The two-pronged 2020 Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo ran this year from July through December, equally dividing its Sprint and Endurance championships over eight weekends. Race action and excitement was at an all-time high with the Endurance finale at Monza seeing AF Corse’s Giorgio Roda, Alessio Rovera and Antonio Fuoco come back from behind and claim the title, while the Sprint championship saw a whole host of teams shooting for the crown but none doing better than — and having as much luck in the last race of the year — as Vincenzo Sospiri Racing’s Tuomas Tujula and Yuki Nemoto.

Round 1: Mugello Endurance

The delayed start of the season came on the 19th of July with a three-hour race at Mugello. From start to finish it was a battle between the #7 BMW Team Italia of Stefano Comandini, Marius Zug and guest driver Alexander Sims, and the #12 Audi Sport Italia of Riccardo Agostini, Daniel Mancinelli and Mattia Drudi. Split in the second hour by the #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Kikko Galbiati, Giovanni Venturini and Vito Postiglione, the two found each other again in the final hour as works drivers Drudi and Sims took the wheel of their cars.

After closing the gap to Venturini, Sims swept around the outside of the Lambo, rubbing shoulders as he wrestled his way by with 45 minutes to go. With the #32 machine out of the way, the Brit began reeling in Drudi who was just a handful of seconds ahead. 12 minutes remained on the clock when Sims made his first move. Despite cracks appearing in the Audi’s defence – Sims even edging ahead into the first corner three times – Drudi stood his ground and took Audi Sport Italia’s first win of 2020.

Top 5

1. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli/Mattia Drudi)
2. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug/Alexander Sims)
3. #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Kikko Galbiati/Giovanni Venturini/Vito Postiglione)
4. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera/Antonio Fuoco)
5. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Frederik Schandorff/Tuomas Tujula)

Round 2: Misano Sprint

A total of 27 cars took part in the opening round of the Sprint Series, with two races being held at the Misano World Circuit. The #12 Audi Sport Italia of Riccardo Agostini and Daniel Mancinelli took race 1 honors in dominating fashion, with the #7 BMW Team Italia of Stefano Comandini and Marius Zug finishing behind the Audi in second place, and the #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini of Yuki Nemoto and Tuomas Tujula in third.

Race 2 saw the results decided inside the steward’s room after the #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini of Kikko Galbiati and Giovanni Venturini crossed the finish line first only to then suffer a post-race 5 second time penalty for avoidable contact with the #71 AF Corse 488 GT3 of Giorgio Roda and Alessio Rovera. This meant the race 2 honors went to the #27 AKM Motorsport Mercedes of Lorenzo Ferrari and Daniel Zampieri.

Race 1 Top 5

1. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli)
2. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug)
3. #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Tuomas Tujula/Yuki Nemoto)
4. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera)
5. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Leonardo Pulcini)

Race 2 Top 5

1. #27 AKM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Lorenzo Ferrari/Daniel Zampieri)
2. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera)
3. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli)
4. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug)
5. #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 (Mattia Michelotto/Sean Hudspeth)

Round 3: Imola Endurance

After Audi Sport Italia and BMW Team Italia took center stage in the season-opening race at Mugello, it was AF Corse’s turn to shine in Imola. Paying proper homage to the eponym race track, the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Alessio Rovera, Giorgio Roda and Antonio Fuoco and was untouchable through the three hours of racing, taking a flag-to-flag victory at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

Rovera immediately left the field behind at the waving of the green flag. Kikko Galbiati in the #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3, trying to stay in striking distance of the leader, made a crucial mistake in the Variante Alta, hitting the barriers, losing his rear wing and spinning into the gravel at the next corner. This ended any potential resistance to AF Corse with just a few laps completed.

The Ferrari crew remained in the lead until the very end, where even a 15-second penalty for a pitstop irregularity could not effect the result as Fuoco crossed the finish line 45 seconds – including the 15-second deduction – in front of second place.

Second place went to the #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Danny Kroes, Tuomas Tujula and Frederik Schandorff. The team had suffered damage to the Lambo’s hood in the first hour and was forced to make a pitstop for repairs, but found its way back to the front through its drivers’ performances and bad luck that befell a number of frontrunners. Schandorff secured second place with 17 minutes remaining with an overtake on the Pro-Am class #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 of Sean Hudspeth.

Top 5

1. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera/Antonio Fuoco)
2. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Frederik Schandorff/Tuomas Tujula)
3. #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 (Sean Hudspeth/Mattia Michelotto/Matteo Greco)
4. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug/Alexander Sims)
5. #25 RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (Daniele Di Amato/Alessandro Vezzoni)

Round 4: Vallelunga Endurance

Lamborghini grabbed a one-two victory in Vallelunga as Imperiale Racing won the endurance race in front of brand compatriots Vincenzo Sospiri Racing.

Leading the race from start to finish, #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 pilots Kikko Galbiati, Giovanni Venturini and Alex Frassineti held a comfortable lead throughout the three-hour race. The gap to second allowed Venturini to ease off in the closing laps and cross the finish line six seconds ahead of Yuki Nemoto, who shared his Lambo with Leonardo Pulcini and Raffaele Giammaria.

