After winning just two weeks ago at Mugello during the inaugural round of the Italian GT Endurance Series, Riccardo Agostini and Daniele Mancinelli have taken a thrilling Race 1 victory during the opening round of the Italian GT Sprint Series, currently being held at the Misano World Circuit. After a successful three-hour endurance race at the Tuscan track, Audi Sport Italia and its drivers traveled to the Adriatic coast to also establish themselves as the favorites for the Sprint Series.
Throughout his first stint, Daniele Mancinelli was able to comfortably stay in third place just behind AKM Motorsport’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Loris Spinelli and RS Racing’s Ferrari 488 GT3 of Daniele Di Amato, but after a stellar pitstop during a safety car period, teammate Riccardo Agostini assumed the lead of the race on lap 25 and never looked back.
At that point, there was simply no way of stopping the Audi drivers, with the BMW Team Italia M6 GT3 of Marius Zug and Stefano Comandini having to settle for second place 2.188 seconds behind. 17-year-old German Zug stood out quite well during the second stint, however, having gained two positions after his Roman teammate Comandini came in for the mandatory pitstop in fourth place.
Third place honors went to the VSR Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Finnish driver Tuomas Tujula and Japanese Yuki Nemoto, finishing 3.361 seconds behind the race winning Audi and creating the same podium witnessed two weeks ago at Mugello. A respectable fourth place finish went to the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 of Giorgio Roda and Alessio Rovera after the duo started the 50 minute + 1 lap sprint race in tenth place, with Rovera executing a phenomenal last lap overtake on fifth place finishers Danny Kroes and Leonardo Pulcini in their Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
Imperiale Racing secured a sixth-place finish with drivers Giovanni Venturini and Kikko Galbiati behind the wheel of yet another Lamborghini, finishing ahead of the Ferrari 488 GT3s of AF Corse’ Simon Mann and Matteo Cressoni Easy Race duo Mattia Michelotto and Sean Hudspeth, as well as the Lorenzo Marcucci and Riccardo Cazzaniga in the LP Racing Huracán GT3.
Tenth place went to the RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Vezzoni and Daniele Di Amato, with eleventh and AM class honors obtained by the Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 991.2 GT3R of Marco Cassarà and Alex De Giacomi ahead of the sister Ebimotors Porsche of Alessandro Baccani and Paolo Venerosi Pesciolini.
Bad luck struck the pole sitting AKM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Loris Spinelli and Davide Roda after being well in command throughout the first stint only to suffer a suspension issue throughout the second part of the race and securing a disappointing fourteenth place finish. The San Marino based team suffered even more setbacks, with its second AMG GT3 of Lorenzo Ferrari and Daniel Zampieri retiring from the race due to a tire puncture after having been running in a comfortable sixth place position during the first ladder of the race.
As seen at Mugello, yet another exciting BMW-Mercedes-Porsche battle took place for GT4 class honors, this time on the Adriatic coast. Success came in the second stint for the BMW Team Italia M4 GT4 of Francesco Guerra and Simone Riccitelli finishing 8.436 seconds clear ahead of the Nova Race Events Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Luca Segü and Francesco De Luca. The Riccardo Pera and Paolo Gnemmi driven Ebimotors Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 finished on the third step of the podium ahead of the GT4 Am class winning Nova Race Events Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Luca Magnoni.
Fifth place went to the Sabino Marco De Castro, Gianluigi Piccioli driven Ebimotors Porsche Cayman 718 GT4, ahead of Giacomo Riva and Daniel Vebster in their CRAM Motorsports Cayman 718 GT4, Paolo Meloni in his Scuderia W&D BMW M4 GT4, and Jody Simone Vullo and Andrea Belicchi in their Scuderia Villorba Corsa who after starting the race from pole position in class suffered a mechanical failure due to contact just five laps shy from the finish.
GT Cup class honors went to the Duell Race Porsche 991 GT Cup of Gianluca Carboni and Vincenzo Sauto after both Ferrari 488 Challenge cars of Easy Race and SR&R suffered setbacks throughout the race. While leading, the Matteo Greco, Riccardo Chiesa piloted Easy Race 488 sustained a puncture finishing a lap down behind the Porsche while the other SR&R 488 of Gian Piero Cristoni and Luca Demarchi suffered a retirement due to gearbox related issues just six laps into the race. SR&R is expected to take the grid for tomorrow’s Race 2.
Live coverage of Race 2, set to take place on Sunday at 14:30 local time, will be provided by Campeonato Italiano Gran Turismo on their Facebook page HERE.