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Italian GT, Misano - Preview
Germany vs Italy vs USA

The Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo kicks off at Misano this weekend with, as always, the Italian series being the last of the major European GT series to start. Let’s have a quick look at what the menu offers.

The main category this year will be GT3, as the old GT2 has been cancelled, and no fewer than six marques will race each other as the German armada of BMW, Audi and Porsche battle with the Italian pride of Ferrari and Lamborghini; but don’t count out the American contingent of the Corvette boys.

The BMWs return to defend the title – clinched on the last lap of the season – but with maybe perhaps talent on the table. Michela Cerruti has decided to drive alone (a new rule for this year) while her teammates will be half of the 2012 title-winning duo, Stefano Colombo, who will race with another Stefano, Comandini.

The other German marque - the “other” prancing horse from Stuttgart - will be represented by the EbiMotors 911 GT3 R of Luigi Lucchini and ex-Ferrari driver Vito Postiglione, and the similar machine of Antonelli Motorsport driven by Christian Passuti and Marco Mapelli.

The Audi armada will be ‘the Dream Team of 2013 as Dindo Capello teams up again for the full season with Andrea Sonvico, while the second car will have the old/young gun combination of 2012 Superstars champion Tommy Kristofferson and Alex Frassineti.

The Italian side will be defended by two beautiful Lamborghini Gallardos. One will be fielded by Mik Corse for the always ultra-fast Luca Rangoni, joined once again with his friend and mostly gentlemen driver Daniele Mulacchiè; while the Team Imperiale “bull” is raised from the GT Cup class and will feature the official test driver Giorgio Sanna and the very rapid ex-Porsche driver Giacomo Barri.

The Ferrari side will be once again, perhaps, “too soft” with the new team MP1 Corse fielding a 458 for Cirò-Lancieri, while Black Bull returns with Venturi-Maino.

The American side will feature the usual weapon - the Corvette Z06 - from RC Motorsport, who have Roberto Del Castello partnered this year by Piero Necchi.

Clearly the favourites are Capello-Sonvico, Passuti-Mapelli and Sanna-Barri; but, as has been the case for the past ten years, the title will likely be decided at the last race of the season…and maybe not before the chequered flag has dropped!

The GT Cup class is effectively a Porsche series, at least in the early-part of the season, as all six cars entered are 997 Cups. Antonelli Sport has three cars, while EbiMotors, ZRS Motorsport, and Heaven Motorsport have one car each.

The race lengths are scheduled to increase to an hour this season, but for Misano we will see both races having a duration of 48 minutes plus one lap. The time penalties to be applied after Race 1 will again be 15 seconds for the winning pair, 10 for second and 5 for third, with a maximum accumulation of 30 seconds.

Race 1 takes place on Sunday morning, with Race 2 following in the afternoon. Both will be live on Italian TV and also live-streamed – here.

Full entry list - here
Misano schedule - here

Gabriele Tosi