GTO: Series Magny-Cours preview

The GT Open Is Back With Traditional Magny-Cours Event * The Porsche-Ferrari duel resumes with Autorlando (Roda-Lietz) and Trottet (Fassler-Camathias) leading in each camp * IMSA Performance to seek success at home * Ruffier, JMB and FR among...

The GT Open Is Back With Traditional Magny-Cours Event

* The Porsche-Ferrari duel resumes with Autorlando (Roda-Lietz) and Trottet (Fassler-Camathias) leading in each camp
* IMSA Performance to seek success at home
* Ruffier, JMB and FR among expected new entries
* Peter-Broniszewski (Kessel Ferrari), strong leaders in GTS
* French event to offer also the emotion of the Euro F.3 Open

After the summer break, the International GT Open is back ! Next week-end (19-20 September), the acclaimed European GT2 and GT3 pro-am series will resume its racing activity, with the fifth round of the season, to be held in the beautiful and demanding Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. The stop in Bourgogne has become a traditional and appreciated "rendez-vous" for the GT Open, as the French circuit is the only one, together with Monza and Barcelona, that has been visited every year by the series since its creation in 2006.

The summer break may have been long, but has not all be holidays, as most teams and drivers have been involved in testing or other competitions and the GT Sport team has been actively working on the future of the International GT Open.

The Magny-Cours GT Open will be the kick-off of the second half of the season, which promises to be as closely-fought as ever. The eternal battle between Porsche and Ferrari has seen the Stuttgart machines taking a slight advantage, but Maranello is more than determined to react. It will be interesting to see if and how the balance of power between the 997 RSR and the F430 has changed since the last race in Donington.

For the time being, Richard Lietz and Gianluca Roda, on their Autorlando Porsche 997 RSR lead the table with 124 points and 2 wins, ahead of the best Ferrari F430, the Trottet one, driven by Swiss aces Marcel Fassler and Joel Camathias (114 points and 2 wins also).

Third in the standings are Patrick Pilet-Raymond Narac with the IMSA Porsche (96 points and 2 wins as well) and there is no doubt that the French squad will wish to do well on their home soil. Other teams to be watched closely are the Autorlando's Portuguese pair of Manuel Gião-Pedro Couceiro, in the Porsche camp and among the Ferraris, Advanced Engineering top pair Giacomo Ricci-Michele Rugolo and Edil Cris' Raffaele Giammaria-Alessandro Bonetti, fresh from a win in the Italian GT Championship.

Things look more under control for the Prancing Horse in the GTS category, as Philipp Peter and Michal Broniszewski lead the table with 66 points and 6 wins, with their Kessel Ferrari F430 GT3, but the Villois Aston Martins of Wiser-Lancieri and Guerrero- Petrini are never far.

Up to 30 cars are expected in the Nièvre, as the GT Open always attracts a good number of French participants. The final entry list will be published early next week, but it is already sure that Ruffier Racing, with its Lamborghinis, FR Motorsport with its Vipers and JMB Racing will add themselves to the regular entrants.

The Magny-Cours event will also see in action the Euro F.3 Open, one of the most competitive Formula 3 series in the continent, which has produced a number of drivers that are currently shining at the top, like Jaime Alguersuari in F.1, Roldan Rodriguez and Javier Villa in GP2, Andy Soucek in F.2 and Nelson Panciatici in the Superleague, to name just some of the most recent examples. At the moment, the 2009 season sees Bruno Mendez and Celso Miguez tied up for the title battle at 76 points.

The Formula Le Mans, the Formula Academy Euro Series and the Coupe Caterham will complete a varied and appealing program.

As usual, the Magny-Cours GT Open will get TV coverage throughout Europe thanks to Eurosport and Motors TV and additional live coverage in Spain (Canal +), Italy (Nuvolari) and Portugal (Sport TV).

-credit: gto

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About this article
Series GT
Drivers Joel Camathias , Marcel Fassler , Raffaele Giammaria , Michele Rugolo , Pedro Couceiro , Manuel Giao , Raymond Narac , Celso Miguez , Patrick Pilet , Alessandro Bonetti , Andy Soucek , Richard Lietz , Giacomo Ricci , Jaime Alguersuari , Nelson Panciatici , Javier Villa , Bruno Mendez , Gianluca Roda