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MUNDIAL - OPEN GT - MONZA

Terça, 18 Setembro 2018 17:12 | Actualizado em Quarta, 05 Agosto 2020 04:55

The GT Open heads to a Monza round as exciting as ever: fierce title battles, great 28-car grid and stellar new entries

Ferrari, BMW and Lamborghini represented in fierce title battle as Mikkel Mac (Luzich Racing) gets to Italy as standings leader by only 9 points

Honda NSX GT3 to debut in the series with Guerrieri-Baguette

Great battle of brands and teams in Pro-Am, with Eddie Cheever III, among others, joining the series

VSR Lambo has title on sight in Am, with Target Racing entering the class with its second Huracán


The next round of the International GT Open is probably one of the most anxiously-awaited by teams, drivers and fans alike: Monza, even under its new official name of Monza ENI Circuit which has replaced the historical Autodromo Nazionale label, is the Temple of Speed by definition and one of the most legendary tracks on earth. On the 5.792 km of the Lombard track, GT3 cars can really express their power at fullest, providing always a terrific show. With 28 cars expected on the grid, that’s even truer this year.

Monza, for the GT Open, is also eponymous of great fights, as this is the event before last in the season and title battles become start to reach … high temperatures. It is even more the case in 2018!



The GT Open heads to a Monza round as exciting as ever: fierce title battles, great 28-car grid and stellar new entries 
Ferrari, BMW and Lamborghini represented in fierce title battle as Mikkel Mac (Luzich Racing) gets to Italy as standings leader by only 9 points
Honda NSX GT3 to debut in the series with Guerrieri-Baguette
Great battle of brands and teams in Pro-Am, with Eddie Cheever III, among others, joining the series
VSR Lambo has title on sight in Am, with Target Racing entering the class with its second Huracán 
 
Madrid / Monza, 18 September 2018
The next round of the International GT Open is probably one of the most anxiously-awaited by teams, drivers and fans alike: Monza, even under its new official name of Monza ENI Circuit which has replaced the historical Autodromo Nazionale label, is the Temple of Speed by definition and one of the most legendary tracks on earth. On the 5.792 km of the Lombard track, GT3 cars can really express their power at fullest, providing always a terrific show. With 28 cars expected on the grid, that’s even truer this year. 
Monza, for the GT Open, is also eponymous of great fights, as this is the event before last in the season and title battles become start to reach … high temperatures. It is even more the case in 2018!
PRO: A THREE-WAY BATLLE AND THE HONDA NSX AS GUEST STAR
In the Overall standings, Mikkel Mac, the Dane driver of the Luzich Racing Ferrari has led the rankings for the entire season but gets to Monza with only 9 points of advantage. The Dane will be again partnered by reigning FIA WEC GT Champion Alessandro Pier Guidi. Second, in their Teo Martín Motorsport BMW M6, are Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia, who will rely in Monza’s long straights to continue their title bid, while reigning champion Giovanni Venturini and Jeroen Mul are eager to shine at the home track of Imperiale Racing to give the team and Lamborghini their first win of the year.  
 
 
 

 
 
 
Besides the leading trio, there will be other fierce victory contenders in Monza. In their home race, the RS Racing Ferrari with Daniele Di Amato, fifth in the standings, and Andrea Montermini are also willing to shine.  In the Lamborghini camp, the pair of youngsters of Imperiale Racing, Riccardo Agostini-Rik Breukers has already visited the podium, and so has the Ombra Racing car, now entrusted to Damiano Fioravanti-Alex Frassineti, while Nicolas Costa is back alongside Kang Ling in the Vincenzo Sospiri Racing car. On their side, Lourenço Beirão-Juan Cruz Álvarez on the other Teo Martín BMW hope to have better luck than in previous outings. 
Monza, as always, is bringing quite a fair deal of novelties. The main one is the presence of the Honda NSX GT3, entered by Honda Racing Team JAS for two top drivers like Bertrand Baguette and Esteban Guerrieri, both Honda factory drivers. With the exception of the 24 Hours of Spa, this will be the first participation of the Japanese racer in a round of a European continental series, and interest is of course very high around this entry, which JAS Motorsport that builds the car in its factory near Milan, sees as an “excellent opportunity to showcase the car to potential customers and to race it for the first time with Michelin tires”. 
PRO-AM: THE HEAT IS ON… 
So far, the Pro-Am class has shown a tremendous level of entries and competition, to the point that in two occasions out of 10 races a car of that class has taken the overall win. The duel at the top of the class is between the Daiko Lazarus Racing Lambo of Fabrizio Crestani-Miguel Ramos that lead the standings thanks to their consistency (having scored in all races and collected 7 podiums but no win yet) and the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes of Valentin Piergurg-Tom Onslow Cole, who have taken 5 wins but are 5 points behind. In the role of third contender, 18 points aback from the top, is Brazil’s Marcelo Hahn, with the Drivex Porsche, who at Monza will be partnered by Alan Hellmeister. 
The list of contenders is long, starting from the Ferraris of Luzich Racing; alongside Alexander West-Michele Rugolo, car #52 will this time join the class with a new pair composed of Eddie Cheever III, a former Italian GT Champion and the son of former F.1 driver and Indy 500 winner, and Nicklas Nielsen, the fresh 2018 champion of the Ferrari Challenge Europe.  Also defending the colours of the Prancing Horse is Rinaldi Racing, with David Perel-Rinat Salikhov shining in all their outings and Daniel Keilwitz again pairing with Steve Parrow. Among the Lambos, the other Lazarus Racing car of Giuseppe Cipriani-Toby Sowery and the Imperiale Racing car of Jiatong Lang-Raffaele Giammaria are of course on the starting blocks, while Target Racing is doubling its entry with two Huracáns and reshuffling its driver line-up. The Pro-Am car will be entrusted to Alberto Di Folco and a driver to be designated. As for Mercedes, Lechner Racing is back with its AMG for the wellknown pair Mario Plachutta-Thomas Jäger. Last but not least, the Optimum Motorsport Audi of Ollie Wilkinson-Brad Ellis will aim at a third success. 
 

