Start of the last round at Vallelunga. The red #1 Maserati didn't start after an accident in the previous round.

The SARA Assicurazioni Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo has always been one of the most attractive national championships for GT cars. In 2006 the Italian GT Championship went over 8 events, split in two rounds each. As tracks Imola, Misano, Vallelunga (twice), Magione, Mugello (twice), and Monza are used. There are thus 16 rounds in total, all 16 going over one hour of racing. Each car has two drivers, the first driving at the first round of the meeting, the second driving at the second round of the meeting.

THE CARS
The cars are split over three classes. In GT1 Box Racing entered two cars: a 6.0 Maserati MC12 and an 8.0 Chrysler Viper GTS-R. Their direct oppo-nent was the Playteam 6.0 Maserati MC12 with Tony Vilander from Finland as first driver. Another candidate winner, already present in 2005, was the DR Sport Equipe 7.0 Saleen S7-R. The rest of the field is restricted to two 6.0 Ferraris F575 GTC. The Swiss one, entered by Loris Kessel Racing was present at all rounds, whilst the Czech one, entered by Rock Media was only seen at the first meeting in Imola. Several GT1 cars didn't come back. Among them the two BMS Italia Ferraris F550 which dominated in 2005 the Championship. Absent too is the Lister Racing Italia 6.7 Storm, last year still a pole setter and having dominated the Vellelugna 6 hours. Another absent is the GPC Sport 6.0 Ferrari F575 GTC. The Reiter Engineering 6.5 Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, last year only present at one meeting, didn't show at all in 2006.  Compared with one year earlier the GT1 class is more restricted with only five regular entrants over the whole season.
In GT2 we find clusively 4.0 Ferraris F430, 3.6 Ferraris F360 and 3.6 Porsches 996 GT3-RSR. The two Porsches, however, will only be entered at one meeting, so that the struggle will be limited to a combat among Ferrarists. Most competitive are the Villorba Corse, the Playteam and the Victory Enginee Ferraris F430 with the two Edil Cris Ferraris as outsider. Other entries as by JMB Sport, Durango Automotive, Switerland's Made in Italy, Mastercar are all limited to one meeting (two rounds). Here too the entry field is quantitatively narrower than in 2005. All competitive Porsches are gone and the lonely vailliant 996 GT3-RSR - Autorlando's - will only be seen at Vallelunga.
In GT3 we noted a triangle combat since here we found four 5.0 Lambor-ghinis Gallardo GT3-R (all entered by MIK Corse), four 8.3 Dodges Viper Coupe Competition (three entered by Box Racing, one by GDL Racing) and four 4.0 Ferraris F430 (three entered by Loris Kessel Racing, one entered by JMB Sport) at the start.

 

THE DRIVERS
One can hardly find a national championship were so many ex-F1 drivers, all 40 years old or more, compete with very young racers in one and the same series. Oldest man at the start is the former Ferrari works driver Arturo Merzario (63), youngest is Belgium's Maxime Dumarey (only 16 years old). Among the ex-F1 drivers we note Luca Cappellari, Andrea Montermini, Alex Caffi, Gianni Morbi-delli, Ivan Capelli next to Merzario. Most young drivers are found behind the wheel of a GT3 machinery: e.g. Giacomo Piccini (21), Dennis Retera (21), Luca Polato (21), Ronnie Kessel (17) and the already named Maxime Dumarey (16). Young lions are also found in GT2 cars. Among them Damien Pasini (22), Matteo Cressoni (22), Michele Maceratesi (22) and Niki Cadei (21).
It should be a major mistake to believe that only Italians are entering the GT Italia. We find drivers of the most different countries at the start. From Finland we have Toni Vilander; from Switzerland Loris Kessel, Ronnie Kessel, Henri Moser, Massimo Cattori, David Iradi Alexander; from Portugal Miguel Ramos; from Argentine (but living in Sweden) Miguel Iacovacci; from France Damien Pasini and Antoine Gosse; from Holland Peter Kox, Marius Ritzkes, Peter Kutemann and Dennis Retera; from England Ian Khan; from Belgium Maxime Dumarey; from Spain Manuel Giao; from Germany Richard Lietz and from Czechia Antónin Herbeck. That means thus racers from 12 different nations.

