Six teams fighting for the overall GT Open title in Monza

Traditional event in Italy, first of the two last decisive roundsBattle fierce between Ferrari and Porsche in the GTS categoryJWA debuts with a Porsche for Daniels-Palttala

The International GT Open is entering the final stint of the season: the first of the last two rounds will take place this coming week-end in Monza. The late summer rendez-vous with the legendary Autodromo Nazionale in the outskirts of Milan has become one of the mosttraditional ones in the calendar. As always, Lombardy’s historic and fast track will play a key role in the title battle, but verdicts won’t be known before the final round in Barcelona.

This is even more so this year, as the battle is more open than ever in all categories. In the overall standings, three teams seem to be the best-placed candidates: Soheil Ayari, Miguel Ramos and the duo Andrea Montermini-Emanuele Moncini. The Frenchman of JMB Racing, nowpaired effectively with Joël Camathias (who will be racing at home, a few km only from his native Lugano in Switzerland), has only 6 points of advantage (not many, once you consider that a maximum of 44 are at stake at each round) over Miguel Ramos. The Portuguese of EdilCris is also sole in the standings, as his regular team-mate Raffaele Giammaria had to miss one round, but the pair is on a “in crescendo” trend following their maiden win in Portimão.

Montermini-Moncini are third, only 11 points behind, with the Villorba Corse Ferrari 458, and considered by many the real favorites. From a mathematical point of view, also Marco Frezza- Cochito López, the representatives of Vittoria Competizioni but it is clear that the F430 isnow a less competitive package than the new 458.

Paradoxally, also the best two GT3 cars can aspire to the overall title, but clearly their first objective is the GTS class title: Lorenzo Bontempelli-Stefano Gattuso drive the Ferrari 458 GT3 of the Kessel Racing, while Gianluca Roda will have to part company this time from Fabio Babini, who has a previous commitment, and will share the Autorlando 911R with Paolo Ruberti, a race winner in the GT Open’s early years. Third in the GTS category, Stefano Bizzarri, the young Italian born in Seattle that shares the AF Corse 458 GT3 with Andrea Rizzoli, has not said his last word.

The Villois Aston Martin, the Sport&You Mercedes and the Deboeuf Porsche are back, that did not make the trip to Portugal, the Monza event will see a further Ferrari F430 GT2 entered by AF Corse for Jack Gerber-Matt Griffin, a third Ferrari F430 GT3 by Kessel Racing(for German duo Kremer-Schmidt) and the debut of British team JWA, with a Porsche GT2 for GT specialists Paul Daniels and Markus Palttala. The new Mosler GT3 of Rafael Unzurrunzaga will do its second outing of the season while, at AF Corse, Niki Cadei will replace on car #2 Michele Rugolo, who is racing at Petit Le Mans.

The exciting race programme in Monza also includes the European F3 Open, the FIA Formula2, the F.2000 Light and the Italiano Turismo Endurance series. All the action can be followedlive via the webstreaming TV, on gtopen.net, while live TV coverage is ensured byMotors TV (pan-European), Nuvolari and Primocanale (Italy), Canal + Deportes andTeledeporte (Spain), Sport TV (Portugal), Orange TV Sport (Poland) and Fox Sport and ESPN(Latin America).

GT Open Monza Timetable / Horario GT Open Monza

Friday 30 Septiembre 2011 / Viernes 30 Septiembre 201111:15-12:15 Free Practice 1 / Libres 114:25-15:25 Free Practice 2 / Libres 2

Saturday 1st October 2011 / Sábado 1 Octubre 201109:30-09:45 Qualifying / Clasficación1 GTS09:45-09:50 Qualifying / Clasficación1 SGT + GTS09:50-10:05 Qualifying / Clasficación1 SGT11:35-11:50 Qualifying / Clasficación 2 GTS11:50-11:55 Qualifying / Clasficación 2 SGT + GTS11:55-12:10 Qualifying / Clasficación 2 SGT15:15-16:25 Race 1 / Carrera 1 (70’ - Rolling Start / Salida lanzada)

Sunday 2nd October 2011 / Domingo 2 Octubre 201113:15-14:05 Race 2 / Carrera 2 (50’ – Salida lanzada)