GT

GTO: Series Imola preview

The GT Open Heads To A Warm Welcome In Imola Kaffer-Barba seek to confirm leadership in front of Ferrari's tifosi IMSA and Autorlando to lead Porsche assault Fight between Ferrari, Porsche, Aston, Ford and Audi as open as ever in GTS The...

The GT Open Heads To A Warm Welcome In Imola

Kaffer-Barba seek to confirm leadership in front of Ferrari's tifosi

IMSA and Autorlando to lead Porsche assault

Fight between Ferrari, Porsche, Aston, Ford and Audi as open as ever in GTS

The third round of the 2010 International GT Open is at the doorstep: in one week time the series will head to Italy, one of the homelands of GT racing, and stopping, for the second time in history, in the prestigious Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola.

Expectation is high to see if the trends seen in Valencia and Nuerburgring are confirmed in the fast and technical Italian track: the Ferraris have appeared in excellent shape so far, and namely the AF Corse one driven by Alvaro Barba and Pierre Kaffer, who have won three races out of four and are on top of the provisional standings, while the last round in Germany has seen the Porsches reacting, with the IMSA car of Raymond Narac- Patrick Pilet giving the Stuttgart camp its first seasonal win.

In Imola, only a few kilometers away from Maranello, the Prancing Horse machines will certainly want to shine and Barba-Kaffer will fight to retain their 16-points lead (70 points is their current toll) in the championship. Still, with a higher handicap, the German-Spanish duo will have to defend itself from the assaults of Narac-Pilet (54 points) and the other top Porsche, the Autorlando of Roda-Lietz (52 points).

This could also be an excellent opportunity for the Edil Cris Ferrari of Raffaele Giammaria-Enrico Toccacelo, eager to confirm at home their good start of the season, and the other F430s of Peter-Broniszewski (Kessel Racing) and Niarchos-Mullen (CRS Racing).

In the SuperGT category, we will also follow with great attention the race of the Aston Martin Vantage GT2 of Guerrero-Wiser. After a promising debut, the British car is raising its game and Villois Racing will be racing as from this event its own machine, after competing in the first two rounds with a Prodrive-lended unit.

Worth of mentioning is also the come-back of the Porsche of Spanish team Drivex, with Amaral-De Castro, which will strengthen Stuttgart's presence alongside the second Autorlando car of Kauffman-Moro, the pair being a fresh FLM winner at the recent 1000 km of Spa.

In the GTS category, competition will be fierce as always among the many contenders. Ferrari will be very well represented by the two units prepared by Luxury Racing for Ortelli-Dayraut (now leading the category standings with 26 points) and Petit-Scheier, which swept the competition in Nuerburgring, and by the three machines of Switzerland's Kessel Racing (Livio-Bontempelli, Frezza-Couceiro and Kremer-Lavio). The new Porsche 911 GT3 entered by Autorlando is second in the standings (19 points) in the hands of Thomas Gruber-Dimitris Deverikos.

Others to watch in GTS are the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 of Jim Matthews and Marcel Tiemann (who will seek this coming week-end a fifth consecutive success in the 24 hrs of Nuerburgring), the RPM Ford GT of Mortimer-Bamford and the Villois Racing Aston Martins DBRS9 of Lancieri-Lancelotti and Crespi-Sada.

With the Sofrev-prepared Ferraris of Savary-Ricci and Balthazard-Beaubelique making their second appearance this year and the GDL Porsche GT3 Cup, the Imola round of the GT Open offers a 28-car entry of the highest quality and promises a great show, shared this time with the Auto GP, the Italian Prototype Championship and F.2000 Light.

All the action from Imola can be followed by fans via the live broadcasts in Italy (Nuvolari), Spain (Canal + Deportes), Portugal (Sport TV) and Poland (nSport) and the extensive delayed coverage ensured in 50 countries by Motors TV, and by Fox Sports and ESPN in Central and South America.

-source: gtopen

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About this article
Series GT
Drivers Jim Matthews , Pierre Kaffer , Dimitris Deverikos , Raymond Narac , Patrick Pilet
Teams AF Corse , Luxury Racing , Phoenix Racing