THE RESULTS
Except for 2 rounds out of 16 all races were won by one of the Maseratis MC12. Overall champion are Toni Vilander (SF) and Giam-battista Gianoccarro (I) having won 11 rounds with the sky blue MC12 of Playteam. Three other rounds went to the red MC12 shared by Luca Capellari and Miguel Ramos, and their Box Racing machi-nery. The two remaining rounds were won by Loris Kessel/Andrea Chiesa in their Swiss Ferrari F575GTC. The DR Sport Equipe Saleen S7-R of Andrea Montermini/Gabriele Lancieri finished once as runner-up and four more times within the top-3. The three last rounds they were no more seen in competition. The Box Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Giorgio Pandini and Gabriele Sabatini came no further than to three fifth places overall.
In GT2 the combat was going on until the very last round. Here three Ferraris F430 GTC were dominating the rest of the field during the whole season. Eventually Alex Caffi/Denny Zardo won the GT2 title with their Villerba Corse F430 GTC. They won 6 rounds out of 16, finishing five times among the top-3 overall. Runners-up were Damien Pasini/Bobbi Matteo with the Victory Enginee F430 GTC. They won four rounds and finished as much third overall. The Playteam Ferrari F430 GTC of the young duo Michele Maceratesi/ Niki Cadei won six rounds in its class and finished four times in the overall top-3. The three cars were very equal in performances and outstanding for the rest of the field. Only at four occasions another car than one of them reached a class podium. At the first Vallelunga race that was the case with the Autorlando Porsche 996 GT3-RSR finishing third in its class (despite Arturo Merzario being ill). In Monza Peter Kutemann/Antoine Gosse won a class podium by finishing 8th overall. And at the last two rounds at Vallelunga the Playteam Ferrari F360 Modena - the team's last year's car - won twice a class podium.
In GT3 the three Loris Kessel Racing Ferraris F430 were only entered at the two last rounds, whilst the JMB Sport F430 was only entered at Monza. It was thus mainly a struggle among the MIK Corse Gallardos and the Box Racing Dodges. Here the title went to "Linoss"/Giaco-mo Piccini having won with their Lambo seven times the class. Of the three other Lambos none could win in GT3, even not Peter Cox's. Eventually Dodge won one round more than the Lambos. Four times the #303 CocaCola Viper of Marco Coldani/Luca Polato (Ivan Capel-li) was first in GT3. Box Racing's other Dodge, the yellow Camel #346 won three times its class with Gabriele Matteuzi/Alessio Salucci. That gave a 7-7 result for the combat between MIK Corse and Box Racing. One round went to the #314 Ferari F430 of Loris Kessel Racing. The real last round gave no winner in the MIK Corse vs Box Racing combat. Indeed, Gianluca de Lorenzi entered his brand new GDL Racing Dodge and won its class at its second outing.

 

Start of the first round at Mugello where the Loris Kessel Racing Ferrari qualified
better than the Box Racing Maserati MC12.

Start of round 3-1 at Vallelunga with the two Maseratis leading the rest of the field.
BOX RACING MASERATI MC12
5,988cc - 630bhp - 1235kg
three victories, seven 2nd places in 2006

Luca Cappellari (°1963)

Miguel Ramos (°1971)

LISTER RACING LISTER STORM
6,696cc - 600bhp - 1105kg
one 2nd place, two 3rds  in 2005
no more entered in 2006

No pic found

Stefano Zonca (°1964) Antonio Belicchi

LORIS KESSEL FERRARI F575 GTC
5,997cc - 605bhp - 1100kg
two victories, three 2nds, two 3rds 2006

Loris Kessel (°1950) Andrea Chiesa (°1966)

ROCK MEDIA FERRARI F575 GTC
5,997cc - 605bhp - 1100kg
no podium in 2006

No pic found

Antónin Herbeck (°1963) Richard Lietz

DR SPORT EQUIPE SALEEN S7-R
7,011cc - 635bhp - 1150kg
one 2nd place and three 3rds in 2006