The frontrunning #32 Audi Sport Italia R8 LMS GT3 of Mattia Drudi, Riccardo Agostini and Daniel Mancinelli suffered a broken wheel bearing early on in the race forcing it into retirement. Equally disappointing was the ‘DNF’ of the #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini of Danny Kroes, Frederik Schandorff and Tuomas Tujula. After running second in the first stint, a tyre problem began to develop that was fixed with an early pitstop. However, in his attempt to regain lost ground, Kroes pushed the car beyond its limits and got stuck in the gravel trap after running wide and hitting the tyre wall.

Staying out of trouble and going from seventh on the grid to third place at the finish, the #7 BMW Team Italia M6 GT3 of Stefano Comandini, Marius Zug and Alexander Sims scored valuable points in a race where most of the Endurance title contenders failed to note a top result.

Top 5

1. #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Kikko Galbiati/Giovanni Venturini/Alex Frassineti)
2. #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Leonardo Pulcini/Raffaele Giammaria/Yuki Nemoto)
3. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug/Alexander Sims)
4. #25 RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (Daniele Di Amato/Alessandro Vezzoni)
5. #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 (Sean Hudspeth/Mattia Michelotto/Matteo Greco)

Round 5: Mugello Sprint

After a two-month Sprint Series break, the championship resumed at the famed Tuscan track of Mugello. Race 1 of the weekend saw rainy conditions, giving fans an exciting 50 minute + 1 lap sprint race which mainly consisted of difficult track conditions and a safety car. The weather did not seem to intervene with the #12 Audi Sport Italia team and its plans, as again we saw Mattia Drudi and Riccardo Agostini cross the finish line in first ahead of the #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini of Yuki Nemoto and Tuomas Tujula and the #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini of Danny Kroes and Leonardo Pulcini.

There was no stopping the #27 AKM Motorsport Mercedes of Loris Spinelli and Lorenzo Ferrari throughout race 2, with the team taking a commanding victory ahead of the #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini of Venturini, Galbiati, and the #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini of Kroes, Pulcini.

Race 1 Top 5

1. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli)
2. #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Tuomas Tujula/Yuki Nemoto)
3. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Leonardo Pulcini)
4. #27 AKM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Lorenzo Ferrari/Daniel Zampieri)
5. #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Giovanni Venturini/Kikko Galbiati)

Race 2 Top 5

1. #27 AKM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Lorenzo Ferrari/Daniel Zampieri)
2. #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Giovanni Venturini/Kikko Galbiati)
3. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Leonardo Pulcini)
4. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera)
5. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug)

Round 6: Monza Sprint

The third round of the sprint series proved to be an unmissable one, with proceedings taking place at the famed Temple of Speed. A well-deserved Race 1 victory went to the #7 BMW Team Italia of Stefano Comandini and Marius Zug after a spectacular first stint by the German. Zug ran wide at the first chicane just after the race got under way, falling back to P5 early on. Despite this mistake though, the young BMW driver kept his cool and did not lose contact with the front runners. Throughout the second stint, Comandini took over driving duties and was able to pass the #25 RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Vezzoni and Daniele Di Amato for the lead with minutes to spare and fending off a last-minute attack from the #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini of Yuki Nemoto and Tuomas Tujula. The #12 Audi Sport Italia R8 LMS GT3 of Mattia Drudi and Riccardo Agostini took the last step of the podium.

An eventful race 2 saw a first win for Ferrari in the Sprint Series, with the #71 AF Corse 488 GT3 of Giorgio Roda and Alessio Rovera finishing just ahead of the #12 Audi Sport Italia team (Drudi/Agostini) in second and the #21 AF Corse 488 GT3 of Matteo Cressoni and Simon Mann in third. Two safety car periods interrupted the race, with the last one being deployed during the closing stages of the race. This led to a last lap sprint to the finish which saw various cars cross the finish line less than a second between each other, making this event perhaps the race of the year.

Race 1 Top 5

1. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug)
2. #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Tuomas Tujula/Yuki Nemoto)
3. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli)
4. #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Giovanni Venturini/Kikko Galbiati)
5. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera)

Race 2 Top 5

1. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera)
2. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli)
3. #21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Matteo Cressoni/Simon Mann)
4. #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 (Sean Hudspeth/Mattia Michelotto)
5. #25 RS Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 (Daniele Di Amato/Alessandro Vezzoni)

Round 7: Monza Endurance

All eyes were on the #12 Audi Sport Italia, #7 BMW Team Italia and #71 AF Corse teams going into the final Endurance round at Monza. Although more teams were still in the running for the championship, the title would most likely go the way of any one of those three teams.

Having come from fifth place shortly before the first pitstop window, the #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 took over the lead from the #90 AKM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 – retired in the second hour after a collision. With Tuomas Tujula leading and Marius Zug in the #7 BMW Team Italia M6 GT3 and Riccardo Agostini in the #12 Audi Sport Italia R8 LMS GT3 following a few seconds behind, the three teams went into the final hour separated by mere seconds.

