and Hot Title Battle - 20th event mark to be reached in the series’ birthplace
Montermini-Maceratesi (Playteam Ferrari) and Lietz-Roda (Autorlando Sport) separated by only 2 points (133-131) in heated fight for title
The Monza GT Open, which takes place next week-end (4 and 5 October), is always avery special event for the International GT Open. It was in the legendary AutodromoNazionale in the outskirts of Milan, that the very first GT Open event took place, inthe spring of 2006. That Saturday 1 st April, there were 26 cars and a lot of anxiety onthe grid; it was a rainy day, and the Italian proverb that says that wet whether in keyevents of life brings luck proved entirely right!
Interesting coincidence, this year’s visit to Monza will mark something of a milestonein the International GT Open: this will be the twentieth event of the Dunlop-backedseries, which has certainly come out of age and is now regarded as one of the bestplatforms for pro-am GT2 and GT3 racing in the continent.
Twenty events (and 36 races) can be a good opportunity for fans of statistics to lookback and to see that, among constructors, the most successful ones have been, up tothis moment, Ferrari in the overall category (25 wins against 8 to Porsche) and Viper inthe GTS category (with 17 wins against 7 to Lamborghini). Racing Box, present sincethe first race, tops the table of victories per team (14, mainly in the GTS category)ahead of Scuderia Playteam (12) and Autorlando Sport (8). Among drivers, ItalianMarco Cioci has been the fastest in qualifying (with 9 poles, mainly in GTS), while bynumber of victories, the first position sees a draw between Andrea Montermini andRichard Lietz, with 8 wins each.
No surprise, though, that these two will be the stars of the forthcoming Monza GTOpen, as they continue their duel for the title. Montermini and team-mate MicheleMaceratesi, at the wheel of the Scuderia Playteam SaraFree, are in the lead with 133points, only two more than reigning champion Richard Lietz and his team-mateGianluca Roda, who have brought Autorlando Sport’s Porsche 997 RSR to the 131 pointmark after their successful week-end in Magny-Cours.
With the support ofഊNeedless to say, with still 44 points to be awarded, the Monza GT Open, which willpartner again next week-end with the World Touring Car Championship, will be a keymoment in the fight for the championship, for which Playteam’s Gião-Couceiro (129points), Advanced Engineering’s Pasini-Bonetti (99 points) and Edil Cris’ Frezza-Monfardini(98 points) still haven’t said their last word.
In GTS, the leaders, the Twentywo Corvette of Marco Cioci and Andrea Pellizzato havea not much easier task as their advantage on Max Wiser (Villois Racing Aston Martin) is6 points (51 against 45) with Pampló-Julià (Roger Racing Ferrari) third with 31 points.The entry list for the Monza GT Open, which generally attracts a good number ofadditional participants, will be published next Monday 29 September. The Pro-Am andGT Open races will be broadcasted live by Eurosport 2 (59 countries), Nuvolari (Italy),Canal + (Spain) and Portugal (Sport TV), with the usual additional delayed coverage inother countries, including France (Motors TV), Belgium (Be Tv) and Austria (ÖRF).
MONZA GT OPEN TIMETABLE
Friday 3 October 200811:15-12:15 Free Practice 115:00-16:00 Free Practice 2
Saturday 4 October 200809:45-10:00 Qualifying 1 (GTS)10:00-10:05 Qualifying 1 (GTS + GTA)10:20-10:25 Qualifying 1 (GTA)13:10-13:25 Qualifying 2 (GTS)13:25-13:30 Qualifying 2 (GTS + GTA)13:30-13:45 Qualifying 2 (GTA)16:05-17:05 Pro-Am Race (Max 60’ – Rolling Start)
Sunday 5 October 200809:30-09:45 Warm-up10:55-11:40 GT Open Race ( Max 45’ – Rolling Start)