Italian GT Sprint Championship, Round 4
Mugello hosted the final round of the Italian GT Sprint Championship this weekend and series regulars Simone Iacone and Sascha Tempesta were joined for the event by Federico Leo and Ivan Peklin in a Pro-Am Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo.
Changeable weather marked Friday’s free practice sessions but for qualifying on Saturday morning the track was dry. First out were Tempesta and Leo. Tempesta set the fifth fastest time in Am and Leo was the sixth quickest Pro-Am car. The field of forty-two kept out of trouble at the start of the race until Llarena spun in the middle of the pack halfway around the first lap. Both VSR drivers avoided the carnage but the race was immediately red-flagged. At the restart Tempesta was swamped and fell down the order whilst Leo became engaged in a battle with Baruch and De Luca. Baruch passed him on lap six and from then on the order remained unchanged until the pit window opened on lap ten. Tempesta pitted for Iacone and two laps later Peklin took over the Pro-Am car from Leo after discounting a ten second handicap for being a first-time entry. When the pit window closed Peklin was lying seventh in Pro-Am and Iacone fifth in Am. Both drivers were eating into the gaps to the cars in front of them when a clash between Segù and Mann caused a second Safety Car. The track went green again with one lap left of the race. The banzai finish saw Peklin pass three cars to come home eleventh overall and fifth in Pro-Am whilst Iacone snatched an Am class podium in the final seconds of the race, taking the chequered flag in fourteenth place.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race was interrupted at the halfway point by a red flag just as Iacone and Peklin were on their first hot laps. The session restarted with five minutes left leaving the majority of the drivers scrambling to set a time. Iacone qualified second in Am and Peklin fifth in Pro-Am. At the start Iacone jumped up to eighth overall, slipping past Postiglione’s Audi at Casanova, just before the Safety Car entered the track while Delacour’s Ferrari was recovered from the gravel. The track went green again ten minutes later and Peklin became embroiled in a tightly fought scrap with Perolini which lasted until the pit window opened on lap ten when the LP Racing driver pitted. Three laps later Peklin stopped with a slow puncture and Leo took over the 66 car after a short delay. A lap later Iacone pitted for Tempesta. The 29 car rejoined just ahead of the 66 car and the positions were soon reversed as Tempesta battled to keep second in Am. He held off Schirò until lap nineteen and then had an untroubled run to the flag to take the 29 car’s fifth class podium in six races. Leo finished ninth overall, sixth in Pro-Am.END