The Sicilian sun shines on the premiere of the Tricolore GT Endurance race. An anomalous program that saw the powerful Gran Turismo cars hit the track on Friday for a four-hour test session.
There were surprises, especially from Davide Di Benedetto’s Porsche, the engine broke due to a scordolata.
A search was thus triggered which found Enrico Fulgenzi as the supplier of the engine, loaded on a van heading towards Sicily, arrived in the early hours of dawn and promptly replaced by the Krypton Motorsport Team.
In the first free practice session Galbiati-Scholze’s Mercedes AMG GT3 stood out, ahead of the Honda NSK of Moncini-Guidetti-Cabezas and the Ferrari of Postiglione-Agostini-Patrese. The 488 Challenges are extremely fast and constantly navigate the top of the rankings.
Second free practice session with high temperatures, Mainetti absent due to a small disturbance. A ranking that shuffled several times during the session, in the end three Huracan GT3 EVOs in front and the 488 Challenge confirmed to be very fast.
A Red Flag suspends the test for several minutes, due to a contact against the barriers, at very low speed, at turn 7 of the Honda NSX for Guidetti. Qualifying starts very late, about 70 ‘between various red flags, accidents and more. Excellent work by the commissioners of the circuit who worked to solve the problems.
# 77 Nova Race, Honda NSX GT3 Evo 22: Luca Magnoni, Diego Di Fabio
Photo by: ACI Sport
Ready go and immediately red flag, it seems for the stop of Patrese’s Ferrari. It starts again and the first time is for Coluccio with the 488 Challenge in 1’37 “831, Baptiste does better with the Huracan Gt 3 of VSR with 1’36” 938. The fight for the best time is relentlessly, Pijl 1’36 ”655. Coluccio leads the GT Cup ahead of Riva (Krypton Motorsport) and Risitano (Best Lap) who takes second place.
Cabezas flies with Honda (Nova Race) but Nemoto with Huracan is first with 1’36 ”232. Coluccio continues to amaze with the 488 Challenge, second overall in 1’36 ”296. Nemoto still lowers the limit to 1’35 ”531. Q1 in Nemoto ahead of Pijl and Basz. In GT Cup there is Coluccio ahead of Risitano and Riva. An encouraging eighth place in the issue, eighth at the debut on the M4 GT3. Timeless Nicolosi still knocked out for the engine and Patrese for a technical problem.
# 312 Best Lap, Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo: Eliseo Donno, Nicholas Risitano, Manuel Menichini
Photo by: ACI Sport
For Gattuso the first time with the Porsche of Krypton, 1’40 “603, the young Moncini flies with the Honda 1’39” 678, Mazzola flies more than him with the 488 Challenge in 1’36 “367 in front of the two NSX of By Fabio and Moncini. The classification is restored with Michele Beretta with the Huracan GT3 EVO in 1’35 ”797.
Comandini on his debut in qualifying with the M4 GT3 marks the first time with 1’39 “092 and immediately improves in the first set, while Moncini takes second in 1’36” 008. Commandini in forcing, second time in 1’35 “883. Moncini flies, but Beretta undermines him in 1’35 ”745, Comandini doesn’t give up, while Moncini takes the lead in 1’35” 395. Hites third, Moncini second and Beretta in the lead, 1’35 ”291. Fight until the last second, Moncini still in the lead ahead of Beretta and Comandini up to the checkered flag. Among the Cups Mazzola stands out ahead of Gattuso and Menechini.
# 63 VSR, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo: Karol Basz, Benjamin Hites, Mattia Michelotto
Photo by: ACI Sport
Magnoni immediately stands out with the NSX in 1’37 ”719 in front of fish and Pavlovic, Mainetti fourth despite having had a physical problem got into the car anyway. Great proof of character. Red flag for debris at T4, second variant. Meanwhile Baptiste had taken the lead with VSR’s Huracan. He starts again for the last nine minutes, but another red.
Pijl alla Zagaria takes a bollard under the car which makes it go against the barriers when setting the curve. Marshall still at work, they put the track back in safety, take off the car and off we go. Baptiste always in the lead with the two Hondas of Guidetti and Magnoni on the hunt. Coluccio with the 488 slips into the middle while Liberati goes on provisional pole with 1’35 ”884. Great performance for Galbiati who climbs fifth, Coluccio unstoppable, third overall with 1’36 “304.
Galbiati flies and climbs to Pole with 1’35 ”575 in front of a splendid Mattia Michelotto, but the young Nilsson with the BMW M4 GT3 climbs second with 1’35” 622. Fighting under the checkered flag, an incredible battle that hasn’t been seen for a while, Sicily deserves this show. Galbiati at the end wins with 1’34 “873, the only one under the wall of 1’35” in front of Michelotto, Liberati, Nilsson.
# 333 SR&R, Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo: Samuele Buttarelli, Lorenzo Cossu, Alessio Bacci
Photo by: ACI Sport
Among the GT Cups, Coluccio leads Donno and Pavlovic. Good proof of character for Mainetti who, despite being weakened, takes home fifth place. At the end they will start in Pole Beretta-Liberati-Nemoto in front of Basz-Hites-Michelotto, then the front row for two of Sospiri’s three Huracans. Third place for Moncini-Guidetti-Cabezas in front of Comandini-file-Nilsson.
In GT Cup great performance for the 488 Challenge by Easy Race for Coluccio-Mazzola ahead of Donno-Risitano-Menechini and third for Gattuso-Mainetti-Riva. Too bad for the 488 of Patrese-Agostini-Postiglione which seems unable to start tomorrow, even the Porsche of Nicolosi-Di Benedetto-Cazzaniga out, right in the home race.
Tomorrow the race will start at 13; 00 and it will certainly be very hard fought, to keep under observation the 488 Challenge EVO, very performing in the lengths of Pergusa. Sicily is ready, Pergusa also what a show it is.
CIGT ENDURANCE – Pergusa: Qualifications