Rome, 13 October 2016 – Not much is left to the definition of the four winners of the 14th Italian GT Championship. The grand finale of the Italian series will have 43 cars at the start (a new season record) and will take place at the circuit of Mugello with the presence of Alex Zanardi. The champion from Bologna, who comes from the recent paralympic games of Rio de Janeiro, will compete in the two races of Super GT3 and GT3 on a BMW M6 GT3 run by BMW Team Italia-ROAL Motorsport after more than one year of absence from motorsport. He will be present for all his supporters and fans that will get to the circuit with free admittance ticket (both on grandstands and grass).
SUPER GT3: Four lineups are within 21 points (with an even shorter gap considering the two mandatory jokers) and the duel in the highest class of the Italian GT will be the main point of the closing two races. The challenge for the Italian title will involve classification leaders Venturi-Gai (Ferrari 488), at 128 points, Marco Mapelli (Audi R8 LMS) who is 2 points shy of them, and the two Lamborghini Huracans driven by Agostini-Di Folco and Bortolotti-Mul, respectively 20 and 21 points short of the top. Latest news is Antonelli Motorsport’s pairing split as Riccardo Agostini and Alberto Di Folco will compete against each othe in the title fight. The names of the co-equipers will be unveiled today.
At Audi, Filipe Albuquerque will not be present due to a conflicting commitment and the 25yrs old Belgian Laurens Vanthoor will share the wheel of the Audi Sport Italia’s car with Marco Mapelli. As anticipated, Alex Zanardi will be the star of this round as he will be back to motorsport on the BMW M6 GT3 of BMW Italia-ROAL Motorsport alongside team mates Comandini-Cerqui. Among the new entries, the Finn Patrick Kujala, will be at the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracan run by Imperiale Racing alongside Giovanni Venturini, while the second driver to exchange driving duties with Niccolò Schirò on Easy Race’s Ferrari 488 has still to be unveiled, after Marco Cioci’s defection due to a conflicting commitment. The entry list of Super GT3 is completed by Sini-Mugelli (Aston Martin Vantage-Solaris MotorSport) and Frassineti-Gattuso (Lamborghini Huracan-Ombra Racing).
GT3: Ferrari, Audi and Lamborghini will challenge each other also in GT3 where the title fight will be a matter among Leo-Cheever (Ferrari 458 Italia), Zonzini-Russo (Audi R8 LMS) and Vito Postiglione (Lamborghini Gallardo), but the latter has quite a big gap to the top. Imperiale Racing’s driver will share the car with Giacomo Barri – at his comeback in the Italian series, due to the absence of his usual co-equiper Andrea Gagliardini. The two leading pairings are split by four points only, and the final victory is very likely to decided at the last corner for the drivers of Scuderia Baldini 27 and Audi Sport Italia. The drivers of the team from Rome will be supported by Casè-Bontempelli on the second Ferrari 458 Italia, while Porsche will be present with the GT3R driven by Venerosi-Baccani (Ebimotors) and that by Romani-Deodati, at their debut wit Kripton Motorsport. The two Ferraris 458 Italia of Mancinelli-La Mazza (Easy Race) and Marco Galassi (Team Malucelli) will also be present in the two closing races of the season.
SUPER GT CUP: The class reserved to the Lamborghini Huracan SuperTrofeo will live on the battle for the title victory involving the Brazilian Nicolas Costa, Matteo Desideri and Andrea D’Amico, all within 22 points. The driver of Raton Racing will not have Adrian Zaugg alongside him and the name of his substitute has not been announced yet, while Vincenzo Sospiri Racing’s driver will be helped by the Japanese Juki Nemoto. The other cars of the team from Forlì will be driven by Baruch-Faccioni and Melo-Jia Tong, while Antonelli Motorsport will line up the Japanese Takashi with Matteo Desideri, Massimo Mantovani, Simone Sartori and Piero Necchi. The Super GT Cup entry list is rounded off by Tanca-Comi (Raton Racing), Trentin-Amaduzzi (Petri Corse) and Palma-Lima (Imperiale Racing).
GT CUP: In the single make configured class, Benvenuti-Demarchi (Lamborghini Gallardo) are very close to securing the title. Imperiale Racing’s drivers are 31 points clear of Zanardini-Sauto (Ferrari 458 Italia-Duell Race) and the title victory could come in Mugello’s race-1. The Porsche 997 of Ebimotors will take Quinzio-Schiattarella to the comeback in the Italian GT, alongside team mates Carlo and Lino Curti, while the other two German coupes will be driven by Carboni-Durante (Drive Technology Italia) and Di Leo-"Poppy" (Team Vago). Del Prete-Caso will also be at the start of GT Cup on the Ferrari 458 Italia run by Speed Motor.
GT 4: The Porsche 997 of Dario Cerati (Autorlando) will be present in Mugello and will run the two races alone.
CAYMAN CUP: The 7th round of the season will be a final catwalk for Riccardo Pera. Ebimotors’ driver has already secured the Cayman Cup in the latest round of Imola, dominating the season with eight wins and therefore the two races will only name the runner up with the challenge open to Mercatali-Cecotto (Dinamic Motorsport) and Sabino De Castro (Ebimotors), who will share the car with Gianluigi Piccioli. Two lineups will make their debut in Mugello: Giuliani-Baruchelli (CVG Motorsport) and Neri-Bellini (Kinetic Racing).
PROGRAMME: The programme of the closing weekend of the season schedules the two qualifying sessions of SGTCup, GT Cup, GT4 and Cayman on Friday from 16,15 to 17,05, while SGT3 and GT3 will run their qualifying sessions on Saturday from 9,45 to 10,35. The first two races will take place in the afternoon at local 13,50 (SGTCup -GT Cup- GT4 and Cayman) and at 15,50 (SGT3 and GT3). SGTCup, GT Cup and Cayman Race 2 will follow on Sunday morning (at 11,40) while SGT3 and GT3 will run their Race 2 at 16,50. All races will have a length of 48 minutes + 1 lap and will enjoy live TV coverage on Raisport1 (S.GT3-GT3) and AutomotoTV (SGT Cup-GT Cup-GT4 and Cayman), with web streaming at www.acisportitalia.it/GT. Super GT3 and GT3 race-1 is the only exception as it will be broadcast recorded on Saturday at 18.05 on Raisport1.