30.10.2023 – Imperiale Racing has secured an extraordinary result taking two Italian championships in the Imola weekend, the final event of the 2023 Italian GT Sprint Championship.
The victories came in the Pro-Am class with the Lamborghini Huracàn GT3 Evo #54 driven by Philippe Denes (USA) and Dmitriy Gvazava (KGZ). They won the first race and finished second in the second race to claim the title. In addition, the Lamborghini #16, driven by Massimo Ciglia (IT) and Giuseppe Fascicolo (IT), clinched the victory in the first race to secure their championship, and they won the second race to solidify their triumph.
Qualifying results reflected the work done in the practice sessions. Gvazava secured third place in the Pro-Am class and eighth overall in the first session (1’42″253s), while Denes stopped the clock at 1’41″602s, which was the second-best Pro-Am time and fourth overall. In the first race, the pairing staged an extraordinary comeback, winning in the Pro-Am class and finishing second overall. This performance allowed them to catch up with the class leaders in the championship. In the second race, they needed to finish ahead of their rivals Luka Nurmi and Jules Castro to become Italian champions. They went even further, finishing second in the class with their rivals in fifth place. Denes and Gvazava were able to celebrate their first Italian title, bringing Imperiale Racing to the top step of the podium.
There was also satisfaction and champagne for Ciglia and Fascicolo. In Q1, Ciglia secured the pole position in the AM class with a time of 1’43″459s. In the second session, Fascicolo finished in second place with a time of 1’43″558s. The competition in the first race was intense, and the crucial moment was Fascicolo’s overtaking manoeuvre between the Variante Alta and the Rivazza braking zone on the last lap, sending the team’s pit crew into jubilation as they awaited the car’s arrival. With this last-minute victory, the two drivers were mathematically crowned Italian champions in the AM class. The second race was equally competitive, with Fascicolo and Ciglia narrowly emerging victorious, having caught up with the rivals who had initially led at the start.”
Luca Del Grosso (Team Manager):
“This double victory is an immense satisfaction, an emotion that has overwhelmed us all: the drivers, the technicians, and the mechanics. Winning in the Pro-Am class was truly challenging, especially with many competitive teams in contention for the title at Imola. Before this last double race, we were trailing by 12 points in the championship. The comeback made by the drivers between the first and second races was thrilling and the culmination of the hard work carried out by the entire team throughout this season. I would not say we expected to win in the AM class, given the high level of difficulty in these races, but only a penalty had prevented us from securing the title with a race to spare at Mugello. That was a disappointment, but I must say that winning like this, with a double victory in the AM and Pro-Am classes, perhaps makes everything even more magical. I want to thank everyone who supported us throughout the season, starting with the Pignatti family, the drivers, all the mechanics and engineers who worked tirelessly over these months, and all our partners”.
Pro-Am Drivers’ Standings | Round 4 of 4
1. Denes-Gvazava pt. 104
2. Castro-Nurmi pt. 95
3. De Luca-Tamburini pt. 85
4. Gnos-Greco pt. 76
5. Kelstrup-Sandrucci pt. 75
AM Drivers’ Standings| Round 4 of 4
1. Ciglia-Fascicolo pt. 135
2. Magnoni-Bodellini pt. 125
3. Antonelli pt. 30
4. Acosta-Negri pt. 24
5. Pulcini pt. 12
Round 1: Misano, May 5-7
Round 2: Monza, June 23-25
Round 3: Mugello, September 29 – October 1
Round 4: Imola, October 27-29