BMW Motorsport drivers Timo Glock and Jens Klingmann have been competing in the Italian GT Championship Sprint Cup this season driving a Ceccato Motorsport M4 GT3. While they’ve been contenders from the start, they gave up some ground in the championship in the latest two rounds at Imola.
The team showed their strength in practice and qualifying, sitting at the top of the time sheets in both qualifying sessions. In race one, Klingmann got off to a strong start and built a gap to second place, but lost that advantage when a safety car period brought the field closer together. The lead was lost in the pits when they had to serve a fifteen second handicap time.
Italian GT is a little weird with the rules. Instead of using added weight or reduced power to even the playing field, the series uses longer pit stops, so race one was effectively lost after the caution period negated the gap Klingmann had built up, as the longer pit stop dropped them to third where they finished the race behind the winning Lamborghini and the second-place Ferrari.
In the second sprint race at Imola, the #50 Ceccato Motorsport BMW again started from pole with Glock behind the wheel, but a twenty-second time penalty in the pits set them back (again), and Klingmann was then stuck behind a slower lapped car and finished seventh as Mercedes won. “In motorsport the highs are very high, and the lows are very low,” said Klingmann on social media after the weekend. “We came to beautiful Imola putting the car P1 in every session. Due to the pitstop time penalty system, the fastest car and best team is not winning races, which is frustrating. It stays exciting for the last weekend, and we’ll give it all!”
The final race weekend of the Italian GT Sprint Cup championship will take place at Mugello on the weekend of October 20th-23rd. Glock and Klingmann are third in driver points going into the final races and still have a shot at the championship. That race weekend will be the last as a works driver for Timo Glock, who is being released by BMW at the end of this season.
Ceccato Motorsport is also competing in the Italian GT Endurance Cup Championship with a second M4 GT3 driven by Stefano Comandini, Giussepe Fascicolo, and Alfred Nilsson. The trio had a strong finish at Mugello, finishing fifth overall and second in the Pro Am class, but had a disappointing race at Vallelunga with a seventeenth-place finish. The final endurance race of the season is at Monza on the weekend of October 6th-9th.—David Haueter
[Photos courtesy BMW, Italian GT]