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Jul 17, 2022

VSR Lambos scorch to second 1-2 of the season

Italian GT Endurance Championship - Round 2, Mugello 

After a two month gap the Italian GT Endurance Championship continued this weekend at a sizzling hot Mugello in Tuscany. An unchanged driver line-up saw VSR field two Pro cars and a Pro-Am entry. In Saturday’s qualifying session Basz was the fastest driver over the three sessions and his time, combined with the best laps of co-drivers Hites and Michelotto, put the 63 Lamborghini on pole for Sunday’s race. Beretta, Liberati and Nemoto lined up alongside them in the 19 car, their combined times just three tenths shy of their team-mates. Cola and Moulin in the Pro-Am 66 car qualified fourth in class.  

Hites, Nemoto and Moulin started the two hour race on Sunday afternoon. Hites and Nemoto got away cleanly, defending their places at the head of the field into the first corner as Guidetti tried to sneak past them. Half a lap later Nemoto moved past Hites and with Moulin in eighth, fighting hard with Linossi and Balthasar, the race settled down. On lap six Balthasar spun out of the race, promoting Moulin to seventh whilst up front Nemoto had pulled out a five second gap and Hites was valiantly holding Guidetti at bay. As the race approached quarter distance Moulin came under attack from the recovering BMW of Nilsson as Guidetti snatched second from Hites. Nilsson overtook Moulin and then Linossi and Moulin followed him through, passing the Mercedes around the outside, just as the first pit window opened. He entered pit-lane and Cola took over the Pro-Am car, discounting a ten second success penalty for their class victory at Pergusa. Next to stop was Hites from third place, handing over to Michelotto. The 63 Lambo also had a ten second success penalty and Michelotto pushed hard to minimise the lead the Honda would pull out during the stops. Out front Nemoto continued pounding around the Tuscan track pulling out a gap that even with their own success handicap to discount meant Liberati maintained the race lead when he took over the car. The Honda pitted at the end of the window and Michelotto’s pace was such that when Cabezas exited the pits the Lambo was right on his tail and quickly past and back into second position.     

On lap twenty-nine Cabezas skated off the track leaving Liberati and Michelotto pursued by Scholze’s Mercedes. Cola, showing a fine turn of speed in his stint, worked his way up to second in Pro-Am as the race hit the halfway mark. Michelotto, hampered by a slow puncture just hung on to second overall and pitted as soon as the second window opened. Basz took over for the rest of the race. Fifteen minutes later Liberati pitted from the lead and Beretta climbed into the 19 Lambo to take it to the chequered flag. Last to pit was Cola, stopping on lap forty-six for Moulin. The Belgian driver began chasing down Galbiati, back behind the wheel of the Mercedes, for the Pro-Am lead. With twenty minutes to go he caught the German driver and they began a fierce fight which Moulin won on lap fifty-five with a pass out of the final corner. Three laps later Moulin pitted for a splash of fuel which dropped him down to fourth in class. An untroubled final stint for Beretta and Basz saw the two VSR Pro Lamborghinis take their second 1-2 finish of the season.

The Italian GT Endurance Championship continues in September with a race at Vallelunga. The VSR drivers head for the summer break with Beretta-Liberati-Nemoto and Basz-Hites-Michelotto tied at the top of the standings and Cola-Moulin just three points off the Pro-Am lead.