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Apr 30, 2014 - 08:19 AM
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2014 Int. GT Open Nurburgring: preview / Round 1
Posted by: newsla on Apr 30, 2014 - 08:15 AM
Sports Cars
2014 Int. GT Open Nurburgring: preview / Round 1


The long winter is over and, as engines roar again, Joel Camathias is ready for the season-opener of the International GT Open, on stage this weekend (2-4 May) at the Nürburgring, in Germany.

 

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The 33-year-old Swiss from Canton Ticino has renewed ambitions in a championship that has seen him very successful in the past: two overall titles (2007 and 2009) and no less than 12 race wins.

This year, he has one additional reason for being cheerful, as he will drive a Ferrari F458 GT3 prepared and entered by a Lugano-based team, Black Bull Swiss Racing. Joel will have as team mate Mirko Venturi, one of Italy’s fastest GT drivers, and the pair will be certainly among title contenders in the most closely-fought category, GTS. This said, Joel will race ... alone in the first race next Saturday, as Venturi is taken by WEC commitments in Spa. The Belgian track being only a one-hour drive from the Nürburgring, the pair will be reunited for Race 2 on Sunday.

This will be an important year for Joel also because it marks his ... twentieth racing season. He was 13 when he started racing go-karts in 1994, following in the family’s motorsports tradition. Joel Camathias:

"As always when comes this period of the year, after the long winter recess, I feel anxious to be again behind a steering wheel. My 2013 season ended with a big shunt in practice at the last round of the GT Open in Barcelona, but 2014 is starting under the best auspices. I am very happy to be again in the GT Open, a series that I love because of the high level of competitiveness and because it takes place on Europe’s best tracks, and to drive this year for a Swiss team. This is not new, as I raced for Trottet Racing in 2009 when I conquered my second GT Open title, but it is the first time that I race at this level for a team from Ticino. Black Bull Swiss Racing is a very professional team but with a friendly atmosphere, and I thank Arno Lovat for his trust. I know Mirko Venturi since we were rivals in our karting years, he is fast and solid, and I think we’ll form a good pair that can go for podiums consistently. 2014 is a very special year for me also because it will be my twentieth in the sports.

I was still a kid when it all started with karts and it’s difficult to believe that twenty years have past! It has been a time of many satisfactions, but the love for racing and winning is intact. Looking at the pictures of two decades ago brings back a lot of good memories and it is funny to see my dad being my mechanic and my grand-dad in the role of time-keeper… I owe them a lot and they still are my biggest fans. But now is time to look ahead and at this exciting season of the GT Open which is about to start."

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