The Blancpain Endurance Cup kicks off at Monza this weekend. Points from the long race championship are added to the Blancpain Sprint Cup to produce the overall winner of the Blancpain GT series. Prizes are also awarded to the winners of the individual rankings. Each Cup is divided into Pro, Pro-Am and Am classes. Fifty-four cars will line up for the 180-minute race at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, representing 12 manufacturers, among which Ferrari is prominent with seven 488 GT3s.
Pro Class. The fastest class includes one Ferrari, the 488 GT3 of SMP Racing, which like last year will be crewed by official Ferrari drivers Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, plus the super fast Russian Mikhail Aleshin. The three aim to win the Endurance Cup but the competition in this category is fierce.
Pro-Am Cup. As usual, Ferrari is highly competitive in the Pro-Am class, with several of its official drivers involved. FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) world champion Alessandro Pier Guidi will be there alongside Michael Broniszewski at the wheel of the 488 GT3 no. 11 of Kessel Racing. AF Corse will be fielding two cars: no. 53 with Andrea Bertolini, Niek Hommerson and Louis Machiels and no. 51 with Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin. Giancarlo Fisichella, Lorenzo Bontempelli and Alex Demidjan will be driving the car of 961 Corse. Then, rounding off the Pro-Am group, reigning champion, Alexander Mattschull will be at the wheel for Rinaldi Racing 488 GT3 along with Rinat Salikhov and Dominik Schwager, who made his debut in the Ferrari last weekend for the first race of the ADAC GT Masters.
Am Cup. Last year’s championship runner-up Pierre Ehret will be in the German team’s other car, sporting its classic green colour, joined at Monza by Rory Penttinen and Rick Yoon.
Programme. The weekend starts on Friday with the Bronze Test (from 5:20 pm to 6:20 pm), and continues on Saturday with free practices (from 11:35 am to 1:05 pm) and pre-qualifying (from 5 pm to 6:30 pm). Ferrari boasts over 150 victories at Monza. The first dates back to the Coppa Inter-Europa of 1949, with Bruno Sterzi on the 166 S, while the most recent was in June 2017, in the Italian GT championship by Matteo Malucelli and Eddie Cheever III at the wheel of the Scuderia Baldini 27 Network’s 488 GT3.