This weekend, the endurance series kicks off on the Sicilian track, marking the first of four seasonal events. The regulations include two classes: GT3 and GT Cup, which will award a total of 14 Italian titles. The two-hour race will be broadcast live on ACISPORT TV (SKY 228) and streamed on all social platforms of the championship.
After the Sprint series that started in Misano two weeks ago, it is now time for the Endurance series of the Italian GT Championship 2023, which will begin at the Pergusa circuit in Sicily.
This season will also visit the Mugello and Monza, reaching its conclusion in mid-October at Vallelunga with the awarding of seven Italian championships in each of the two classes: GT3 and GT Cup.
GT3: Audi, BMW, Ferrari and Lamborghini are the featured brands at Pergusa in the top class. Among them are the two BMW M4 GT3 cars of BMW Italia-Ceccato Racing Team, driven by Stefano Comandini and the Swedish driver Alfred Nilsson, who continue their participation in the Endurance series from last year. They will be joined by Marco Cassarà, who will make his debut with the Bavarian manufacturer’s car. The second M4 will be driven by Francesco Guerra, the Italian GT4 Sprint 2020 champion, Salvatore Tavano from Syracuse, making his debut with BMW colours after winning three titles in TCR Italy, and 18-year-old Carlo Tamburini, who already participated at Misano in the Sprint series.
Ferrari will be represented by two 488 GT3 Evo2 cars, one with the colours of Scuderia Baldini, to be driven by former F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella and 23-year-old driver Tommaso Mosca from Brescia. The second car with the AF Corse livery will be driven by the Belgian driver Jules Castro, who had an impressive performance in Misano during the debut of the Sprint series, along with Eliseo Donno, one of the most promising young talents in Italian motorsport, and Stefano Gai, the 2019 GT3 Endurance champion and an experienced GT racer.
Imperiale Racing will field two Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo cars, with the first one driven by the British driver Jack Bartholomew, Paraguayan driver Miguel Garcia and Indian driver Mahaveer Raghunathan. The second car will be driven by Kevin Gilardoni, alongside Stuart Middleton and Raul Guzman. The latter two were already part of the team from Mirandola last year. Audi Sport Italia will open its sporting season in the Endurance series by fielding an R8 LMS with a new lineup consisting of the reigning GT3 AM champion, Marco Butti, Thai driver Sandy Stuvik, and 27-year-old Roman driver Luca Attianese.
GT Cup: Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche will compete in the class reserved for single-make configuration cars. The 488 Challenge cars will be fielded by Best Lap, with local driver Simone Patrinicola from Enna and Luca Demarchi, who already raced in Misano during the debut of the Sprint series, joined by Sabatino Di Mare from TCR Italy. The second 488 will bear the colours of Team SR&R, driven by Ciccio La Mazza from Catania, Manuel Menichini and Francesco Atzori.
There will be four Lamborghini Huracan ST cars on the track at Pergusa, two of them in DL Racing colours, driven by Alessandro Fabi, who already made his debut in Misano in the Sprint series, along with Riccardo Ianniello and Alessio Caiola. The second car will be driven by Lorenzo Bontempelli from Brianza, Luciano Linossi, returning to competition after 15 years and Greek driver Dimitris Deverikos.
The other two Huracan ST cars will bear the Bonaldi Motorsport livery and will be shared by the reigning GT Cup Endurance PRO-AM champions, the Serbian driver Milos Pavlovic, German driver Michael Fischbaum, and Colombian driver Andres Mendez paired with 22-year-old driver from Brescia Filippo Lazzaroni, a former Italian Prototypes Championship competitor. Completing the list of teams competing in the GT Cup are Davide Di Benedetto from Agrigento and Giuseppe Nicolosi from Catania, who will take their place in the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup of Krypton Motorsport alongside Stefano Pezzucchi.
Program and TV: The weekend in Pergusa will begin on Friday with a four-hour practice session (from 2 PM to 6 PM), followed by three additional one-hour practice sessions on Saturday (from 9 AM to 10 AM, from 11:25 AM to 12:25 PM, and from 1:55 PM to 2:55 PM), followed by three official practice sessions (from 5:20 PM to 6:30 PM). The two-hour race will start on Sunday at 12:30 PM and will be broadcast live on ACI Sport TV (SKY 228), on the website www.acisport.it/CIGT, and on the championship’s social media platforms, Facebook and YouTube