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Lamborghini takes victory in the Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup finale at Mugello

24 October 2022

Di Folco fourth in drivers’ standings while Emil Frey Racing win GT Masters Teams’ crown

Lamborghini wrapped up its domestic GT3 campaigns in Italian and Germany on a positive note, as Imperiale Racing’s Stuart Middleton and Alberto Di Folco took victory in the penultimate race of the Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup season.

Elsewhere, Emil Frey Racing clinched the Teams’ title in the ADAC GT Masters season finale at Hockenheim by 18 points to hand Lamborghini another championship success for 2022.

Coming into the final Sprint Cup meeting of the year, Di Folco lay fourth in the drivers’ standings, just 11 points adrift of the championship lead. The weekend began strongly in free practice, with the #6 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo setting the third-fastest time in the first session and then going one better in the second.

Come qualifying, Di Folco was the driver to beat in the first qualifying session on Saturday morning, setting a time of 1:45.579 to take pole position for the first 50-minute race later in the day.

At the start of race one, Di Folco led away from pole as the field jostled for position behind at the braking zone of turn one. Di Folco’s pace was blistering early on and the Roman scorched away to a 2.533s lead over the chasing Honda in second place. That gap gradually came down before the safety car was deployed after a Porsche went off track.

The order remained stable at the restart, with Di Folco now heading the BMW of Timo Glock by just under one second as the mandatory driver-change pit window opened. Middleton took over at the pit-stops and held a five-second cushion over the BMW before the safety car came out for the second time after a Ferrari left the track. 

This bunched the pack up once more, but Middleton kept his nerve to come home to take the victory by just over two seconds at the flag. The victory reduced the deficit in the drivers’ standing for Di Folco to just six points before the second race.

Unfortunately for Di Folco and Middleton, they were unable to repeat the race one triumph, eventually finishing 10th at the end after receiving a 25-second penalty for contact with another competitor during the race. The #6 had run strongly in second for the first half but dropped back to eighth after the pit-stops before the penalty was applied.

This meant that Di Folco finished fourth in the final standings at the end of an up-and-down season. LP Racing's pair Jonathan Cecotto and Mattia Di Giusto took a double class victory and a second place in the second race in the #88 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo to claim the Gt3 Pro-Am title.

Emil Frey Racing wins ADAC GT Masters Teams’ title at Hockenheim

Meanwhile, at Hockenheim for the final round of the ADAC GT Masters championship, Emil Frey Racing secured the Teams’ title to cap off a superb maiden season in the domestic series. 

The Swiss outfit came into the weekend tied on points with the rival Mercedes squad Landgraf but edged seven points clear after the opening race on Saturday before wrapping things up the following day.

Arthur Rougier and Franck Perera finished second in the first race, with the #63 of Jack Aitken and Albert Costa Balboa fourth, two places clear of the #14 car of Mick Wishofer and Konsta Lappalainen.

The #63 fought for podium honours in race two but was forced out with broken steering after an Audi turned in on Costa Balboa at the hairpin. Lappalainen brought the #14 home fifth while the #19 finished 11th. Those results, combined with a double retirement for Landgraf made sure of the title win.
 

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