 
 
 
AM: VSR KEEPS THE ADVANTAGE
In Am, Andrzej Lewandowski-Giulio Borlenghi, with the Lamborghini of Vincenzo Sospiri Racing, have stretched their lead to 10 points thanks to their double win at Silverstone, but Miro Konôpka (again with Slovak country-fellow Zdeno Mikulasko for the Monza race in the ARC Bratislava Lambo) has not yet said his last word, and either has the MS Racing / HTP Motorsport of Austrians Martin Konrad-Alex Hrachowina.  The rest of the field also sees driver changes: Guilherme Salas, another Stock Car racer, is the latest Brazilian driver (the 12th!) to appear in the GT Open this year alongside Márcio Basso on the Teo Martín BMW, while Duarte Félix Da Costa will this time partner with Rodrigo Baptista on the other car of Drivex. For the Portuguese (and elder brother of António) it is a reappearance in the series nine years after his first outings. In the Target Racing car entered in the class, Belgium’s Bernard Delhez will pair with Stefano Costantini. 
The fight is hot also in the Teams’ competition, with Luzich Racing leading by only 2 points on Imperiale Racing, and BMW Team Teo Martín third 20 points aback.
The Monza meeting will again offer a full-fledged race programme to fans, with the Euroformula Open  F.3 single-seater bringing the thrill of formula cars and the TCR Europe the customary great show of touring cars. Racing purists will also enjoy the sportscars of the Radical European Masters and the roadsters of the Caterham Cup. 
 
All the action can be followed from fans at home thanks to live coverage by major national broadcasters in key countries such as UK (BT Sport), Italy (Rai Sport), Spain (Teledeporte RTVE), Portugal (Sport TV), Central Europe (Digisport), and Russia / CIS countries and Baltics (Poverkhnost Sport), among others. In addition, US and international coverage is ensured by Motors Trend (Discovery Channel) on demand. Races are also livestreamed in English and Italian with commentary by Ben Evans and Antonio Caruccio, respectively, on our website www.gtopen.net and on the GT Open channel on Youtube.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
GT Open Round 6: Monza, Italy
 
TIMETABLE (All times local, CET)
 
Friday 21st September 2018 10:55-11:55 Free Practice 1 14:10-15:10 Free Practice 2 17:20-18:00 Free Practice 3 (only Bronze drivers) Saturday 22nd September 2018  10:25-10:55 Qualifying 1 (driver 1) 15:45-15:55 Race 1 (70’ - Rolling Start) Sunday 23rd September 2018 09:40-10:10 Qualifying 2 (driver 2) 14:15-15:16 Race 2 (61’ - Rolling Start)
 
PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 10 OF 14  
Overall: 1. Mac, 86 points; 2. Saravia-Rueda, 77; 3. Venturini-Mul, 72; 4. PierGuidi, 70; 5. Fioravanti, Di Amato, 55; etc Pro-Am: 1. Ramos-Crestani, 63 points; 2. Pierburg-Onslow Cole, 58; 3. Hahn, 45; 4. Ellis-Wilkinson, 38; 5. Khodair; 6. Rugolo-West, 33; etc.   GT-Am: 1. Lewandowski-Borlenghi, 60 points; 2. Konopka, 50; 3. Hrachowina-Konrad, 45; 4. Coimbra-Silva, 42; 5. Calko, 35; 6. Basso, 34; etc    Teams: 1. Luzich Racing, 75 points; 2. Imperiale Racing, 73; 3. BMW Team Teo Martín, 55 points; 4. RS Racing, 29; 5. Ombra Racing, 28; 6. SPS Automotive Performance, 24; etc 
 
THE 2018 CALENDAR
 
15 April: Estoril (P) 06 May: Circuit Paul Ricard (F) 10 June: Spa-Francorchamps (B) 08 July:  Hungaroring (H) 02 Sept: Silverstone (GB) 23 Sept: Monza (I) 21 Oct:  Barcelona-Catalunya (E)  


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