The Italian GT Championship opened its 2023 season this past weekend at the Misano circuit on the northwest coast of Italy. The BMW Italia Ceccato Racing team has two M4 GT3s entered in the series, with works drivers Jens Klingmann and Bruno Spengler driving the #7 car in the Pro class, and Francesco De Luca and Carlo Tamburini competing in the #8 car in Pro-Am. The team is managed by BMW Motorsport legend Roberto Ravaglia.
The M4 GT3 of Klingmann and Spengler was strong from the start, with Klingmann qualifying fifth overall and third in the Pro class for the first race (two races are held per race weekend). The duo went on to finish on the podium in third, with the win going to the AKM Motorsport Mercedes that seemed to be in a class by itself for much of the weekend. The VSR Lamborghini finished ahead of the BMW on the Pro class podium. The #8 M4 GT3 of De Luca and Tamburini finished fifth in the Pro-Am class, which was won by the #51 AF Corse Ferrari.
For race two, Spengler qualified sixth overall and fifth in the Pro class. The duo of Spengler and Klingmann worked their way to the front of the field and were in a position to score another podium finish before having a tire puncture late in the race that slowed them down and caused them to drop to fourth in the Pro class, which was won by the #52 AF Corse Ferrari. The pass by the #12 AKM Motorsport Mercedes for third took place on the last corner of the last lap. In Pro-Am, De Luca and Tamburini finished sixth, with the win going to the #6 AKM Motorsport Mercedes.
The next race on the Italian GT schedule takes place at the Pergusa circuit on May 19th-21st. —David Haueter
[Photos by Italian GT]