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Middleton and Di Folco combine for narrow victory in opening race; Cecotto and Di Giusto wrapped up the Pro-Am class title
Lamborghini recorded a second Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup victory of the season, as Imperiale Racing’s Stuart Middleton and Alberto di Folco won Saturday race one at Imola. The pairing came into the weekend looking to make amends for a challenging Sprint Cup round at Misano where they failed to start the second race due to mechanical issues. Third in the opening practice session, just three-tenths of a second away from the fastest time was a promising start and this result was replicated the afternoon’s second practice session.
Middleton was tasked with qualifying the #6 car for the first race, and his time of 1:47.578 was good enough to end up third on the grid, exactly three-tenths of a second off pole. From the rolling start, Middleton got a fast getaway and vaulted ahead of the #55 Honda to grab second place as the field braked for Tamburello corner for the first time.
The #6 settled into second place early on but had to defend from the Honda and Ferrari behind, before the safety car intervention bunched the pack up together. Middleton then remained close to the back of the leading BMW after the restart and was just a few tenths adrift when he made his mandatory pit-stop to switch with Di Folco.
Having spent less time stationary in the pits, Di Folco returned to the track clear of the Ferrari behind, and then moved into the lead of the race once the BMW served its pit-stop and subsequent success handicap. Di Folco came under pressure from the Ferrari in the closing stages but the #6 held on brilliantly to secure a second on-the-road victory of 2022 by eight-tenths of a second.
Di Folco qualified second for Sunday’s race two but was initially demoted to third which he held during a long full course yellow period. The #6 car then had to serve its 15-second success handicap at the pit-stop which dropped it to the foot of the podium in fourth with Middleton taking over.
The pair remained in that position until the chequered flag, while the LP Racing Pro-Am entry of Jonathan Cecotto and Mattia di Giusto wrapped up the class title with a round to spare with a victory and second place. The final round of the Italian GT Sprint Cup takes place at Mugello on the weekend of 22-23rd October.