22.05.2023 – Imperiale Racing began its campaign in the Italian GT Endurance Championship with a great pole position and second place in the first race of the 2023 season which was held at the Pergusa circuit in Sicily.

The Lamborghini Huracàn GT3 Evo #54, driven by Kevin Gilardoni (CH), Stuart Middleton (UK) and Raul Guzman (MEX) secured second place overall, while the crew composed of Mahaveer Raghunathan (IN), Jack Bartholomew (UK) and Miguel Garcia (PAR) claimed the fourth place in the PRO-AM class with the #16 car.

The weekend will also be remembered for the bad weather that affected the Pergusa track from Friday, forcing ACI Sport to reduce the free practice sessions and unify the three qualifying sessions into a single Super Pole. Despite this fragmented situation, the Lamborghinis from the Mirandola team proved to be at ease in these conditions.

Thanks to the great work of the entire team, determined to showcase their qualities right from the start, Stuart Middleton managed to secure pole position with an excellent time of 1’45″128. His performance was complemented by Jack Bartholomew, who brought the other Imperiale Racing Lamborghini to third place with a time of 1’45″892, the best time among the PRO-AM crews.

In the race, the six drivers of Imperiale Racing defended themselves to the best of their abilities. The race started behind the safety car and was interrupted due to safety concerns related to the rain, only to resume after a long delay. Middleton took the lead on car #54 but a slight mistake forced him into second place. The Englishman continued to drive with a great pace, followed by Guzman in the middle stint and then Gilardoni, who drove the car in the final part as the conditions improved and the track dried. The crew finished in second place overall.

The #16 car also performed well, with Raghunathan driving in challenging conditions during the first hour of the race and making his debut in GT3. Garcia took over in the second part and interpreted the evolving race conditions excellently, while Bartholomew sealed the result in the final part. They finished in sixth place overall, which was the fourth in the Pro-Am class.

Luca Del Grosso (Team Manager):
“The team and the drivers did a great job. It is a pity for the mistake that caused the Lamborghini #54 to lose first place overall, but even if we had not made the error, we probably could not have held onto the first position because we struggled a bit with the Balance of Performance (BoP), especially as the track dried up. The conditions over the weekend were very challenging for everyone, the drivers, the pit wall and the pit crew. We managed to avoid mistakes during the pit stop, thanks to the training carried out by our team, and we delivered a very convincing performance on the track. This is a very good start to the championship. It was important here not to make mistakes and bring home points”.

The next round is scheduled at the Mugello Circuit on July 9th.

Drivers’ classification | Round 1 of 4
1. Fisichella-Mosca pt. 20
2. Gilardoni-Guzman-Middleton pt. 15
3. Comandini-Cassarà-Nilsson pt. 12
4. Gai-Donno-Castro pt. 10
5. Attianese-Stuvik-Butti pt. 8

PRO-AM Drivers’ Classification | Round 1 of 4
1. Comandini-Cassarà-Nilsson pt. 20
2. Gai-Donno-Castro pt. 15
3. Attianese-Stuvik-Butti pt. 12
4. Bartholomew-Garcia-Raghunathan pt. 10
5. Tavano-Guerra-Tambruni pt. 8

2023 Calendar
Round 1: May 19-21 > Pergusa
Round 2: July 7-9 > Mugello
Round 3: September 15-17 > Monza
Round 4: October 13-15 > Vallelunga