AF Corse has clinched this year’s Italian GT Endurance championship after winning a season finale thriller at Monza. In a race which saw a couple of safety cars, several lead changes, accidents and penalties, the Antonio Fuoco, Giorgio Roda, and Alessio Rovera driven #71 Ferrari 488 GT3 crossed the finish line several seconds behind the #12 Audi Sport Italia R8 LMS GT3 Mattia Drudi, Riccardo Agostini and Daniel Mancinelli – however, an earlier clash with the title contending #7 BMW Team Italia ultimately cost the Audi team victory as a post-race time-penalty classified it 2.879 seconds behind the Ferrari. The #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Danny Kroes, Frederik Schandorff and Tuomas Tujula finished on the last step of the podium crossing the finish line 17.795 seconds behind the race winners.
It wasn’t the prettiest of performances by AF Corse, as Giorgio Roda fell behind the field due to severe tyre wear, but once teammate Alessio Rovera took driving duties during the second stint, the comeback was on. Rovera kept contact with the race front runners throughout his turn, handing the car to Antonio Fuoco in fourth place overall. Fuoco ran his stint flawlessly, overtaking Kroes and keeping the slipstream behind Drudi, who was handed a post-race five-second time penalty during the closing stages of the race due to contact with BMW Team Italia driver Jesse Krohn who was forced into the gravel and tyre barrier at the exit of Parabolica and forced to retire. At the flag, it was Drudi crossing the finish line ahead of Fuoco, however the Audi was quickly relegated to second place, finishing runner-up in the championship by just eight points.
The third-placed VSR Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Frederik Schandorff/Tuomas Tujula) fought hard for the endurance title as well, with Schandorff having an incredible first stint and teammate Tujula taking over the lead of the race after the team’s first pit stop. It wasn’t meant to be for the Lamborghini squad, however, as Kroes got stuck in a three-car battle during the closing stages of the race, eventually getting passed by Drudi and Fuoco.
Fourth and fifth place went to two Lamborghini Huracán GT3s as well, with the second Vincenzo Sospiri Racing car (Leonardo Pulcini/Raffaele Giammaria/Yuki Nemoto) finishing ahead of the Imperiale Racing Lamborghini (Kikko Galbiati/Giovanni Venturini/Giacomo Altoè).
Sixth place and Pro-Am championship honors went to the #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 of Matteo Greco, Sean Hudspeth and Mattia Michelotto, finishing eight points clear from championship runner-ups Daniele Di Amato and Alessandro in their #25 RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
After going four for four, GT4 Pro-Am championship honors easily went to the #250 Ebimotors Porsche Cayman GT4 of Sabino De Castro, Paolo Gnemmi, and Ricardo Pera. The Ebimotors Cayman never encountered any attacks throughout the race, easily pulling away from its rivals during the opening portion of the race.
Second place went to the #215 BMW Sport Italia M4 GT4 of Francesco Guerra and Nicola Neri, while third place went to the second Ebimotors Cayman GT4 (Marco Talarico/Alessandro Cutrera/“L.M.D.V.”). Luca Magnoni did not make an appearance in Monza, having already secured the GT4 Am title in his Nova Race Mercedes-AMG GT4 with three victories earlier this season.
Italian GT wraps up its season in the weekend of 4-6th December at Vallelunga with two races for the Sprint championship.
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