Imperiale Racing taking the win in Pro-Am in Monza with Giammaria-Liang. Podium with Venturini-Mul and Agostini-Breukers
25.09.2018 – Four podiums – a win, a second place in Pro-Am and two third places in PRO, rewarded Imperiale Racing’s efforts on the home turf at the Autodromo Nazionale of Monza (ITA) during the penultimate round of International GT Open 2018.
The Italian weekend confirmed once again the great performance level of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3, namely the #63 driven by Giovanni Venturini (ITA) and Jeroen Mul (NL), the #25 by Riccardo Agostini (ITA) and Rik Breukers (NL) in category PRO and the #19 car driven by Raffaele Giammaria (ITA) and Jia Tong Liang (PRC) in Pro-Am. All the pairings displayed a great determination in two eventful races, despite some episodes prevented Imperiale Racing to get all what it deserved.
The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of the Italian team confirmed to be the protagonist of both qualifying sessions following the intense work undertaken by engineers and drivers on Friday to finalize the setup of the cars for the very fast Italian circuit. Q1 lived on a very exciting battle and Venturini completed an amazing lap in 1:46.785s on the #63 car that earned him P2 just 0.05s off the pole position time. Agostini’s qualifying was also very good on the #25 car and he posted the third quickest time in 1:47.233s. Liang placed the #19 car to the seventh place of Pro-Am in 1:48.602s.
The positive feelings were confirmed also in Q2 when Mul engaged in a battle for the pole position and placed the #63 in P3 with a best lap of 1:46.963s, that was just over 0.3s shy of the pole position. Breukers also run a great qualifying placing the #25 car to P4 in 1:47.088s, while Giammaria claimed P5 of Pro-Am in 1:47.554s.
Race one for the #63 car was quite difficult. Venturini defended his position very well at the start and placed his car on the tail of Daniele Di Amato (Ferrari 488 GT3 #11), ready to challenge his rival. During lap 11, at the restart after a safety car period, a technical problem, unfortunately, forced Imperiale Racing’s driver to park his car on the side of the track at the Biassono corner and to retire from the race.
Agostini’s start was also quite eventful, as he went flawlessly into a spin at turn one on the #25 car when Loris Spinelli’s #90 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 hit him. Imperiale Racing’s driver was forced to rejoin from the back of the pack and put in an exciting driving stint that saw him recovering several places before pitting. Thanks to the favourable time handicap, Breukers kept the momentum and was third after the pit stops, position that he kept throughout securing an extraordinary result at the chequered flag.
The #19 car run a good race too, as Liang managed the first stint wisely in the tricky start and after the restarts following the safety car neutralizations. Giammaria continued this comeback up to the sixth place, when an unfair contact from Pier Guidi, on the #51 Ferrari 488 GT3, forced him to concede two places. The Imperiale Racing driver crossed the finish line in eighth place, scoring an important P2 in Pro-Am.
Race two has been very exciting and Mul started it on the #63 resolute to bounce back from the unlucky epilogue of race one. The Dutch driver defended very well his position in the first stint, before handing the car over to his co-equiper. Venturini afterwards drove again as a champion and, despite the 10s time handicap, he managed to secure the third place at the finish line. The #25 lineup run good race too, as Breukers first and Agostini afterwards managed to interpret very well the Italian circuit, posting very good laptimes. Due also to the time handicap to be served following P3 in race one, the driver pairing was fifth, claiming an important result for the team’s classification.
The #19 car run a thrilling race. Giammaria did not make any mistake in the first stint and a great race pace put him in a great position to aim for a strong result in Pro-Am. The perfect overcut strategy allowed Liang to rejoin in a good position to capitalize on the work done by his co-equiper. The Chinese driver managed in fact to claim a stunning win in Pro-Am and the ninth place overall.
International GT Open | Teams Standings
1. Luzich Racing pt. 90; 2. Imperiale Racing pt. 88; 3. BMW Team Teo Martín pt. 73; 4. RS Racing pt. 37; 5. Ombra Racing pt. 32
International GT Open | Drivers Standings
1. Mikkel Mac pt. 107; 2. Andrés Saravia – Fran Rueda pt. 104; 3. Alessandro Pier Guidi pt. 91; 4. Giovanni Venturini – Jeroen Mul pt. 82; 5. Daniele Di Amato pt. 71; 6. Riccardo Agostini – Rik Breukers pt. 66; 7. Andrea Montermini pt. 66
International GT Open | Pro AM Drivers Standings
1. Fabrizio Crestani – Miguel Ramos pt. 70; 2. Tom Onslow-Cole – Valentin Pierburg pt. 60; 3. Marcelo Hahn pt. 55; 4. Jia Tong Liang – Raffaele Giammaria pt. 45; 5. Bradley Ellis – Oliver Wilkinson pt. 38
International GT Open 2018 | Race Calendar
14-15 April – Estoril (P)
5-6 May – Paul Ricard (FRA)
9-10 June – Spa-Francorchamps (B)
7-8 July – Hungaroring (H)
1-2 September – Silverstone (GB)
22-23 September – Monza (ITA)
20-21 October – Barcelona (ESP)
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