Imperiale Racing driver picks up Race 2 win of the season as a solo entry; Pole and podium for Emil Frey Racing in maiden ADAC GT Masters race
Lamborghini kicked off its Italian GT Championship campaign with victory in the second Sprint Cup race of the weekend at Monza courtesy of Imperiale Racing’s Alberto di Folco, on a weekend full of emotions. Driving as a solo entry for Race 2, due to an incident for team-mate Stuart Middleton in Saturday’s opener, di Folco drove a superb race from second on the grid to claim the win following a late safety car intervention.
The weekend began brightly for the #6 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO crew, with di Folco taking pole position for Race 1 and Middleton setting the second fastest time for Race 2.
Di Folco led away from the rolling start and controlled the opening segment of the race, until the mandatory driver-change pit-stop. Middleton was due to take over from di Folco but was clipped by another car as it entered the pit-lane. The British driver suffered injuries to his arm and leg and was transported to the circuit medical centre before being transferred to the local hospital nearby. As a result of the accidental incident, di Folco remained in the car and completed the second stint as a solo driver, thus incurring a one-minute time penalty and stripping the #6 car of its on-the-road second place finish.
Middleton’s qualifying efforts for Race 2 were not to go unrewarded, however, as di Folco drove the entire one-hour second race. The experienced Roman had to overcome a five-second handicap penalty as a solo driver but managed to emerge from the pit-stop phase in the lead. A late safety car intervention bunched the pack up in the closing stages, but di Folco made a strong restart to come home just over a second clear at the flag.
“[It’s] a beautiful victory that I want to dedicate to Stuart,” said di Folco after the race. “Now, for me, the most important thing is to bring him the trophy and hope that he will be back in time for the next race. I was very motivated today, but it was not an easy race. The BMW was very fast, especially on the straights. Our car was still perfect, both in the wet and dry conditions and for this I want to thank Imperiale Racing team.”
Pole and podium for Emil Frey Racing in maiden ADAC GT Masters race
Emil Frey Racing enjoyed a promising start to its ADAC GT Masters adventure at Oschersleben as Lamborghini Factory Driver Franck Perera and Lamborghini GT3 Junior driver Arthur Rougier claimed second place in the first of two one-hour races.
Perera had earlier taken pole position in a tightly fought qualifying session, where traffic played a major role in determining the order. The Frenchman set a best time of 1m21.688 to go some two-tenths of a second quicker than the second placed car. He led off the start and maintained a healthy margin until the pit-stop before switching over to Rougier for the second stint.
The #19 car then came under pressure from the Audi behind and Rougier made a slight mistake at the first corner, going across the gravel and losing the lead. Despite this, Rougier brought the car home for a well-deserved podium on debut, while Mick Wishofer and Konsta Lappalainen took the #14 Huracán to a podium in the Junior trophy class.
Race 2 was another action-packed race, with the #63 car of Jack Aitken and Lamborghini Factory Driver Albert Costa Balboa finishing a strong fifth place.
The next Italian GT Championship round takes place on the weekend of the 14-15 May at the iconic Enna Pergusa circuit, the opening round of the Endurance Cup season, while the ADAC GT Masters visits the Red Bull Ring in Austria a week later.