Andrea Montermini (°1964) Gabriele Lancieri (°1975)

BOX RACING CHRYSLER VIPER GTS
7,990cc - 585bhp - 1200kg
three 5th places & three 6ths in 2006

Giorgio Pandini (°1946) Gabriele Sabatini (°1959)

REITER ENGINEERING LAM-BORGHINI MURCIELAGO R-GT
6,498cc - 635bhp - 1150kg
no podium in 2005
no more entered in 2006

Gianni Morbidelli (°1968) Stefano Gabellini (°1965)

GPC SPORT FERRARI F575 GTC
5,997cc - 605bhp - 1100kg
one victory - two 3rd places
no more entered in 2006

 

No pic found

 

Stefano Livio Fabio Santaniello

PLAYTEAM MASERATI MC12
5,988cc - 630bhp - 1235kg
eleven victories, two 2nd places in 2006

 

Toni Villander (°1980) Gianbatista Giannoccaro (°1960)

VILLORBA FERRARI F430 GTC
3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
three 2nd places - two 3rd places
six GT2 class victories in 2006
 

Alex Caffi (°1964) Denny Zardo (°1976)

VICTORY ENG FERRARI F430 GTC
3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
four 3rd places
four GT2 class victories in 2006
 

Damien Pasini (°1984) Bobbi Matteo (°1978)

DURANGO FERRARI F360 MODENA
3,586cc - 445bhp - 1100kg
no podium, one 7th place

Raffaele Giammaria (°1977) Maurizio  Gazzé

EDIL CHRIS FERRARI F360 MODENA
3,586cc - 445bhp - 1100kg
no podium, two 7th places

Paolo Ruberti (°1975) Matteo Cressoni (°1984)

MADE IN ITALY FERRARI F360 MODENA
3,586cc - 445bhp - 1100kg
no podium, one 5th and one 6th place

Maurizio Mediani David Iradi Alexander

MASTERCAR FERRARI F360 MODENA
3,586cc - 445bhp - 1100kg
no finish in 2006

 

No pic found

 

Raffaele Giammaria (°1977) Fabian Peroni

JMB RACING FERRARI F430 GTC
3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
no podium, one 8th place

Antoine Gosse (°1957) Peter Kutemann (°1947)

EDIL CHRIS FERRARI F430 GTC
3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
no podium, one 6th place

Davide Strangeris Ennea Casoni

AUTORLANDO
PORSCHE 996GT3-RSR
3,596cc - 445bhp - 11&0kg
no podium, one 6th place

Arturo Merzario (°1943) Angelo Proiett (°1951)i

PLAYTEAM FERRARI F360 MODENA GTC
3,586cc - 445bhp - 1100kg
no podium, one 4th & one 5th place

Alessandro Pierguidi Manuel Giao

PLAYTEAM FERRARI F430 GTC
3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
four 3rds, six 4ths, three 5ths
six GT2 class victories in 2006

Michele Maceratesi (°1984) Niki Cadei (°1985)

MIK CORSE LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO GT3-R
4,961cc - 520bhp - 1190kg
three 9ths & three 10ths as best

Francesco La Mazza (°1968) Roberto Turrini (°1962)

MIK CORSE LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO GT3-R
4,961cc - 520bhp - 1190kg
three 7ths & four 8ths as best
seven GT3 class victories in 2006

"Linoss" (°1968) Giacomo Piccini (°1985)

BOX RACING DODGE VIPER COUPE COMPETITION
8,275cc - 517bhp - 1290kg
one 6th & one 8th as best
four GT3 class victories in 2006

Ivan Capelli (°1963) Marco Coldani (°1958)

BOX RACING DODGE VIPER COUPE COMPETITION
8,275cc - 517bhp - 1290kg
one 12th & one 13th as best

Luca Polato (°1985)

Maurizio Strada

JMB RACING FERRARI F430
3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
two 11ths as best

 

No pic found

 

