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54 Cars for Endurance Cup Opener at Monza

fifty-four cars on Monza entry list for Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup opener next weekend…

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

Fifty-four cars will take part in next weekend’s first Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup round of the season at Monza following the Sprint Cup opener at Zolder last weekend.

It will include the race debut of the new-generation Bentley Continental GT3 and European debut of the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 as part of a 24-strong Pro-class entry.

The total grid number is two more than last year’s event, which was won by the Grasser Racing Lamborghini trio of Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Christian Engelhart.

ENTRY LIST: Monza 

Bentley’s pair of cars will be driven by Steven Kane/Guy Smith/Jules Gounon and Maxime Soulet/Andy Soucek/Vincent Abril.

Nissan has one example of its upgraded car listed, with Alex Buncombe, Matt Parry and Lucas Ordonez slated to drive the RJN-prepared machine.

Defending Endurance Cup champions and 2017 Monza winners Bortolotti, Caldarelli and Engelhart return in one of three Lamborghini Huracan GT3s run by the Grasser squad.

There are no major changes to the top class field that was confirmed by the provisional entry list in March.

Mercedes is the brand with the most Pro entries: a total of five AMG-GT3s are listed with Strakka Racing and AKKA ASP running two cars each, plus a single entry for Black Falcon.

Audi has a quartet of R8 LMS GT3s entered including two for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT outfit, and one apiece for Sainteloc Racing and Attempto Racing.

The only Porsche 911 GT3 R in the field is represented by the factory-supported Manthey crew of Romain Dumas, Fred Makowiecki and Dirk Werner, while BMW, Lexus, Ferrari and McLaren are also present.

Complementing the Pro-class field are 13 entries in the Pro-Am Cup, ten in the Silver Cup (including an Emil Frey Jaguar) and seven in the Am Cup.

Action gets underway on Friday, April 20, with the Bronze Test in the afternoon while the three-hour race will take the green flag at 3 p.m. local time on Sunday, April 22. 

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    April 13, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Race debut of the new GT-R?
    Didn’t GAINER already race them in Super GT?

    • ML

      April 13, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Yup, and the 2018 GT-R is also going to run in Blancpain Asia this weekend. So, Monza won’t even be it’s SRO debut

    • Axel Putra

      April 14, 2018 at 3:59 am

      Rcae debut in Europe

  2. Johannes275

    April 13, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Wow, that’s one hell of an entry list. I say if the sprint cup diminishes enough, they make an 8-race calendar out of the endurance cup, 6 of them 3-hour races, and ditch the sprints entirely.

  3. therandomguy

    April 13, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Whilst the entry list looks good. SRO not caring the Pro-Am and AM teams and drivers shows that it is lower than say 2-3 years ago. They need to do something to get them back and make them competitive as the PRO teams whilst looking after them.

    • Johannes275

      April 15, 2018 at 11:44 pm

      Are you kidding me? Of course they care! What the hell do you think a 26-car limit to the pro class is even for?

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