Lamborghini ended the Italian GT Sprint season on the best possible note in the final round of the year at Vallelunga by securing the drivers’ title courtesy of Vincenzo Sospiri Racing’s Tuomas Tujula and Yuki Nemoto, both of whom are part of the Lamborghini GT3 Junior Driver Programme.
The Finnish-Japanese combination started the first of two 50-minute races at the Roman circuit from third on the grid but made the most of a perfect strategy from the team to emerge from the mandatory driver-change pit-stop window at the head of the field.
Tujula started the race and maintained his third-place position during the opening stint. Tujula struggled to keep up with the two leaders but made his pit-stop as the pit window opened with 28 minutes of the race left.
This proved to be a decisive move as the safety car was deployed during the pit window which left Nemoto, who had taken over from Tujula, in the lead at the restart. Nemoto duly came home to win the race by just half a second from the second Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo of Danny Kroes and Leonardo Pulcini, which had managed to pass the BMW of Stefano Comandini with an assertive move at Turn 12.
Sunday’s Race 2 was affected by heavy rain and the race was started from behind the safety car as conditions proved too treacherous for a standing start. Despite Nemoto and Tujula suffering a difficult race in their #19 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo (finishing 24th), the pairing had done enough to clinch the title by the end of the race.
There was more joy for Lamborghini as the Sant’Agata Bolognese brand recorded a dominant one-two-three finish, with Imperiale Racing’s Alex Frassinetti and Giovanni Venturini winning by just over six seconds from Vincenzo Sospiri Racing’s Kroes and Pulcini. Completing the podium was the #88 LP Racing combination of Giacomo Altoè and Jonathan Cecotto.
Nemoto and Tujula’s title win means it is the first the Italian GT championship crown returns to Sant’Agata Bolognese since 2018, when Altoè and Daniel Zampieri clinched the title. A year prior to that, Frassineti and Michele Beretta also claimed the title for Lamborghini.
Yuki Nemoto (#19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing): “I came to Europe when I was around 20, 21 and it’s been four years now to finally win the title. It’s been amazing, and I think this is the first time a Japanese driver has won the Italian GT Championship, so I am so happy with the result. It’s been a really tough season and it’s been up and down, but we got two victories. I must thank the team and Lamborghini for this season, it has been amazing.
Tuomas Tujula (#19 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing):“This is my second Italian GT title, after I won the Super GT Cup with Vincenzo Sospiri Racing, but my first title in a GT3 car, so this feels pretty special. It’s a little bit of mixed feelings because the last race didn’t work out how we wanted it to, but luckily we did such a good job during the season to be in such a position at the end of the year that the last race didn’t affect the outcome in the end. During the race, I thought it would. During the year, it’s been a difficult season with all the things going on in the world, also the BOP for us has been quite challenging for us let’s say. So, I would like to thank Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Vincenzo Sospiri Racing, my family and all our supporters for giving us the chance to get us in this kind of position at the end of the year.