The fourth race weekend of the 2019 Italian GT Championship held at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari was won by BMW Team Italia and Imperiale Racing. In both races the winners could just barely hold off the competition, finishing tenths ahead of the rest of the field in the two 50-minute races at Imola.
BMW Team Italia picked up its second win of the year, adding an Imola win to their Monza endurance trophy. Erik Johansson began the opening race of the weekend from eight place and soon found himself stuck in the field. In an attempt to make up ground, the team called the Swede into the pits at the first opportunity, handing over the car to Stefano Comandini who took no prisoners in his march to the front. There the Italian found himself looking at the back of Sean Hudspeth’s AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 and a neutralisation of the race with minutes to go. Going back to green on the final lap, Comandini commandeered the lead as the duo drag raced towards the Tamburello chicane.
The Sunday race saw Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 drivers Jeroen Mul and Vito Postiglione followed up their Campionato Italiano GT Endurance victory in Misano with a win in the sprint series, their third overall win of the year after the Dutch-Italian duo claimed victory in one of the Vallelunga sprint races as well.
Imperiale Racing’s win didn’t come easy. Starting from third on the grid, the #63 Lamborghini moved up into second after the pitstops. With Mul at the wheel, the leading #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Pro-Am entry was quickly swallowed up. Behind him the #15 BMW M6 GT3, looking to repeat its race 1 win and take back the lead it held in the first stint, was following closely. An unexpected rear attack in the later stages of the race from Antonio Fuoco, who had stormed his way from fifth and was dead set on redemption for the lost win the #52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 suffered on Saturday, put Mul on high alert. Despite the mounting pressure, Mul stood his ground and led the Lamborghini to victory in its home region of Emilia-Romagna. The #25 RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (Daniele Di Amato/Alessandro Vezzoni) finished third, demoting Erik Johansson’s BMW Team Italia M6 GT3 to fourth.
With another top result, Mul and Postiglione have strengthened their sprint championship lead. Now at 60 points, they lead AF Corse’s Fuoco and Hudspeth by 18 points. Erik Johansson and Stefano Comandini climbed up to third place with a total of 36 points.
Next on the Italian GT calendar is another couple of sprint races, held in the weekend of 19-21 July at Mugello.
Photos by Davide Stori.