For its fourth round of the season, the International GT Open is heading to one of the most appreciated venues, the Hungaroring, the iconic F.1 track in the outskirts of Budapest, the magnificent Hungarian capital, that the series has visited regularly, the last time in 2014. Magyar fans, always eager to watch international motorsports action, will certainly enjoy the great 2017 field of the series and fight at the top of the standings, which has taken a completely new course at the Ricard. Following the initial dominance of the new Lexus RC F GT3 at Estoril and Spa, the reaction of rivals, materialized with the wins of Ferrari (Ramos-Mac) and BMW (Bouveng-Rueda) in France, has brought to a completely new, and very tight, situation in the rankings.
Albert Costa-Philipp Frommenwiler, the pair of Emil Frey Racing, are still leading with their Lexus (43 points), but they have now only a 4-point advantage over the Imperiale Racing Lamborghini of Thomas Biagi-Giovanni Venturini, who are chasing their first win of the season, and 5 over a trio of contenders formed by the Spirit of Race Ferrari of Ramos-Mac, the Teo Martín BMW of Bouveng-Rueda and the Farnbacher Lexus of the Farnbacher brothers.
In the Pro-Am category, Marco Cioci-Piergiuseppe Perazzini (AF Corse Ferrari) have an equally short lead (2 points) over the Balfe Motorsport McLaren of Balfe-Bell, while in GT-Am, Alex Moiseev-Davide Rizzo (Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari) are now leaders, with 2 and 3 points over the two Mercedes of Silva-Coimbra 5sports&You) and Hrachowina-Konrad (MS Racing), respectively.
The Budapest round, with 24 entries, will see a number of movements in the usual line-up of some regular contenders, mainly due to other commitments, of different nature, of the concerned drivers. In the Farnbacher Lexus, Mario Farnbacher is leaving his seat on this occasion to Norbert Siedler, the well-known German star, while Lance D.Arnold will be this time the team mate of Valentin Pierburg in the SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes, and Andrea Caldarelli is replaced by Rino Mastronardi in the SF Racing Ferrari 488. Former F.1 racer and current WTCC star Tiago Monteiro, who had to postpone his GT Open at Ricard, is now confirmed as the team mate of Lourenço Beirão da Veiga on the Teo Martín BMW #51. On his side, Brazilian star Allam Khodair is back along Marcelo Hahn on the Drivex Mercedes.
The increasingly active GT scene in Central Europe provides for an interesting new entry: Racing Trevor will be the first Slovakian team to race a GT Open event, with their BMW M6, entrusted to a father-and-son pair composed of Jiri Malchárek, well-known in the European GT scene some years ago before embracing a political career, and his son Christian. Also to be noted is the one-off absence of the Jordan Racing Bentley and the Solaris Motorsport Aston Martin, which following the technical issue encountered in France, have opted for missing this round to come back in full shape at Silverstone.
The weekend race programme at the Hungaroring will be particularly rich and diversified. Together with the GT Open and the Euroformula, the Eurocup F.Renault 2.0 will be stellar partner, with the Radical European Master and the Lotus Cup bringing further excitement.
Source. International GT Open