The GT Open for the first time at Hockenheim
The iconic track home of the German GP hosts the second round of the season
Antonelli Motorsport Mercedes and Teo Martín Motorsport McLarens to challenge the early advantage of the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghinis
Lambo, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin to fight in crowded and competitive Pro-Am class
Mercedes teams fight in Am class
Winward Racing and new entry GetSpeed Performance to join, as GT star Darren Turner reappears in the series with Optimum Motorsports
Euroformula, TCR Europe, Alpine Europe Cup and Peugeot Racing Cup to partner in an exciting racing weekend programme
There is the excitment of novelty as the International GT Open heads to a circuit completely new to the series for its second round of the 2019 season : the Hockenheimring. The addition of the track nested in the Baden-Württenberg forests, known for its long straights and its characteristic Motodrom grandstands, allows all 7 events of the 2019 GT Open to take place in current F.1 tracks. First used in 1932, the track has hosted its first German GP in 1970. The relation with F.1 has been constant since then, although with some discontinuity and often alternating with the Nürburgring. The track itself has undergone different modifications, the latest (2002) leading to the 4.574-km configuration used today, a shorter version of the 6.8-km design which included the famous Ostkurve.
The second round of the season is set to confirm the 2019 trends already noticed at the season-opener in Paul Ricard: an increased level of the competition, more diversity in brands represented and the emergence of new front-runners among teams and drivers, with many young guns stating their case. The entry list for Hockenheim includes 24 cars.
One month ago, in France, Emil Frey Racing made a strong return to the series and debut with the Lamborghini Huracans Evo by taking victory in both races, with its two pairs: Albert Costa-Giacomo Altoè and Mikaël Grenier-Norbert Siedler. They will have a tough job in producing again the same results in the Pro class, as the competition is fierce.
The McLarens 720S of Teo Martín Motorsport are now completely fine-tuned and the two Pro pairs of the Spanish squad, Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia and Martin Kodrić-Henrique Chaves are hopeful in better luck than in France. The Mercedes camp can count on two very strong teams, with Antonelli Motorsport fielding Daniel Zampieri-Alessio Rovera and SPS Automotive entering Miguel Ramos-Fabrizio Crestani. Both duos have already visited the podium this year. In the Pro category, Lazarus Racing is also well represented by the two 2018-spec Huracans of Lazarus Racing, with Nicolas Pohler-Nicola De Marco and Fabio Onidi-Eliseo Martínez.
With 11 cars, the Pro-Am class is again the most crowded and some of the contenders definitely aim also to overall honours. The class standings are provisionally led by the Ratón by Target Lamborghini of Jiatong Liang-Raffaele Giammaria (the other car of the Italian squad is entrusted to Alberto Di FolcoChristoph Lenz), but there is no doubt that on home soil, and very close to their base, the SPS Automotive Performance squad is eager to shine, with the reigning Pro-Am champion pair foirmed by Valentin Pierburg and Tom Onslow-Cole. So are the other Teo Martín McLaren of Marcelo Hahn-Allam Khodair, the Spirit of Race Ferrari of Duncan Cameron-Matt Griffin and the Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage. The British car, one of the top novelties in the new generation of GT3 models, already proved to have excellent pace, narrowly missing victory at Paul Ricard. Ollie Wilkinson will seek for revenge in Germany, associated to his new team mate for the season, no less than Darren Turner himself. The other Pro-Am contenders also had a promising kick-off at Paul Ricard and can aim at great results: it is the case for the Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lambo of Frederik SchandorffKang Ling, the Tempesta Racing Ferrari of Chris Froggatt-Eddie Cheever, the Sun Energy1 Mercedes of Kenny Habul-Thomas Jäger, and the Ombra Racing Lambo of Federico Leo-Najiy Razak. One additional car is joining the field for a selected number of rounds, starting at Hockenheim: the Winward Racing Mercedes, assisted by HTP Motorsport, already seen at Barcelona last year, again entrusted to Russell Ward and Indy Dontjes.
In the Am class, a completely new entry is GetSpeed Performance, who also plans to attend a number of events. The Nürburgring-based racing organization is entering a Mercedes AMS for the Bronze duo formed by Americans John Shoffner and Janine Hill, who have been shining in VLN races in the last couple of years. Leading the standings is the HTP Mercedes of Alexander Hrachowina-Martin Konrad, the Austrian duo having taken both wins at Ricard. They will be again challenged by the two AMG of Antonelli Motorsport, with Giuseppe Cipriani and Davide Roda at the wheel, and by the Sports&You other AMG of António Coimbra-Luis Silva.
At Hockenheim, German fans will enjoy a truly rich and exciting programme: the Euroformula will obviously be on show, fresh from the huge boost that followed the historic win of Billy Monger at the Pau Grand Prix last weekend, and the TCR Europe, with a 30+ grid, is back to GT Sport-promoted weekends, for the first of its five events together this year. Two great mono-brand trophies, the Alpine Elf Europe Cup and the Peugeot Racing Cup, complete a definitely exciting ticket.
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 (Auto Moto TV), 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 2: Hockenheim Ring, Germany
Timetable (All times local, CET)
Friday 24th May 2019 11:50-12:50 Free Practice 1 15:30-16:30 Free Practice 2 18:00-18:40 Free Practice 3 (only Bronze drivers) Saturday 25th May 2019 11:25-11:55 Qualifying 1 (driver 1) 16:30-17:40 Race 1 (70’ - Rolling Start) Sunday 26th May 2019 09:35-10:05 Qualifying 2 (driver 2) 14:00-15:00 Race 2 (60’ - Rolling Start)
STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2 OF 14 Overall: 1. Costa-Altoè, 23 points; 2. Ramos-Crestani, 20; 3. Kodrić-Chaves, 16; 4. Grenier-Siedler, Zampieri-Rovera, 15, etc Pro-Am: 1. Liang-Giammaria, 16p.; 2. Pierburg-Onslow Cole, Wilkinson-Ellis, 10; 4. Hahn-Khodair, 8; 5. Froggtt-Cheever, 6; etc Am: 1. Hrachowina-Konrad, 10 p.; 2. Cipriani, 8; 3. Roda; 6; 4. Silva-Coimbra, 4. Teams: Emil Frey Racing, 24 p.; 2. SPS Automotive Performance, 15; 3. Teo Martin Motorsport, 14; 4. Antonelli Motorsport, 8; 5. Raton Racing by Target, 3; 6. Optimum Motorsport, 2.