16.10.2023 – Imperiale Racing ended the 2023 Italian GT Endurance Championship with a victory at Vallelunga, the first of the season following a second-place finish in the season opener at Pergusa.
The Lamborghini Huracàn GT3 Evo #54, driven by Kevin Gilardoni (CH), Raùl Guzmàn (MEX), and Stuart Middleton (UK) claimed, in fact, the victory. The #16 car, driven by Jack Bartholomew (UK), Mahaveer Raghunathan (IN) and Giuseppe Fascicolo (IT), secured a fourth-place finish among the Pro-Am teams instead.
The weekend for car #54 began with challenging practice sessions that required significant effort from the team to find the best setup. Qualifying led to an excellent second-place start, demonstrating the team’s hard work. The combined times set by Middleton (1’32”804s), Guzmàn (1’32”127s) and Gilardoni (1’31”805s) placed them well. In the race, they engaged in an exciting battle with the Ferrari #27. The Imperiale Racing team took the lead after the first pit stop and held it until the finish. Although their competitors crossed the finish line first, a penalty imposed by the Race Stewards allowed Middleton, Guzmán and Gilardoni to rightfully celebrate their victory. This result helped Imperiale Racing maintain the third position in the teams’ championship standings.
The #16 car also faced challenges during practice sessions in the quest to find the right setup for the Vallelunga race. However, by the end of qualifying, the lineup secured the sixth overall position and fourth among the Pro-Am teams. The drivers’ times were 1’32”592s for Bartholomew, 1’33”035s for Raghunathan and 1’33”528s for Fascicolo. They maintained their position throughout the race, just narrowly missing a podium finish in their class and settling for sixth place overall, despite deserving a higher placement.
Luca Del Grosso (Team Manager):
“This victory is truly the best way to conclude the season. We are very satisfied with the success; it was a high-level weekend where everyone gave their best, and this time, at least with the #54 car, we were not affected by incidents. We deserved to step onto the podium with the #16 challenger as well, but unfortunately, things did not go as we would have liked. Credit certainly goes to all our drivers; they did a fantastic job throughout this season without ever holding back, and we could see it in their lap times. We always fought with determination, but the Balance of Performance (BoP) did not allow us to fully express our potential, and in the end, we had to give up our chances of claiming the final victory. Nevertheless, we must be satisfied with what we achieved as a team; we worked with great team spirit”.
Drivers’ Classification | Round 4 of 4
1. Fisichella-Mosca pt. 55
2. Comandini-Cassarà-Nilsson pt. 42
3. Gilardoni-Guzmàn-Middleton pt. 39
4. Gai-Castro pt. 37
5. Donno pt. 32
6. Bartholomew pt. 30
PRO-AM Drivers’ Classification | Round 4 of 4
1. Comandini-Cassarà-Nilsson pt. 52
2. Tavano-Guerra-Tamburini pt. 48
3. Gai-Castro pt. 45
4. Donno pt. 42
5. Bartholomew pt. 37
Round 1: May 19-21 > Pergusa
Round 2: July 7-9 > Mugello
Round 3: September 15-17 > Monza
Round 4: October 13-15 > Vallelunga