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Mundial - Open GT

MUNDIAL - GT OPEN TERMINA EM BARCELONA

Quarta, 17 Outubro 2018 20:14 | Actualizado em Sexta, 22 Novembro 2019 01:26

Barcelona’s grand finale of the GT Open will keep its promises: a three-way battle for the overall title and a 32-car grid

Mac (Luzich Racing Ferrari), Rueda-Saravia (Teo Martín Motorsport BMW) and Venturini-Mul (Imperiale Racing Lamborghini) ready for the final Drivers’ and Team’s battle

Games open also in the Pro-Am class, with Ramos-Crestani (Lazarus Lambo), Onslow Cole-Pierburg (SPS Mercedes) and Hahn (Drivex Mercedes)

Lewandowski-Borlenghi (VSR Lambo) closer to Am honours

Largest grid of the year: Windward Racing and Porteiro Motorsport make their debut, Senkyr Motorsport and Olimp Racing back for the finale

Auer, Zaugg, Dontje, Jensen, Keen and Rizzoli, along Gosia Rdest, among new drivers joining the ‘closing party’

The big moment has arrived: the 2018 season is about to come to an end! As per tradition, it is the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosting the final and decisive round. No less customary is indeed the fact that the title is decided at Montmeló. It has been the case in 12 out of 13 editions so far, including the current one, which will offer an exciting three-way battle. The overall crown is not the only one still at stake: the battle is going to be close and fierce also in the Pro-Am and Am classes and in the Teams’ standings. No derogation either to another feature of Barcelona’s grand finale: the round attracts a fair number of additional entries and big names, bringing the entry list to 32 cars, the largest figure in 2018.

Fans at the track and at home will therefore have plenty to enjoy, giving also the rich race programme of the weekend, which includes on top of the GT Open, the Euroformula Open (with Brazil’s Felipe Drugovich already crowned and the presence of David Schumacher), the TCR Europe (where local hero Mikel Azcona is the best-placed in the run for the title), the Alpine ELF Europa Cup and the Eurocup Formula Renault, which will close here its glorious journey started in 1971 before starting a new journey.

The main focus of attention will logically be on the fight for the GT open overall title, which has no less than three contenders: Mikkel Mac, Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia and Giovanni Venturini-Jeroen Mul, representing three different teams (Luzich, Teo Martín, Imperiale) and brands (Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini).



Barcelona’s grand finale of the GT Open will keep its promises: a three-way battle for the overall title and a 32-car grid 
Mac (Luzich Racing Ferrari), Rueda-Saravia (Teo Martín Motorsport BMW) and VenturiniMul (Imperiale Racing Lamborghini) ready for the final Drivers’ and Team’s battle 
Games open also in the Pro-Am class, with Ramos-Crestani (Lazarus Lambo), Onslow ColePierburg (SPS Mercedes) and Hahn (Drivex Mercedes) 
Lewandowski-Borlenghi (VSR Lambo) closer to Am honours
Largest grid of the year: Windward Racing and Porteiro Motorsport make their debut, Senkyr Motorsport and Olimp Racing back for the finale
Auer, Zaugg, Dontje, Jensen, Keen and Rizzoli, along Gosia Rdest, among new drivers joining the ‘closing party’ 
The big moment has arrived: the 2018 season is about to come to an end! As per tradition, it is the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosting the final and decisive round. No less customary is indeed the fact that the title is decided at Montmeló. It has been the case in 12 out of 13 editions so far, including the current one, which will offer an exciting threeway battle. The overall crown is not the only one still at stake: the battle is going to be close and fierce also in the Pro-Am and Am classes and in the Teams’ standings. No derogation either to another feature of Barcelona’s grand finale: the round attracts a fair number of additional entries and big names, bringing the entry list to 32 cars, the largest figure in 2018. 
Fans at the track and at home will therefore have plenty to enjoy, giving also the rich race programme of the weekend, which includes on top of the GT Open, the Euroformula Open (with Brazil’s Felipe Drugovich already crowned and the presence of David Schumacher), the TCR Europe (where local hero Mikel Azcona is the best-placed in the run for the title), the Alpine ELF Europa Cup and the Eurocup Formula Renault, which will close here its glorious journey started in 1971 before starting a new journey. 
A THREE-WAY BATTLE FOR THE OVERALL TITLE
The main focus of attention will logically be on the fight for the GT open overall title, which has no less than three contenders: Mikkel Mac, Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia and Giovanni Venturini-Jeroen Mul, representing three different teams (Luzich, Teo Martín, Imperiale) and brands (Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini).
 

 
 
