24/25 June 2023
What a success for Switzerland’s Giorgio Maggi in his first appearance in Italy’s biggest GT Cup series. A win and 2nd place in the two GT Sprint races in the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo at Monza.
One of the most successful EuroNASCAR drivers of recent years, Giorgio Maggi, was invited as a back-up for three races, by the Double TT Racing Team in the #199 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo in the “Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo GT Sprint Cup 2023”.
Driving the Ferrari for the first time, Maggi already showed his exceptional class during practice, that he is fast right away with any race car, and this was also the case in Monza. With his young team mate Leonardo Colavita, they were able to achieve pole position (out of 27 starters). What a debut for Maggi, who was celebrated in Monza not only as a Swiss, but also a little bit as an Italian. On his father’s side, Italian blood also flows in his veins.
Then there was Giorgio Maggi’s remarkable performance in the first GT Sprint race on Saturday on the legendary Formula 1 track in the royal park of Monza. Starting from pole position, Colavita and, after switching drivers with Maggi, never once relinquished the lead for a total of 18 laps. The race was interrupted several times by safety car phases, but that didn’t bother the two strong drivers in the #199 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo at all. Outstanding victory in his first GT race in 2023 by Giorgio Maggi and Leonardo Colavita.
After winning on Saturday, Giorgio Maggi again showed his class in the #199 Ferrari Challenge Evo in Sunday’s second Sprint GT race over 21 laps on the high-speed Monza track. After Maggi’s excellent first stint, Colavita crossed the finish line in second place, just 1.077 seconds behind. The victory was nullified because the Roman team had to serve a mandatory 15-second time handicap in the pit lane due to its victory in the first race!
“A win at the first attempt and a 2nd place, at one of the fastest circuits in Europe, what more could you want when you are back in a GT for the first time,” said a delighted Giorgio Maggi.
Onofrio Veneziani team owner of Double TT Racing: “I am very happy with Giorgio’s successful effort in Monza, he is a driver I know well from racing in EuroNASCAR. He is very fast and experienced and he successfully showed that here in Monza in our #199 Ferrari Challenge Evo. We are happy to have signed him for the next two races at Mugello 29/09/01/10/23 and Imola 27/10/29/10/23.”
During an unforgettable race weekend in the Italian GT Cup, Giorgio Maggi gave an insight for his success.
*Question 1: You normally race in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. How did you prepare for the Italian GT Cup race?
*Giorgio: The Double TT team provided me with videos and data in advance so I could prepare. Which has helped me extremely in the intense preparation on the simulator.
*Question 2: What are the biggest differences between EuroNASCAR and GT Cup racing, and how did you face these challenges?
*Giorgio: Although the two races are longer at the weekend, we have shorter driving times because in EuroNASCAR I drive alone in the car and in GT Cup I share the car with Leonardo Colavita. It’s hard to judge because I’ve only done two races in GT Cup, but the races in EuroNASCAR are also very competitive because the cars allow you to take more risks when overtaking and also to survive the odd contact. In contrast, in GT Cup there are more tactics. The races are longer and we have one pit stop with driver changes. This makes it possible to be very tactical. We also don’t change tyres, so the car has to be managed over the distance as well.
*Question 3: The Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo is a very special car. How was it for you to drive it, especially compared to the EuroNASCAR car you normally drive?*.
*Giorgio: The two cars are complete opposites. The Ferrari has more power, which puts the whole priority of driving much more on the exit of the corner. Also, you don’t have much feeling on the brakes because of the ABS. The tyres are also easier to manage, thanks to the adjustable traction control. In EuroNASCAR, on the other hand, there are no driving aids, so you have to drive with more feeling. The gearstick in the EuroNASCAR with a 4-speed H-shift is also the complete opposite of the 7-speed rocker switch in the Ferrari. The grip conditions are also different with almost 0 aero on the EuroNASCAR compared to the Ferrari.
*Question 4: The Monza Circuit is known for its high speeds and complex corners. How did you experience this particular circuit?*
*Giorgio: Monza has a long history and as a driver you are aware of that. The track is very fast and more difficult than it looks.
*Question 5: Will you consider competing more often in the GT Cup in the future?
*Giorgio: I will certainly compete in the last 2 races in Sprint together with Leonardo Colavita and Double TT. I am looking forward to this challenge and who knows what the future will bring!*