Alberto Di Folco wins in Monza and dedicates the first victory of the season to Middleton

Alberto Di Folco wins in Monza and dedicates the first victory of the season to Middleton

26.04.2022: A very good victory ended the first round of the Italian GT 2022 Sprint Championship for Imperiale Racing. The Mirandola-based team lived moments of apprehension when an incident in race one involved Stuart Middleton (GB), but then experienced the joy of


A very good victory ended the first round of the Italian GT 2022 Sprint Championship for Imperiale Racing. The Mirandola-based team lived moments of apprehension when an incident in race one involved Stuart Middleton (GB), but then experienced the joy of the victory with Alberto di Folco (ITA) dedicating the result of race two to his injured teammate.



Two Lamborghini Huràcan GT3 Evo made it onto the track for Imperiale Racing: the #6 driven by Di Folco-Middleton and the #9 by Paul August (LTU) in AM. Expectations were high ahead of this opening round despite the entry list featuring 41 cars in this twentieth edition of the Italian GT Championship.



Qualifying underlined the performance of the team; Di Folco posted the pole position in Q1 with a great 1’47.367s, while Middleton’s 1’47.227s earned him P2 and therefore another front row start in Q2. August also put in a good performance qualifying third in AM in both sessions and improving his time by nearly a second in the two sessions.



Race one had an unexpected and unfortunate end. After a good first stint in which Di Folco kept the lead, Middleton has been involuntarily hit by one of the pitting cars. The British driver was promptly helped and taken to the Medical Center first and to the San Gerardo Hospital of Monza then.


Fortunately, important injuries have been excluded. Di Folco continued the race alone and crossed the finish line in second place, but was then relegated to P8 for having skipped changing the driver, as required for two-drivers lineups.



What happened next was a great fair-play demonstration by the whole Italian GT. Stewards confirmed that the #6 car could compete also with Di Folco alone without penalties, subject to the approval of all the entered teams. Imperiale Racing did an extraordinary job as Di Folco, who chased former F1 driver and pole-sitter Timo Glock (GER) trying to find his way past him on several occasions and also at the restarts. The overtaking finally happened in the pits when Imperiale Racing had a favorable handicap situation. Di Folco rejoined the track on top and kept the lead all the way to the flag.



“This win is for Stuart – Di Folco said after crossing the finish line – now I will bring the cup to him! I am very happy for the whole team, we did a great job. The car was perfect and it was not easy to beat BMW because they were very fast today. We will keep our head down and will get ready for the second race, obviously with Stuart”.



August also had a good debut in the Sprint series. The driver from Lithuania run a solid race-1 ending fourth in AM. The second race, unfortunately, ended early for him due to a technical issue that is still under investigation.




Luca Del Grosso (Team Manager):



“Honestly, the victory only partially made up for all the hours of apprehension we lived for Stuart’s conditions. We often do not realize how risky it is, but luckily this was just a minor injury and we could call Middleton from the pits to celebrate Alberto’s victory in race two with him. We were pushed by the desire to dedicate the victory to him and we did it. I am sorry for Paul’s retirement in race two but his debut has been positive for him too. We just missed the AM podium and will continue working to improve.



Now the biggest wish of the team is to have Stuart back in the car as soon as possible: get well soon Stu!”.



Imperiale Racing will be back to the Sprint Series on the first weekend of June for the second round of the season in Misano.




2022 Racing Calendar


Round 1: Monza – April 21-24
Round 2: Misano – June 2-5
Round 3: Imola – September 1-4
Round 4: Mugello – October 20-23




- Alberto Brojanigo also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/alberto-di-folco-wins-monza-dedicates-to-middleton---236875.html

26.04.2022 / Maggy Parries

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