Duell Race, in partnership with Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe, has announced the signing of Edo Varini and Gian Piero Cristoni as its pilots for this year’s Italian GT Championship campaign. The Paduan-based team is set to tackle the 19th edition of the championship with two Toyota GR Supra GT4s in both the Sprint and Endurance series.
Varini, after having spent years in motocross and motorcycle racing, made a switch to four-wheels in where he eventually found himself participating in a variety of prestigious events including the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the Italian Superstars Series, and the Maserati World Series. After taking a break throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Modenese driver will become a full-time Italian GT competitor in 2021.
“Yes, I had several options for the upcoming season, but I gladly accepted my friend [and team founder] Alan Gomboso’s offer to race with Toyota colors,” said Varini. “I know the professionalism of Toyota Gazoo Racing and I didn’t look back when asked to race in the Endurance series.
“I’m a big fan of endurance races as they require a certain ability when managing the cars out on track and I feel quite confident I can perform well within that environment. I have been doing these types of races for over twenty years and I just love being inside a car. I will make sure I make the experience I’ve gained over many years available to Duell as Gomboso’s team will be a ‘Junior’ Toyota Team with top quality materials.
“The idea of racing in the Italian GT Championship excites me because ACI Sport has developed a really interesting race format in splitting both the Sprint and Endurance series. There are also many good drivers in the GT4 class and in addition a very large prize pool.”
Bolognese driver Gian Piero Cristoni, meanwhile, has had several Italian GT seasons under his belt, with 2019 being a standout season after having conquered the Italian GT Light Endurance title in an Antonelli Motorsport-prepped Lamborghini Huracán ST.
“I am extremely happy to take part in the GT championship and represent Toyota,” said Cristoni. “I made this choice based on the invitation of a friend of my Toyota dealer, a decision a bit in the dark having not tried the car. However, considering the prestige of the Toyota brand, I immediately accepted enthusiastically.
“Soon we will starting testing to prepare for the Sprint series, which I will be limited to, but I do not yet know the driver with whom I will share the GR Supra with. I’m sure it will be a good season and I haven’t taken any steps back from the last few seasons because GT4 is the class of the future and I hear about the many good drivers that will participate this year and how competitive the racing will be. In GT4 you race with the right budget and you can have fun racing against Porsches, Mercedes, and BMWs.
“My goal is to aim for the title, also because this year I’ll be able to get more comfortable with the car thanks to the possibility of doing more tests, and then there’s the official support of Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe. I guarantee a good outcome for the season ahead.”
The start of the Italian GT Championship is set to kick off at Monza on 30 April- 2 May with the opening round of the Sprint Series. The Endurance Series, meanwhile, will get going at Enna-Pergusa on 21-23 May.
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