Lamborghini recorded its first Italian GT Championship Endurance victory in the second round of the season at Mugello, courtesy of Imperiale Racing’s Stuart Middleton, Alberto Di Folco and Andrea Amici. The trio brought their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo home second on the road at the end of the three-hour race but were elevated to winners following a pit-stop infringement penalty for the car ahead. The triumph also means that Middleton, Di Folco and Amici moved into the lead of the championship standings heading into the next round of the Endurance campaign at Vallelunga in September.
Despite a low-key start to the weekend during Friday’s free practice sessions, the #63 Huracán GT3 Evo was soon on the pace come qualifying, with Di Folco topping the second segment and the car managing to line up second on the grid for the race. At the start, it was Middleton who made the best getaway and lead the opening stint after finding a way past the Audi R8 of Karol Basz. The Englishman led until the end of a hugely impressive opening stint, before handing over to Amici while also seeing out the 10-second handicap penalty at the pit-stop.
Amici took over from Middleton with the #63 now down to third as a result of the penalty, but the Roman driver pushed hard to stay firmly in touch with the leading group during his stint, in which he would have to exercise caution as light rain made things unpredictable. Di Folco drove the final stint, taking over from Amici, comfortably in second with around 11 seconds in arrears of the Audi, which received a post-race time penalty.
With this in mind, Di Folco made sure of making the finish, and was duly rewarded with victory after taking the flag. Combined with a podium in the opening Endurance Cup event of the year at Enna Pergusa, the Lamborghini Squadra Corse supported trio vaulted to the points lead as a result of their hard-earned victory.
Andrea Amici, Imperiale Racing commented: “It was a very tight race. From the way the weekend started, this victory was not at all obvious. The team did an incredible job providing us with a really competitive car. Stuart and Alberto were magnificent. I want to thank them and Imperiale Racing for this result.”
Alberto di Folco added: “[It was] an unexpected victory. We struggled a lot to get it, but the car today was really amazing. My teammates did some excellent stints and I made two nice clean overtakes. I’m really happy and now let’s think about Vallelunga, my home track, to which we will finish first in the championship.”
Stuart Middleton was also ecstatic about the victory: “An absolutely fantastic result for all of us. We could not have asked for more from our team this weekend. We have scored some important points for the championship and now we will continue to give our all.”