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Jun 03, 2014 - 05:34 PM
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Algarve GT Open Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 03, 2014 - 05:33 PM
Sports Cars
Algarve GT Open Preview


The International GT Open is heading towards sunny Southern Europe for the second round of the 2014 season, which takes place this weekend in the beautiful Autódromo do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal. As the teams’ trucks complete the long journey to the Atlantic shores, the expectation raises as to whether the initial responses given by the season-opening round at the Nürburgring will be confirmed.

 

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At the moment, the Corvettes and the Ferraris are leading, with the American supercars of V8 Racing and SRT having taken one overall win each, and the F458 GT of AF Corse and SMP Racing Russian Bears having clinched the respective honors in the GTS class. No doubt that in the top class, local hero Miguel Ramos, who shares one of the V8 Corvettes with Nicky Pastorelli, will want to shine on home soil and try to take the lead in the standings.

The Portuguese round brings quite a fair deal of novelties. Belgium’s Selleslaghs Racing Team, the other squad linked to Corvette and who made a strong impression in the first outing, has now secured a full campaign in the GT Open, thanks to Isaac Tutumlu, who has joined the team after racing at the Nürburgring with the Autorlando Porsche. The Spaniard of Kurdish ascent will now partner with championship leader Maxime Soulet. His seat at Autorlando hasn’t remained vacant for long, as Joel Camathias joins a team that he knows well and with whom he won his first GT Open title in 2007. The Swiss will continue the season alongside Matteo Beretta (with the Porsche 911 R back into the GTS class), following the stop to sporting activities decided abruptly by Black Bull Swiss Team.

The rest of the 21-car field is basically stable, except for the absence of Eurotech Engineering, whose Lambo was severely damaged in Valsecchi’s heavy crash during free practice at the Ring. The other car of the squad is also forced to a halt, as Ferdinando Geri has to undergo minor surgery these days.

In the SuperGT category, the Ferraris of Andrea Montermini-Niccolò Schirò (Villorba) and of Daniel Zampieri-Roman Mavlanov (SMP Russian Bears) will again be the main opposition to the Corvettes (with Archie Hamilton-Diederick Sijthoff completeing V8’s line-up), while the Drivex Porsche will play the role of the outsider.

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