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Apr 27, 2014 - 06:12 AM
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The GT Open 2014 Ready For Great Season-Opener At The 'Ring
Posted by: newsla on Apr 27, 2014 - 06:07 AM
Sports Cars
The GT Open 2014 Ready For Great Season-Opener At The 'Ring


The International GT Open is rolling again! The ninth season of the championship that has established itself as one of the most popular GT series in Europe kicks off next weekend at the Nürburgring, the legendary German GP track.

 

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The springtime rendez-vous in the Eifel hills marks the beginning of a new season, which will see the GT Open keeping faithful to its fundamentals (controlled costs, top-level venues, prime TV coverage) but also introducing a number of evolutions, to adjust to the current market situation. "Motor racing, like many other activities, is impacted by an economic environment that remains challenging, as we all know", comments Jesús Pareja, CEO of GT Sports, "and recent developments in some parts of the world do not help either. The only way forward is to make your proposition more attractive and keep it affordable. This is why we have introduced some changes that are aimed at bringing new blood to the SuperGT and offering more excitement to gentlemen drivers. I am glad to see that the response has been positive and we should count this year on a core group of participants of 25 or more cars, which improves last year’s average."

With regards to the changes for 2014, they can be summarized as follows: · The top category, SuperGT, open until now only to GT2 cars, will also accommodate top GT3 cars upgraded through non-expensive means (gearbox drives, suspension springs, height to the ground) ;

· Two categories of drivers are established (Professional and Amateur) based on FIA listings and criteria adopted by the GT Sport organizing committee; pairs including two Pro drivers will automatically be entered in the SuperGT category, regardless of the car driven;

· More track time is allowed, with Race 2 brought from 50 to 60 minutes of duration, while an additional 15-minute session per free practice is created for Am drivers. With the support of

For the season-opening round, the entry list, which will be released on Monday as usual, should contain 27 units, with six manufacturers represented.

Reigning (and double) Champion Andrea Montermini will defend his title again at the wheel of a Ferrari F458 by Villorba Corse. This year, the veteran Italian will be paired with a very young and promising driver, Niccolò Schirò, a former European F.3 Open champion in 2012. AF Corse, the reigning Teams’ champion, will have again a strong presence, with four cars (all F458 GT3) entrusted to well-known GT drivers. At the Ring, the line-ups will be Duncan Cameron-Rui Aguas, Claudio Sdanewitsch-Federico Leo, Giorgio Roda (the son of Gianluca)- Andrea Piccini and Thomas Flohr-Francesco Castellacci. It is to be noted that Aguas, Leo and Piccini, in this occasion, sub for Griffin, Rugolo and Ruberti, respectively. The Prancing Horse excellent representation also includes GT Open regulars such as SMP Racing Russian Bears (with Daniel Zampieri-Roman Mavlanov and Vyacheslav Maleev-José Manuel Aicart) and Ombra Racing (with Stefano Gattuso-Mario Cordoni and Stefano Costantini-Alan Sicart) while Black Bull Swiss Team will campaign the full series for the first time, with Joel Camathias-Mirko Venturi.

This year too, the Corvettes will be well represented, thanks to the Dutch squad V8 Racing, which starts the season with two cars in SuperGT (for Nicky Pastorelli-Miguel Ramos and Archie Hamilton-Diederick Sijthoff) and one in GTS (Dylan Derdaele-Dennis Retena), while and additional car is entered in SuperGT by the revived SRT Racing, for Maxime Soulet-Nick Catsburg.

Porsche will count again on the two top entries of Drivex (with a 911 RSR for Fernando Monje- Cochito López) and Autorlando (with a 911 R for Matteo Beretta-Isaac Tutumlu) which are joined by Italian newcomer Kripton Motorsport (Glauco Solieri-Stefano Pezzucchi).

Lamborghini doubles its presence thanks to a new Italian squad, Eurotech Engineering, which enters two Gallardos for two strong pairs, including former GP2 Champion Davide Valsecchi with Giovanni Venturini and Lorenzo Bontempelli-Ferdinando Geri. They join other Lambo regulars such as Kox Racing (Peter Kox-Nico Pronk), Reiter and Rhino’s Leipert. Portuguese team Novadriver is going to campaign all year its Audi R8 LMS ultra with César Campaniço-Lourenço da Veiga, with another R8 present at the Ring thanks to Team Spirit Race and entrusted to Suzanne Weidt-Dietmar Haggenmüller.

Last but not least, Mercedes’ colours will also be well defended by the SLS AMG of teams Sports&You (António Coimbra-Luis Silva), Lechner (Mario Plachutta-Thoma Jäger) and Seyffarth.

With the support of

The event program is particularly exciting this year: the re-branded Euroformula Open, the single-seater sister series by GT Sport, will partner the GT Open at all events, as usual, and the SEAT León Eurocup, the new and very promising mono-brand trophy of the Spanish brand, will be part of the show in five occasions, making its debut at the Ring, while the Radical European Masters will continue to bring the excitement of open-roof sportscars. At the Nürburgring they are joined by the beautiful classic cars of the AvD Historic Cup. TV coverage for the GT Open, further strengthened this year, will count again on pan- European live coverage by Motors TV, with major national broadcasters also offering races live in key markets such as Italy (Raisport2), United Kingdom (BT Sport) , Spain (Teledeporte and Canal + Deportes), Portugal (Teledeporte), Turkey (Sport TV) and Central Europe (Digisport), among others.

GT Open Nürbrugring Timetable / Horario GT Open Nürburgring (All times local, CET/ Hora local, CET) Friday, 2 May 2014 / Viernes 2 Mayo 2014

10:45-11:45 Free Practice 1 / Libres 1

11:45-12:00 Additional Free Practice 1 (Am drivers) / Libres 1 adicional (pilotos Am)

14:25-15:25 Free Practice 2 / Libres 2

15:25-15:40 Additional Free Practice 2 (Am drivers) / Libres 2 adicional (pilotos Am)

Saturday 3 May 2014 / Sábado 3 Mayo 2014

11:20-11:35 Qualifying / Clasficación1 GTS

11:35-11:40 Qualifying / Clasficación1 SGT + GTS

11:40-11:55 Qualifying / Clasficación1 SGT

16:00-17:10 Race 1 / Carrera 1 (70’ - Rolling Start / Salida lanzada)

Sunday 4 May 2014 / Domingo 4 Mayo 2014

09:00-09:15 Qualifying / Clasficación 2 GTS

09:15-09:20 Qualifying / Clasficación 2 SGT + GTS

09:20-09:35 Qualifying / Clasficación 2 SGT

13:00-14:00 Race 2 / Carrera 2 (60’ - Rolling start / Salida lanzada)

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