This weekend (16-18 April) marks an exciting new chapter for GT racing as the Fanatec GT2 European Series prepares for its inaugural event at Autodromo di Nazionale Monza.
High-power performance models from manufacturers such as Audi, KTM, Lamborghini, Porsche and Ferrari stand ready to let battle commence around the picturesque, 5.8km amphitheatre of speed, set in the heart of Monza’s scenic parkland.
And, with a grid comprising several of the continent’s best Silver and Bronze-graded drivers, the first event for SRO’s re-vitalised GT Sports Club concept is set to leave a big impression on its maiden outing.
World’s leading automotive brands go head-to-head for Pro-Am glory
Four manufacturers are represented in the entry list for the Pro-Am class, which features driving pairings between Silver and Bronze-graded drivers.
High Classic Racing will field the #33 Audi R8 LMS GT2 for Denmark’s Anders Fjordbach and US racer Mark Patterson, whilst two other teams will fly the Audi flag on the inaugural grid.
The #81 PK Carsport by Heinz entry has Belgian duo Peter Guelinckx and Bert Longin at the wheel, whilst Stéphane Ratel will share the #88 LP Racing Audi with experienced GT contender Luca Pirri, the Italian no doubt looking for victory on home soil.
Team True Racing will field a pair of KTM X-BOW GT2 cars in the Pro-Am battle; Austria’s Sedhi Sarmani and Slovakia’s Stefan Rosina will pilot the #16, whilst across the garage the #23 features German Rupert Atzberger and Peter Kox from the Netherlands.
Newly founded British outfit Toro Verde GT make their debut in European GT competition, and with British GT Championship race winner Jordan Witt plus experienced campaigner David Fairbrother in their ranks, the #9 Lamborghini Huracan Supertrofeo GT could be one to watch.
The Pro-Am entry is completed by Porsche, with Speed Factory Racing charging Aurelijus Rusteika (Lithuania) and Michael Patrick Vergers (Netherlands) with the #5 911 GT2 RS for the weekend’s double-header of action-packed, 50-minute races.
Am class fight set to reach fever pitch at Italian amphitheatre
Battle lines are also set to be drawn in the Am class entry, which features Bronze-graded driver pairings and promises a plethora of thrilling wheel-to-wheel action.
Chab Evolution will be hoping to put the famous ‘Prancing Horse’ on the top step of the podium on home turf, fielding the #73 Ferrari 488 Challenge as an invitational entry for French pairing Alexis Berthet and Patrick Michellier.
The other Italian brand represented on the grid, Lamborghini, will be represented in the Am-class stakes by SVC Sport Management, Dilantha Malagamuwa (Sri Lanka) and Joseph Collado (France) taking to the cockpit of the #44.
Team True Racing’s four-car KTM entry is completed by two further Am-class entries, the #17 for Hubert Trukenpolz (Austria) and compatriot Klaus Angerhofer, alongside the #24 for Austrian Kris Rosenberger (Austria) and highly decorated German racer Hans Joachim Stuck, who adds the GT2 European Series to a glittering career including Formula 1, three victories at Le Mans 24 Hours and a DTM title in 1990.
Also representing the Austrian marque are Sportec AG; the fate of their #7 KTM X-BOW GT2 rests in the hands of Swiss racers Christoph Ulrich and Adrian Specsha.
A bumper weekend of GT racing action
Along with the season-opening rounds of the Fanatec GT2 European Series, Monza’s iconic Temple of Speed will also play host to the 3 Hours of Monza, the first Endurance Cup event on the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS calendar.
The weekend also marks the tenth anniversary since the Endurance Cup was formed, with a bumper grid of 44 cars across nine manufacturers set to thrill fans from the comfort of their own homes.
Further support race action from the GT4 European Series and Lamborghini Super Trofeo will provide fans with even more top-level GT action, and off-circuit the new Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series – organised by SRO in partnership with Fanatec, Assetto Corsa Competizione and AK Informatica – will debut with a one-hour virtual race.
Looking ahead to the future
For SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel, this weekend in Monza represents a positive start for the re-vitalised GT Sports Club.
“Even if it may look like a modest start with a grid limited to 12 cars, including an invitational Ferrari Challenge entry, I’m really pleased that we are finally able to launch the Fanatec GT2 European Series this weekend.
“It’s very encouraging to see all four homologated GT2 models already on the entry list at the first event, and I believe the high-speed Monza circuit will give the drivers an opportunity to show these fantastic cars at their best.
“I’m confident in the GT2 categories’ development from here, as it represents a very competitive cost to performance ratio in the world of GT Racing. I would like to thank the pioneer manufacturers, teams and drivers who are helping us launching it this weekend.
“This is an important first step in our re-launch of the GT Sports Club concept, and I think the future for GT2, as well as the GT Rebellion Series we’ll launch in Hockenheim next month, is looking positive.”
Source. SRO Motorsports Group