20 entries have already been confirmed for the opening round of this year’s Blancpain GT Sports Club at Misano World Circuit in Italy on April 9th and 10th.
Following a successful debut season, SRO’s Blancpain GT Sports Club aimed squarely at Bronze-only drivers returns for its second campaign with an expanded calendar, far bigger entry and wider variety of GT3 and GTE machinery.
Indeed, no less than 20 drivers and 11 teams fielding cars supplied by Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Mercedes will make the trip to Italy’s Adriatic coast as an official support to the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup.
Established in 2015, the championship gives amateur drivers a chance to fight their peers for overall race wins aboard modern GT machinery while also enjoying an exclusive and friendly paddock atmosphere. Equally, practice and qualifying sessions followed by non-pitstop 25-minute Qualifying and 40-minute Main Races ensure maximum track time. And drivers over 60 are also catered for thanks to the additional Iron Cup classification.
With reigning Overall champion Massimiliano Bianchi opting against a title defence the way has been left clear for a new challenger to emerge. Chief among these will surely be AF Corse’s Mario Cordoni who travels to Misano hoping to make it five or, ideally, six Blancpain GT Sports Club victories in a row following Qualifying and Main Race wins at the same venue and Algarve International Circuit last season.
This year’s Iron Cup also promises to be hard-fought with 2016 champion Martin Lanting, runner-up Louis Philippe Soenen, and third-place driver Michael Luzich all returning.
AF Corse boasts the largest line-up at Misano with no less than five Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and GTE models, as well as an all-new 488 GT3 in the hands of Patrick Van Glabeke. The Italian manufacturer is also represented by AKKA ASP and Kessel Racing, who are running three more 458 Italia GT3s under their own name and that of Dragon Racing.
Six Audi R8 LMS Ultras entered by three teams – Sainteloc Racing, JB Motorsport and WRT Racing – will undoubtedly provide stiff opposition, while more German hardware in the form of Classic and Modern’s BMW Z4 GT3, and HTP Motorsports’ Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 promise to provide a thunderous soundtrack.
The same can most definitely be said of Nicolas Vandierendonck’s Selleslagh Racing Team-entered Corvette C6 ZR1 GTE, while HP Racing’s Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 is sure to add even more glamour to the occasion.
Saturday’s action begins with two 30-minute practice sessions followed by a 20-minute qualifying run. The 25-minute Qualifying Race takes place that same evening before drivers and teams return mid-morning on Sunday for their 40-minute Main Race.