Double 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hans-Joachim Stuck will drive a KTM X-Bow GT2 in the first round of the new GT2 European Series taking place at Monza this weekend.
Stuck, 70, will share a Reiter Engineering-prepared KTM with Austrian race and rally driver Kris Rosenberger, forming one of 12 entries for the pair of 50-minute contests.
The Monza event is set to mark Stuck’s first race appearance since 2017 when he took part in a special ‘legends’ race as part of the Audi Sport TT Cup season finale meeting.
Stuck won Le Mans overall in 1986 and 1987, driving a Rothmans-liveried Porsche 962C with Derek Bell and Al Holbert on both occasions, and also competed in Formula 1.
Stephane Ratel, whose SRO Motorsports Group launched the GT2 formula in 2018, and GT racing veteran Peter Kox are among the other notable names on the Monza entry.
Ratel will race an Audi R8 LMS GT2 alongside Luca Pirri, while Kox and Rupert Atzberger are teaming up in one of four True Racing by Reiter Engineering KTMs.
A total of three R8s are signed up, including previously-announced entries from PK Carsport and FIA World Endurance Championship entrant High Class Racing.
The other KTMs crews involve Hubert Trukenpolz, a member of the Austrian company’s executive board, alongside Klaus Angerhofer and Sehdi Sarmini with Stefan Rosina.
Sportec Motorsport, which recently appointed triple Le Mans winner Marcel Fassler as its head of racing, is also running a KTM for Christoph Ulrich and Adrian Spescha.
Two examples of the new Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo GT2 are present, including one car for Joseph Collado and GT Sports Club regular Dilantha Malagamuwa.
The other Lamborghini entry for British outfit Toro Verde GT was announced last week.
A single Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport will compete with four-time Le Mans participant Michael Vergers and Lithuanian businessman Aurelijus Rusteika sharing the wheel.
The grid of GT2 cars will be joined by a Ferrari 488 Challenge run by Bentley GT3 team CMR.
The GT2 European Series permits both single-driver and two-driver crews, but all of the entries for Monza have adopted the latter strategy.
SRO’s new championship forms part of an updated GT Sports Club Europe structure, which includes the Fanatec GT Rebellion Series for GT3 cars and the GT1 Sports Club track day package for non-competitive hypercars. Only GT2 is present at Monza.
“Even if it may look like a modest start with a grid limited to 12 cars, including an invitational Ferrari Challenge entry, I’m really pleased that we are finally able to launch the Fanatec GT2 European Series this weekend,” commented Ratel.
“It’s very encouraging to see all four homologated GT2 models already on the entry list at the first event, and I believe the high-speed Monza circuit will give the drivers an opportunity to show these fantastic cars at their best.
“I’m confident in the GT2 category’s development from here, as it represents a very competitive cost to performance ratio in the world of GT Racing. I would like to thank the pioneer manufacturers, teams and drivers who are helping us launching it this weekend.
“This is an important first step in our re-launch of the GT Sports Club concept, and I think the future for GT2, as well as the GT Rebellion Series we’ll launch in Hockenheim next month, is looking positive.”
The first GT2 European Series race is due to get underway at 1 p.m. CEST on Saturday, April 17 (7 a.m. EST)with race two starting at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday (4:30 a.m. EST).