Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari hosts the season opener of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup this Sunday, 3rd April, where Finlay Hutchison will make his eagerly awaited maiden race appearance with reigning champion squad Team WRT.
Marking the start of his biggest year so far in GT competition, the three-hour race at Imola in Italy will trigger the 22-year-old’s fourth season in the globe’s biggest and most popular GT3 endurance racing championship – and could well provide his best chance yet of a title bid.
Running in the highly competitive Silver Cup, Hutchison teams up with fellow Scottish driver Lewis Proctor and Mexican racer Diego Menchaca at the wheel of one of Team WRT’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II cars.
Having competed in Audis over the past three seasons at GT3 level, becoming a Silver Cup podium finisher in his debut campaign in GTWCE in 2019, Hutchison brings fantastic experience into the coming year where he will also contest the sister Sprint Cup.
All focus currently, though, is on the Endurance Cup and the return to Imola for the first time since 2020, where a remarkable combined grid of more than 50 cars is expected – featuring a total of nine different manufacturers.
“Imola should be good, we’ve tested at a few tracks over the last few weeks and made some strong preparations for the first round”, said Hutchison, “It’s great facing a new challenge with Team WRT, and with two new team-mates in Diego and Lewis, hopefully we can make a consistent start to the season and maybe challenge for some trophies.
“Silver Cup is always mega-competitive, but we all know what to expect and how important it is for the championship to make a consistent start and take away as many points as we can. I’m looking forward to being back at Imola and determined to make the best possible start to the season, we’re hungry to fight for the podium so we’ll need to see where we are after practice and qualifying.”
Prior to getting pre-season testing underway with Team WRT, Hutchison had a packed beginning to 2022 with outings in the Hankook Dubai 24H, Hankook Abu Dhabi 6H and the four-event Asian Le Mans Series – all at the wheel of an Audi R8.
Following testing at Imola on Wednesday, 30th March, track action for Hutchison, Menchaca and Proctor will resume on Saturday, 2nd April, with free practice and pre-qualifying. On Sunday, 3rd April, final qualifying will get underway at 08.00 UK time with the three-hour race following at 14.00 UK time.
Source. Marc Orme/Photo. Michele Scudiero