Dijon will be the penultimate meeting of this inaugural season of the FIA GT3 European Championship which, after just six races, can already be described as a great success. With 48 cars entered for the full season, and an average of 42 taking...
Dijon will be the penultimate meeting of this inaugural season of the FIA GT3 European Championship which, after just six races, can already be described as a great success. With 48 cars entered for the full season, and an average of 42 taking part in each race so far, the action-packed races have thrilled spectators and drivers alike. After the beautiful and challenging circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, the teams and drivers will be heading southwards, to the French circuit of Dijon Prenois, where they will face the hilly, challenging circuit nestled in the heart of the Burgundy region.
Over the first six races, no team has managed to claim pole position twice. The Aston Martin DBRS9 (BMS Scuderia Italia), Corvette Z06 (Carsport Callaway and Riverside), Dodge Viper Competition Coupe (Pouchelon and Racing Logistic) and Porsche 997 GT3 (Auto Sport Promotion) have all started from the front of the grid. In terms of victories, four teams have won so far : two wins each for Racing Box and Racing Logistic, both with the Dodge Viper, and one each for the BMS Scuderia Italia Aston Martin and JMB Racing Ferrari 430 GT3. At the end of each two-race meeting, there has been a different overall leader in the Drivers Classification : Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen led after Silverstone, following their win and second place in May. Oschersleben saw Racing Box drivers Stefano Livio and Andrea Ceccato move into the lead, after they added a second win to the first they had scored in Britain. Two victories for the Racing Logisitic Viper and its crew of Bouvy and Bornhauser was enough to catapult reigning French GT Champion Patrick Bornhauser into the lead after Spa.
So what happens next? There are four races remaining before the very first FIA GT3 European Champion will be named. The points are close : Bornhauser leads by two points over a group of four drivers who are in joint second : Demitris Deverikos and Sean Edwards, whose Tech9 Motorsport Porsche has claimed three second-place finishes, and twice-winners Racing Box duo Ceccato and Livio. Frederic Bouvy is currently third on 20 points, but is not due to race in Dijon. On 19 points, Hector Lester and Allan Simonsen are still only seven points behind the leader, meaning that everything can change with just one good result.
But Patrick Bornhauser will be on familiar territory in Dijon : "We have a real advantage at the beautiful circuit of Dijon, as I have already won there in the FFSA GT Championship." But he is sure to face plenty of opposition, starting with his Dodge rivals, such as the Racing Box duo of Livio and Ceccato, and the very fast Pouchelon duo of Reid and Duqueine, still looking for a first win, despite some excellent races and a fine second place in Oschersleben. The DBRS9 cars have greatly improved over the season, with both the BMS Scuderia Italia and Barwell teams having an impressive line-up of drivers, including talented young drivers such as Marcello Zani and Jonathan Cocker. The Corvette Z06 cars proved they could last a full three-hour FIA GT race at the Paul Ricard HTTT last week, where Riverside won the G3 category.
And Ferrari? JMB were given permission from the GT Bureau to convert their Venturi entries into three additional entries for the Ferrari 430 GT3 Challenge,meaning we should see a full compliment of Ferrari cars on the grid. The grid of 44 cars will also include three Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo, three Damax Ascari KZ1R, and three AF Corse Maserati GranSport Light.