Ian Khan (°1960) Miguel Iacovacci

MIK CORSE LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO GT3-R
4,961cc - 520bhp - 1190kg

one 8th & one 9th as best

 

 

No pic found

 

Peter Kox (°1964) Marius Rizkes

MIK CORSE LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO GT3-R
4,961cc - 520bhp - 1190kg

one 14th as best

Maxime Dumarey (°1989)

Dennis Retera (°1985)

LORIS KESSEL RACING
FERRARI F430
3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
one 7th place and two 9ths as best
one GT3 class victory in 2006

 

No pic found

 

Marco Coldani (°1958) Giovanni Berton

LORIS KESSEL RACING
FERRARI F430

3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
one 8th place and one 9th as best

 

 

No pic found

 

Henri Moser Ronnie Kessel (°1988)

LORIS KESSEL RACING
FERRARI F430

3,998.6cc - 460bhp - 1100kg
two 11th places as best

 

 

 

 

No pic found

 

 

No pic found

Massimo Cattori Miguel Iacovacci

GDL RACING DODGE VIPER COUPE COMPETITION
8,275cc - 517bhp - 1290kg
one 6th & one 8th as best
one GT3 class victory in 2006

Gianluca de Lorenzi (°1972) Massimiliano Lanza

BOX RACING DODGE VIPER COUPE COMETITION
8,275cc - 517bhp - 1290kg
one 7th & one 8th as best
three GT3 class victories in 2006

 

Gabriele Matteuzzi Alessio Salucci

CERATI RACING
PORSCHE 996 CUP
one 8th & three 10th as best

 

 

No pic found

 

 