Mikkel Mac gets to Barcelona as the points leader, a position he has held since the very beginning, but with only a 3-point advantage. The 25-year-old driver of the Luzich Ferrari 488 will again have as team mate the reigning WEC GT world champion Alessandro Pier Guidi, with whom he has conquered the 4 wins so far. The  personable Dane approaches the decisive weekend with his usual cool: “We knew that the title would be decided at the very end, the GT Open is just so! I look forward to this last round and feel no special pressure. We need to do things as we have done them throughout the season and give our best. I am totally confident in the team, which has proved competitive since day one, and in our package. It has been an intense season, which started very well for us; then, during the summer, we had a few issues that we overcame, and now we are strong again. The best of 2018 is seeing the terrific team work and team spirit we have been able to craft.” 
Fran Rueda and Andrés Saravia, winners of three races with their BMW M6,  will play the role of the best-placed outsiders, something that the Spaniard and Teo Martín Motorsport have already experienced last year. “To be again fighting for the tile is already a great achievement”, reckons 22-year-old Rueda, “and the difference this year is that the gap is closer. If we do things well, we have our chances, although we do not depend entirely on ourselves and anything can happen. We’ll approach things calmly and we’ll try to have a weekend as good as the Monza one. But however it’ll go, it has been a great season!”. 
The task will be harder for reigning champion Giovanni Venturini and Dutchman Jeroen Mul, whose Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracán lies 25 points behind, with a maximum of 30 still to be awarded. “Reasonably, we do not have a lot of chances”, says the Italian, “but it’s already something to be in this position, despite not scoring any point in four races. We were competitive, but always at the limit, if compared to our rivals. We missed the last little something, and we will happy to have the Evo version of the Huracán next year, as the current car has probably reached its ceiling.” 
PRO-AM, AM AND TEAMS: MORE BATTLES IN THE MENU 
Nothing is done in the Pro-Am class where 10 points separate the Daiko Lazarus Racing Lamborghini of Miguel Ramos-Fabrizio Crestani and the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG of Tom Onslow-Cole and Valentin Pierburg. Ten points is exactly the equivalent of one race win: the silver Mercedes has clinched five and the leading pair … none yet! The battle could not offer a starker contrast between panache and consistency! 15 points behind, Marcelo Hahn, with the Drivex Mercedes, is still on the race. The Brazilian, again paired with Allam Khodair, and the Spanish team are hoping in a positive end of the season, after the drama lived at Monza with the accident of Alan Hellmeister, who is recovering well from his injuries. 
In the Am class, Andrzej Lewandowski and Giulio Borlenghi are only 2 points away from clinching mathematically the title. The Pole and the Brazilian, at the wheel of the Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini, have considerably raised their bid thanks a very strong second part of the season. 
 

 
Last but not least, the Teams’ title will see a close fight between Luzich Racing, Imperiale Racing and Teo Martín Motorsport, only covered by 17 points. 
MANY NEW-COMERS AND RETURNEES FOR THE GRAND FINALE
As usual, the Barcelona round is attracting a lot of new names. Among the new entries, Spanish squad Porteiro Motorsport is entering the Mercedes seen in the Winter Test at Barcelona for a pair of American drivers, Charles Finelli and Phillippe Denes. From the USA is also Winward Racing, a Texas-based squad technically supported by HTP Motorsport, which makes its debut with a Mercedes entrusted to American Russell Ward and Dutch GT specialist Indy Dontje. 
Two teams from Central Europe already seen this year have decided to join the final party: Senkyr Motorsport, after taking a podium finish at Spa, is fielding again its BMW M6, with Richard Gonda this time associated with Denmark’s Mikkel Jensen, while Polish squad Olimp Racing is entering its two Audi R8 already seen at the Hungaroring for Marcin Jedlinski-Mateusz Lisowski and Stanislaw Jedliski-Gosia Rdest. The latter is one of the most promising young lady driver in GT, on top of a very well-known motor journalist in her home country.  
Among driver changes, there will be a new pair debuting with Drivex: Christian Hahn (the son of Marcelo) is switching to GTs from the Euroformula, and will race alongside Austrian DTM star Lucas Auer. At Ombra Racing, Damiano Fioravanti will be partnered this time by Andrea Rizzoli; the 33-year-old BES and ELMS winner is back to the GT Open, where he was a regular winner in GTS in 2011-12. On its side, Target Racing is confirming a twoLambo entry, with Switzerland’s Christoph Lenz joining Stefano Costantini in the Am car, and former GP2 and A1GP star Adrian Zaugg, from South Africa, alongside Alberto Di Folco in the car entered in Pro.  Phil Keen is also returning to the GT Open, in this occasion alongside Kang Ling in the VSR Lambo. 
No doubt: it is going to be an exciting weekend!
  
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 7: Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
 
TIMETABLE (All times local, CET)
 
Thursday 18th October 2018 13:00-14:00 Private test 1 15:00-16:00 Private test 2 Friday 19th October 2018 10:45-11:45 Free Practice 1 14:55-15:55 Free Practice 2 17:20-18:00 Free Practice 3 (only Bronze drivers) Saturday 20th October 2018  11:05-11:35 Qualifying 1 (driver 1) 15:40-15:50 Race 1 (70’ - Rolling Start) Sunday 21st October 2018 09:40-10:10 Qualifying 2 (driver 2) 14:15-15:15 Race 2 (60’ - Rolling Start)
 
 
PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 12 OF 14  
Overall: 1. Mac, 107; 2. Saravia-Rueda, 104; 3. Pier Guidi, 91; 4. Venturini-Mul, 82; 5. Di Amato, 71; 6. AgostiniBreukers, 66; etc Pro-Am: 1. Ramos-Crestani, 70 points; 2. Pierburg-Onslow Cole, 60; 3. Hahn, 49; 4. Liang-Giammaria, 45; 5. Ellis-Wilkinson, 38; 5. Rugolo-West, 37; etc.   GT-Am: 1. Lewandowski-Borlenghi, 72 points; 2. Konopka, 61; 3. Basso, 54; 4. Hrachowina-Konrad, 53; 5. Coimbra-Silva, 42; 6. Calko, 35; etc    Teams: 1. Luzich Racing, 90 points; 2. Imperiale Racing, 88; 3. BMW Team Teo Martín, 73 points; 4. RS Racing, 37; 5. Ombra Racing, 34; 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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