The first round of the Italian GT Sprint Championship took place at a scorchingly hot Misano this weekend. VSR ran two Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo cars; one in Pro for Danny Kroes and Leonardo Pulcini and another in Pro-Am for Yuki Nemoto and Tuomas Tujula.
FIRST PODIUM OF THE SEASON FOR VSR AT MISANO
Aug 02, 2020
Pulcini and Nemoto qualified the cars for race one and it was the Japanese driver who put in the best performance, taking a place on the third row of the grid for the number 19 car. Pulcini qualified the 63 car in ninth spot but was up to eighth as soon as the lights went green, fighting his way past Marucci’s Lamborghini. Nemoto held sixth and after just one lap found a way past the Ferrari of Michelotto and moved up to fifth. One of the fastest men on track Nemoto then set about chasing down Comandini’s BMW. As the race progressed it was status quo throughout the field but Pulcini was making Galbiati’s life difficult, harrying the Italian for seventh place. By lap eleven the front runners were lapping the GT4 cars and two laps later Pulcini overtook Galbiati only to lose out to Zampieri’s Mercedes. On lap fourteen the pit window opened and Pulcini came straight in to give the 63 car over to Kroes. A lap later Nemoto stopped and Tujula took over the 19 Lamborghini and continued to fight with the fourth placed BMW who had stopped a lap earlier. With Zug now behind the wheel the battle continued only to be put on ice when Roda span out of third place causing a brief safety car intervention. With the field now packed up again both VSR drivers were quick off the mark at the restart. Tujula sliced down the inside of Zug to take third and Kroes jumped to fifth. By lap twenty-two Tujula was just 1.5 seconds off the leading battle between Vezzoni and Agostini whilst Kroes was the fastest man on track. Agostini passed Vezzoni on lap twenty-five and Tujula followed him through into second and the Pro-Am lead. Three laps later, as Tujula lapped a GT4 he was pushed off the road and although he saved the car Zug was able to retake second place. Kroes held fourth until the very last corner when Rovera used brute force to pass the Lamborghini demoting him to fifth. Third place overall for Nemoto and Tujula was also a win in the Pro-Am class.
The grid for Sunday’s race was decided during Q2 on Saturday morning and Kroes and Tujula, their best times separated by just 0.007 seconds, locked out the fifth row. Kroes made a great start, gaining three places, but Tujula tangled with Hudsperth and ended his weekend crawling slowly into the pit-lane with damage too severe to carry on. Kroes stayed in sixth place until the pit window opened, losing just seven seconds to the leading Ferrari during his stint and on lap sixteen pitted so Pulcini could take over. The closure of the pit window was followed by a Safety Car and at the restart Pulcini clashed with Zampieri and the contact caused him to retire from the race.
The Italian Championship resumes at the end of August with the second Endurance round at Imola but VSR will be back in action at Misano next weekend for the first round of the European Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship.
Photos by Fotospeedy