07.06.2022 – A good podium in the Super Trofeo Europe at the Paul Ricard and the pole position in Misano’s race two of the Italian GT Sprint 2022 Championship are the highlights of the weekend that Imperiale Racing lived on two fronts with four cars.

In Le Castellet (FRA), the rookie Manuel Bejarano (ESP) in the #89 and the reigning champ of LB Cup Hans Fabri (NL) in the #88 made it onto the track for the second round of the season in the single-make trophy reserved to the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo 2. Meanwhile, in Misano, the comeback of Stuart Middleton (GB) after the incident in Monza was much welcomed. He got behind the wheel of the #6 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo with co-equiper Alberto di Folco (ITA). Paul August (LTU) continued his learning of the #9 car in AM category.

At Paul Ricard, it was the time of the prestigious 1000km GTWC, and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe provided a great spectacle. Bejarano ended Q1 in P6 with the time of 2’04.129s, and then improved his best lap in Q2 with a 2:04.201s that earned him P7 on the grid. Fabri ended the first session in P6 of LB Cup and Q2 in seventh place.

Both drivers struggled a bit to recover some places in race one due also to the features of the French circuit that does not offer very many overtaking chances. Bejarano ended 15th overall and seventh in PRO, while Fabri was sixth in LB Cup confirming his starting position.

Race 2 has been more exciting and a super Bejarano put in a great performance bouncing back from a disappointing race one. He recovered from P7 to P3 thanks to a splendid second part of the race. This performance allowed him to claim his maiden podium of the season and to install himself in third place in the drivers’ classification.

Fabri also ran a strong race. He started from P7 of LB Cup and recovered up to P5.

Imperiale Racing confirmed its place among the top players of the Italian GT also in Misano’s second round of the Sprint series. Middleton ended Q1 in seventh place with a best lap of 1’33.036s, which was very close to the front rows, while Di Folco posted a strong pole position in Q2 in 1’32.513s. August had positive feelings behind the wheel too, as he was second of AM in Q1 (1’35.721s) and fourth in Q2 improving his best lap to 1’35.696s.

Due also to the time handicap to be served following race two’s victory in Monza, Middleton and Di Folco had to convert all their grit into performance to recover two positions and lead the #6 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to the sixth place at the chequered flag. August ended with the fourth place of AM instead.

Unfortunately, things did not go as hoped for in race two. Di Folco should have lined up in the pole position, but the car had a technical problem — which is still under investigation — during the formation lap and had to pit, retiring from the race. The only flag-bearer of the Mirandola-based team was August, who closed his effort again in P4, not far from the AM podium.

Luca Del Grosso (Team Manager):
“First of all, I would like to congratulate Manuel on the podium obtained at Paul Ricard. In his first season he showed his pristine talent and his race management rewarded him with an amazing podium and important points for the championship. We honestly struggled a bit to find the right setup to allow Hans to show his best, but we scored important points and are quite motivated ahead of the race in Misano.

I cannot hide some frustration with how things went in Misano. We proved to be very fast with both cars: Paul was twice close to the podium in his category, Stuart returned very resolute to bounce back and the super-qualifying lap posted by Alberto gave us a good premise to run a stunning race two. Unfortunately, things did not go as expected. We will try to analyze what happened on the track and will bounce back stronger than ever”.

CIGT Sprint 2022 Calendar
Round 1: Monza – April 21-24
Round 2: Misano – June 2-5
Round 3: Imola – September 1-4
Round 4: Mugello – October 20-23

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe 2022 Calendar
Round 1: Imola (ITA), April 1/3
Round 2: Paul Ricard (FRA), June 3/5
Round 3: Misano (ITA), July 1/3
Round 4: Spa-Francorchamps (B) July 28/30
Round 5: Barcellona (ESP) September 30/ October 2
Round 6: Portimao (P) November 2/4