Last season’s curtain-closing trip to the Spanish Grand Prix venue offered superb racing and resulted in an absolute thriller in the Iron Cup class, as the title fight went down to the wire. Expect more of the same this year, as Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle (#111 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) and main rival Klaus Dieter Frers (#3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3) enter the final round of the season only three points apart!
Close fight. Earle is very familiar with nail-biting showdowns in the GT Sports Club’s category reserved for drivers aged 60 and more. Indeed, the US racer was already part of the 2016 championship battle that saw him lose out by a single point. Despite the high stakes involved, Earle insists the pleasure lies elsewhere. Earle and Frers share an almost identical record this year, with four wins apiece, multiple podium finishes and no retirement. In other words, all the ingredients are here to witness another classic denouement.
The third. The dynamic duo won’t be the only Iron Cup chargers competing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Having switched to the Ferrari 488 GT3 this year, AF Corse’s Louis-Philippe Soenen has racked up five class podium finishes aboard the #50 entry and will look to add more silverware in the final round of the season.
Other Ferraris. In the overall class there will be a 488 GT3 entered by AF Corse for Patrick Van Glabecke while many 458 Italia GTE and GT3 cars will take part in the race: Luigi Lucchini (BMS Scuderia Italia); Christian Hook (Rinaldi Racing); Christoph Ulrich and Frederic Jean-Marie Fangio (AF Corse); Alexis De Bernardi and Peter Goerke (Kessel Racing). There also a Cup Class car, the 458 Challenge EVO entered by AF Corse for Howard Blank.