Driving Force Events Limited, the organizer of the Gulf 12 Hours, is working on a new event concept at Monza, potentially taking place as early as March.
Andrea Ficarelli told Sportscar365 his company is planning to have a four-day event at the Italian circuit, that will allow teams to test and race in preparation for the new season.
“It is something a bit strange,” Ficarelli said. “We will launch a race in Monza on the 12th of March. It will be a 500-mile race and it will be called ‘Grand Opening,’ opening the season at Monza.”
Ficarelli believes the new event will give teams and drivers the opportunity to get some extra mileage ahead of the new season, with two days of testing and two days of racing planned.
“We don’t want to copy any kind of concept, we don’t want to be another race like the Blancpain series that will happen one month later. We want to give the teams an opportunity to test and race at Monza, before the season,” he said.
Unlike the Gulf 12 Hours, which is a mixed race of GT and prototypes, the Grand Opening will not be open for prototypes.
Ficarelli said the decision not to include prototypes was made due to the fact that the ELMS and WEC will have their test days later in March at the same circuit.
“What we plan is two days of testing and two days of racing and inviting the prototypes would be unpleasant,” he said. “We will have a GT race on one side and a Formula 4 race [on the other].”
Teams that competed in the Gulf 12 Hours will be given priority, although Ficarelli stated there will be a limited number of cars accepted.
“The GT race would have eight GT3, eight GTX, eight Lamborghini Super Trofeo and eight SEAT Eurocup,” he said.