Over the weekend, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza will host the first race of the Blancpain GT Series, with seven Ferrari 488 GT3s in the hunt for victory in their respective classes. The series promises to be very interesting and hard-fought with more than 49 cars at the start.
Pro. In the Pro class, SMP Racing will represent the Prancing Horse, again this year fielding the crew of official GT drivers Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, along with the Russian Mikhail Aleshin.
Rigon and Molina are in their third season as SMP teammates, while Aleshin joined in 2017 after impressing in IndyCar. Last season, the trio showed their winning potential on several occasions and were often among the race leaders even though at the end of the season they had only one podium to their name, won in Barcelona. At Monza, the trio conquered a fantastic pole position.
Pro-Am. Two Ferraris will be in the hunt for victory in the Pro-Am Cup class. The tried and tested trio of Niek Hommerson, Louis Machiels and official GT driver Andrea Bertolini will drive the car of AF Corse. The other car will sport the colours of Tempesta Racing with the former Ferrari Challenge driver Chris Froggatt, Chris Buncombe and Jonathan Hui behind the wheel.
Silver and Am Cup. In the Silver category, Rinaldi Racing and their drivers Rinat Salikhov, David Perel and Denis Bulatov will fight for the title with twelve other crews. The Italian team recently made a good impression with its cars in the 12H Series at Mugello, finishing close to the podium in the A6-Am class.
Three Ferraris are involved in the Am Cup category, two in the colours of Rinaldi Racing. The first (no. 488) will be crewed by Pierre Ehret, Martin Berry and Jose Manuel Balbiani, while the second (no. 33) will see Christian Hook, Steve Parrow and Manuel Lauck at the wheel. Ehret and Berry, along with Rory Penttinen and Florian Scholze, finished fourth in the Tuscan marathon, while Hook, Parrow and Lauch came sixth.
Florian Scholze, Jens Liebhauser and Andrzej Lewandowski, will be at the start in the 488 GT3 no. 444 of HB Racing.
Programme. The first free practice sessions are scheduled for Friday, while on Saturday, following the free practice at 11:30 am, prequalifying will take place from 5:15 pm. Qualifying will be held on Sunday at 9:40 am, while the race will start at 3 pm and finish three hours later.