings, where they now lie 12 points clear of their closest rivals. Also in the Pro-Am class, Luigi Coluccio and Rocco Mazzola in the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 number 23 took a double fifth place for Best Lap.
Finally, in the Am drivers’ title, AF Corse’s fourth car, the number 21, secured two third places, with Ray Acosta and Oswaldo Negri sharing the wheel.
GT Cup. In their first race of the season, Matthew Kurzejewski and Alessandro Balzan (Pellin Racing) claimed victory in Race-1 at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo number 122. They spent the entire race on the attack with the American staying in contact with the leaders during his stint, leaving the Italian with the final push, which he completed five laps from the end.
The pairing dropped a step in Race-2 but still ended the race with an excellent second place. Stefano Gai and Fabrizio Fontana completed Ferrari’s success with third place in Race-1 in the number 169 Formula Racing car. They were slower in Sunday’s race.
The sixth and fifth places of Giorgio Maggi and Leonardo Colavita in the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo number 199 of Double TT Racing left the pairing one point off the top of the overall standings in the Pro-Am class. Race-2 was exceptionally positive, with the two Italians making an excellent comeback from 21st place on the starting grid.
Formula Racing’s second car, the number 161, finished seventh and eighth, with John Dhillon and Matt Griffin swapping positions with Simone Patrinicola and Luca Demarchi in the number 111 of Best Lap, eighth and seventh. Thomas Biagi and Leonardo Delcol, in the number 196 car of Easy Race, winners in Race-2 at Monza, completed the line-up of Prancing Horse cars. After retiring from the first outing, they had to settle for ninth place in Race-2.
In the GT Cup Am, the Reds took another two victories with Stefano Marazzi and Samuele Buttarelli in the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo number 270 of Rossocorsa in Saturday’s race (tenth in Race-2) and with Vincenzo Scarpetta (Best Lap number 290) on Sunday. The Italian was third in Race-1 and the star of a weekend driven alone without teammates, putting him 10 points clear in the class standings now.
Andreas Bøgh Sorensen, in the number 293 Ferrari of Formula Racing, finished eighth and fifteenth. Meanwhile Lisa Clark and Kyle Marcelli (Pellin Racing, number 227) concluded the two races with a double thirteenth place, just ahead of the Canadian Thor Haugen (Pellin Racing - number 225) in Race-1 – eleventh in Race-2 – and Gianmarco Marzialetti and Nicola D’Aniello in the number 212 of Best Lap in Race-2, the latter fifteenth in Saturday’s race.
The next and final round of the Italian GT Championship Sprint Series takes place over the weekend of 29 October at the Imola circuit.