No pic found

Dario Cerati Mario Sala

Results of the 2006 SARA Italian GT Championship #1-1 #1-2 #2-1 #2-2 #3-1 #3-2 #4-1 #4-2 #5-1 #5-2 #6-1 #6-2 #7-1 #7-2 #8-1 #8-2 pts
#12 Maserati MC12 Playteam Giambattista Gianoccarro (I)/Toni Vilander  (SF) 1 8 R 2 1 1 12 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 129
#1 Maserati MC12 Racing Box Luca Capellari(I)/Miguel Ramosª(PT) R NP R 1 2 13 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 R NP 86
#3 Ferrari 575 GTC Loris Kessel Loris Kessel (CH)/Andrea Chiesa (I) 2 1 1 3 4 2 3 4 4 6 15 6 4 6 2 8 86
#42 Ferrari F430 Villorba Corse Alex Caffi (I)/ Danny Zardo (I) 3 2 2 5 6 4 5 6 6 4 5 4 3 4 10 2 72
#78 Ferrari F430 Playteam Michele Maceratesi (I)/Niki Cadei (I) 4 3 4 4 7 3 4 5 5 12 4 5 12 3 4 3 68
#43 Ferrari F430 Victory Enginee Damien Pasini (F)/Bobbi Matteo (I)/M.Mediani 5 4 3 6 5 14 6 7 7 5 3 3 5 5 3 10 59
#6 Chrysler Viper Racing Box Giorgio Pandini (I)**°°­/Gabriele Sabatini (I) 7 6 5 8 8 5 7 12 8 7 7 R 6 7 6 5 33
#5 Saleen S7-R DR Sportequipe Andrea Montermini (I)/Gabriele Lancieri (I)* R 11 R NP 3 12 2 3 3 3 - - - - - - 32
#302 Lambo Gallardo MIK Corse SRL "Linos"­­/Giacomo Piccini (I)­­ 8 9 9 11 11 7 8 8 11 10 10 13 R 8 7 7 10
#77 Ferrari F360 Playteam Manuel Giao (E)/Alessandro Pierguidi (I) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5 4 9
#46 Ferrari F360 Made in Italy Maurizio Mediani (I)/David Iradi Alexander (CH) 6 5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7
#303 Dodge Viper Racing Box Luca Polato (I)/°°°Marco Coldani (I)*** - - 6 10 R NP 10 9 9 9 8 R - - - - 4
#45 Ferrari F360 Edil Cris Team Matteo Cressoni (I)/Paolo Ruberti (I) 9 7 R 7 - - - - - - - - - - - - 4
#318 Dodge Viper GDL Racing Gianluca De Lorenzi (I)/Massimiliano Lanza(I) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8 6 4
#49 Ferrari F430 Edil Cris Team Enea Casoni (I)°/Davide Stancheris (I)° - - - - 9 9 - - - - 6 R - - - - 3
#54 Porsche 996 GT3 Autorlando Angelo Proietti (I)/Arturo Merzario (I) - - - - R 6 - - - - - - - - - - 3
#314 Ferrari F430 Kessel Racing Marco Coldani (I)/Giovanni Berton (I) - - - - - - - - - - - - 7 DQ 9 9 2
#44 Ferrari F360 Durango Auto Raffaele Giammaria (I)/Max Gazzé (I) - - 7 9 - - - - - - - - - - - - 2
#401 Porsche 996 Cup Cerati Racing Dario. Cerati (I)/Mario Sala (I) - - 8 12 12 10 11 11 - - 17 10 10 12 - - 1
#346 Dodge Viper Racing Box Gabriele Matteuzzi (I)/Alessio Salucci (I) - - - - 10 8 - - - - 16 7 - - - - 1
#48 Ferrari F430 JMB Sport Peter Kutemann (NL)/Antoine Gosse (F) - - - - - - - - 10 8 - - - - - - 1
#311 Lambo Gallardo MIK Corse SRL Peter Kox (NL)/Marius Ritzkes (NL) - - - - - - - - - - 9 8 - - - - 1
#315 Ferrari F430 Kessel Racing Henri Moser (CH)­­­/Ronnie Kessel (CH)­­­ - - - - - - - - - - - - 8 9 - - 1
#301 Lambo Gallardo MIK Corse SRL Francesco La Mazza (I)/Roberto Turrini (I) R NP 10 13 13 11 9 10 13 13 R 9 9 10 - - 0
#4 Ferrari 575 GTC Racing Box Richard Lietz (D)/Antónin Herbeck (CZ) 10 10 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0
#316 Ferrari F430 Kessel Racing Miguel Iocavacci (I)/Massimo Cattori (CH) - - - - - - - - - - - - 11 11 - - 0
#306 Ferrari F430 JMB Sport Ian Khan (GB)/Miguel Iacovacci (RA) - - - - - - - - 12 11 - - - - - - 0
#52 Porsche 996 GT3 Basso Racing Maurizio Basso (I)/Giovanni Caligaris (I) - - - - - - - - - - 12 11 - - - - 0
#308 Maserati Light AF Corse Carmelo Scionti (I)/Roberto Sperati (I) - - - - - - - - - - 11 14 - - - - 0
#304 Dodge Viper Racing Box Luca Polato (I)/Maurizio Strada (I) - - - - - - - - - - 13 12 - - - - 0
#402 Porsche 996 Cup Giorgi Racing S. Giorgi (I)/A. Varini (I) - - - - - - R 13 - - - - - - - - 0
#312 Lambo Gallardo MIK Corse SRL Dennis Retera(NL)/Maxime Dumarey(B) - - - - - - - - - - 14 R - - - - 0
#47 Ferrari F430 Mastercar SRL Raffaele Giammaria (I)/Fabian Peroni (I) - - - - - - - - - - R R - - - - 0

* Bontempelli L. at round #4-1/2 - ** A. Ceccato at round #4-1/2 - *** Ivan Capelli at round #5-1/2 - ° Sergio Rota/Davide Uboldi at #6-1/2 - °° Marco Spinelli at round #6-1/2 - °°°Ivan Capelli at round #6-1/2 - ­ Andrea Ceccato at round #8-1/2 - ­­ Luca Rangoni/Alessandro Bonacini at #8-1/2 - ­­­ Ivan Capelli/Marco Goldani at round #8-1/2 - ª Pier Giuseppe Perazzini at round #8-1/2 - COPYRIGHT: BVBA JP Productions.