– Karim Ojjeh leads the overall drivers’ standings
– Klaus Dieter Frers & Stephen Earle separated by one point in Iron Cup
– Mario Cordoni looking to add to three previous Misano wins
Moving from its usual spot as the Blancpain GT Sports Club season-opener, the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli will welcome the grid for round three of the SRO Motorsports Group’s Bronze-only series.
The Italian venue has been ever present on the calendar since the inaugural campaign in 2015, when current title challenger Mario Cordoni took a clean sweep of victories, and will welcome 13 drivers across the three classes as the championship closes in on the halfway stage.
Five manufacturers will be represented this weekend, with cars from BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Porsche heading to the 2.6-mile circuit, which also hosts the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup.
After two rounds, it’s Karim Ojjeh (#2 Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3) who leads the 2018 drivers’ standings having taken three consecutive second-place finishes followed by a maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club victory at Paul Ricard. The Saudi Arabian driver has shown consistently strong pace, but will have his eye on AF Corse’s Mario Cordoni (#70 Ferrari 488 GT3), who already boasts three wins at Misano, and will look to bounce back after a difficult weekend last time out.
The overall top two are also part of the new-for-2018 Titanium Cup, with HP Racing International’s Coach McKansy (#17 Lamborghini Huracan GT3), who currently lies third in the class for drivers aged 50-59, hoping to narrow the gap in Italy.
In the Iron Cup it’s as close as ever, with Klaus Dieter Frers’ (#3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3) double class victory in France moving him just one point ahead of long-time rival Stephen Earle (#111 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3).
Another driver to watch out for this weekend will be Luigi Lucchini (#7 BMS Scuderia Italia SRL Ferrari 458 GT3), the Italian showed strong pace on his return to the series in Le Castellet, taking a win and second-place finish that puts him third in the overall standings.
In the AF Corse camp, Mario Cordoni is once again joined by Patrick van Glabeke (#488 Ferrari 488 GT3), who showed good race craft to land himself a pair of fourth-place finishes last time out, and 2015 Iron Cup Misano double-winner Louis-Philippe Soenen (#50 Ferrari 488 GT3).
Boutsen Ginion are also fielding three cars in Italy, with their usual driver trio of Karim Ojjeh, Claude-Yves Gosselin (#4 Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX) and Pierre Feligioni (#6 Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX) heading to the historic venue, as they look to extend their run of strong results.
Coming off the back of two Titanium Cup podiums, Jürgen Häring (#66 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R) returns to action this weekend, with Iron Cup racer Bernd Kleinbach (#100 Attempto Racing) occupying the other 991 GT3 R after missing the Paul Ricard round.
Fellow Iron Cup competitor Roberto Rayneri (#60 GDL Racing) completes the grid at his ‘home’ event. He’ll be back in the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 at the track he made his Blancpain GT Sports Club debut last year.
Saturday’s busy schedule at Misano will consist of two practice sessions, followed by qualifying and the 25-minute Qualifying Race, with Sunday welcoming the 40-minute Main Race.