Meanwhile, the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 had recovered from a problematic first stint for Giorgo Roda caused by severe tyre wear. Alessio Rovera got the Ferrari back in sight of the frontrunners in the second hour to hand the car over to Antonio Fuoco in fourth place for the final stint.

Fuoco joined at the tail-end of the lead group. Although still quite a few car lengths separated the four cars, the distance between Danny Kroes in the Lambo, Mattia Drudi in the Audi and Jesse Krohn in the BMW would quickly evaporate. In the three-way battle for first, Krohn was tapped in the rear by Drudi at the high-speed exit of Parabolica, sending the Fin scraping alongside the tyre barrier at Parabolica. The damage on the BMW didn’t become immediately apparent as Krohn continued on to fight Fuoco, retiring the car a handful of laps later.

Unable to withstand the pressure from Drudi and Fuoco, Kroes dropped back to third place. With second place in hand the title would already go the way of the Ferrari squad. However, Fuoco pushed on to come within five seconds of Drudi – who was slapped with a five-second penalty for his altercation with Krohn – to take the race win as well.

Top 5

1. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera/Antonio Fuoco)
2. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli/Mattia Drudi)
3. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Frederik Schandorff/Tuomas Tujula)
4. #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Leonardo Pulcini/Raffaele Giammaria/Yuki Nemoto)
5. #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Kikko Galbiati/Giovanni Venturini/Giacomo Altoè)

Top 5 Endurance championship (4 races*)

1. Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera/Antonio Fuoco (#71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3) – 47 pts.
2. Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli (#12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 39 pts.
3. Kikko Galbiati/Giovanni Venturini (#32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3) – 38 pts.
4. Mattia Drudi (#12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 35 pts.
5. Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug (#7 BMW Team Italia) – 34 pts.

* Three best results are scored.

FULL RESULTS

Round 8: Vallelunga Sprint

Yuki Nemoto and Tuomas Tujula took their first Sprint Series race victory of the year and gave VSR a 1-2 result, winning the opening race of the weekend at Vallelunga in their #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini, ahead of teammates Danny Kroes and Leonardo Pulcini in their #63 VSR Lambo. Thanks to two long safety car periods, Nemoto and Tujula had a smooth race to the finish and took the lead of the championship with 76 points, overtaking the #12 Audi Sport Italia R8 LMS GT3 of Drudi, Agostini (73 pts.) with just one race to go.

The eight and closing race of the season was quite eventful as rain began to fall just minutes before the start. After an hour delay, race 2 got under way under the safety car but was quickly removed. This saw a trio of Lamborghini’s dominate throughout the race, with victory going to the #32 Imperiale Racing Lambo of Alex Frassineti and Giovanni Venturini finishing ahead of #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Danny Kroes and Leonardo Pulcini Lambo and the #88 LP Racing Jonathan Cecotto and Giacomo Altoè Lambo.

Disaster struck for the championship leading #19 VSR Lamborghini of Nemoto and Tujula just minutes before race finish. Nemoto took driving duties to finish the season, however, the young Japanese suffered an off-track excursion and got stuck in the gravel trap having no choice but to retire from the race. This meant Riccardo Agostini in his #12 Audi Sport Italia R8 LMS GT3 had to secure just five points to secure the Sprint Series championship, but it was not meant to be. With heavy rain impacting race 2, a safety car was deployed and eventually stayed out until time expired crushing Audi Sport Italia’s chances of securing the title. With that, Vincenzo Sospiri Racing and drivers Tuomas Tujula and Yuki Nemoto became the 2020 Italian GT Sprint Series champions.

Race 1 Top 5

1. #19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Tuomas Tujula/Yuki Nemoto)
2. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Leonardo Pulcini)
3. #7 BMW Team Italia (Stefano Comandini/Marius Zug)
4. #3 Easy Race Ferrari 488 GT3 (Sean Hudspeth/Mattia Michelotto)
5. #88 LP Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Giacomo Altoè/Jonathan Cecotto)

Race 2 Top 5

1. #32 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Giovanni Venturini/Kikko Galbiati)
2. #63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Danny Kroes/Leonardo Pulcini)
3. #88 LP Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (Giacomo Altoè/Jonathan Cecotto)
4. #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera)
5. #12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3 (Riccardo Agostini/Daniel Mancinelli)

Top 5 Sprint championship (8 races*)

1. Tuomas Tujula/Yuki Nemoto (#19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3) – 76 pts.
2. Riccardo Agostini (#12 Audi Sport Italia Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 72 pts.
3. Danny Kroes/Leonardo Pulcini (#63 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3) – 70 pts.
4. Giorgio Roda/Alessio Rovera (#71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3) – 62 pts.
5. Lorenzo Ferrari (#27 AKM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3) – 61 pts.

* Six best results are scored.

FULL RESULTS

Endurance reporting by Miguel Bosch.

 
 

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