The 2010 GT Open Kicks Off With An Exciting Grid In Valencia Joint GT Open and Spanish GT season-opener attracts 51 cars New Aston Martin Vantage GT2 joins Ferrari-Porsche duel in Super GT Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Audi and Ford to fight for ...
The 2010 GT Open Kicks Off With An Exciting Grid In Valencia
Joint GT Open and Spanish GT season-opener attracts 51 cars New Aston Martin Vantage GT2 joins Ferrari-Porsche duel in Super GT Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Audi and Ford to fight for honors in GTS
The engines roar again for the International GT Open, as the fifth edition of the series is ready to kick off: the season-opener will take place on 17-18 April in the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. After a long and cold winter break, everything is ready to have an exciting 2010 season, which starts under the best auspices. No less than 51 cars are entering for this joint GT Open and Spanish GT event (32 for the GT Open and 19 for the Spanish GT).
Jesus Pareja, CEO of GT Sport, comments: "We are delighted that the Valencia event is attracting so many participants, which is a rewarding sign considering that we are still going through a challenging overall economic context. The world of GT racing is getting more clearly defined and the GT Open is more and more recognized as the real option for GT2 and GT3 racing at European level. We will continue to work in that direction and to provide participants with the best possible return on their investment".
The basic principles of the International GT Open remain, of course, unchanged for 2010: the technical regulations are unchanged, with two categories of eligible cars, Super GT (GT2) and GTS (GT3); event format is still based on a 70 minutes race on Saturday and a 50 minutes race on Sunday; and the handicap system in time continues to apply (on the basis of a 15-10-5 seconds penalty for the top three finishers at every race). Keeping costs under control, ensuring a sportive and friendly atmosphere in the paddock and offering a premium TV package continue to be cornerstones of the GT Open proposition.
* About the Valencia Event
In Valencia, GT Open and Spanish GT entrants will race together, but participants will only score points for the championship they have entered (with the only exception of the Aurora Ferrari of Lopez-Gião, which is entered in both series).
With the support of The Sunday race, as it is customary when the number of entries allows it, will be split by categories, with the GTS race in the morning and the SuperGT race in the afternoon.
Finally, a day of collective free test will take place on the Wednesday preceding the event, in replacement of the official test scheduled in Spa late March which had to be cancelled due to the collapse of a tunnel in the Belgian track
* A top-level entry list
As the provisional entry list released today shows, quality has joined quantity for the opening event of the 2010 season. In the Super GT category, the duel between Porsches and Ferraris will be as exciting as ever. The Ferrari F430 delegation is led by the three cars of AF Corse (with Barba-Kaffer and Griffin-Gerber confirmed for the entire season), the two cars of CRS Racing (the British stalwart team is making its debut in the GT Open with Niarchos-Mullen and Goodwin-Hummel), the Kessel Racing car making its debut in the category (with current GTS champions Peter-Broniszewski), and the units brought by Edil Cris (for Giammaria-Toccacelo) and Aurora (Gião-Lopez). Are also making their debut in the Open the AT Racing F430 (prepared by AF) of Belarus Alexander Talkanitsa father and son, and of Dutch GT expert Peter Versluis.
In the Porsche camp, Autorlando Sport is present with two 911 RSR (for Lietz-Roda and Moro-Kaufmann), while IMSA is concentrating on one car for its leading pair Narac-Pilet and Spain's Drivex team enters Amaral-De Castro. Last but not least, Britain's Trackspeed has confirmed two cars with driver line-ups being finalized at the moment.
This said, the most interesting novelty in this category is the brand new Aston Martin Vantage GT2, which will make its debut in the series with Villois Racing. The Italian team, the most faithful representative of the British marque in the GT Open, will start the season with a Prodrive-prepared car before using its own as from the Imola event. Wiser-Guerrero will be the drivers.
In the competitive GTS category, variety is the main word, with Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Audi and Ford bidding for the title. Kessel Racing gives the assault with four F430 Scuderias (and Livio-Bontempelli and Frezza-Couceiro as the leading pairs). Five other F430 in total will be entered by French teams Sofrev ASP, Protonic, M.Petit and Luxury (with Stephane Ortelli and Jean-Philippe Dayrault at the wheel).
The Ford GT will make its first appearance in the series, thanks to British team RPM and Mortimer-Bamford, while the Villois Racing Aston Martins DBR9 will try to retain the category's Team title, with Lancieri-Lancelotti as its leading pair. For the first time, Porsche will bid for the crown in the junior category as well, through a 997 entered by Autorlando Sport for Thomas Gruber and a driver still to be designated. So will also do Audi, whose most competitive R8 is entered by Phoenix Racing for Marcel Tiemann and Jim Matthews. Another privateer R8 is entered by Brinkmann Motorsport.
* Live TV
The Valencia GT Open will enjoy excellent live TV coverage, at pan-European level through Motors TV (which broadcasts in 6 languages to 18 million households in 50 countries), and at national level thanks to Canal + Deportes (Spain), Nuvolari (Italy), Sport TV (Portugal) and nSport (Poland).
* New Website
Fans around the world will be able to follow all the action from the GT Open (and also from the European F3 Open which also kicks off in Valencia) on www.gtsport.es, which has been completely revamped for 2010.
-source: gt open
ADAC: Christian Hohenadel Oschersleben summary
GT Open: Series Valenica race 1 report