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GT World Challenge Europe

Imola Replaces Monza on 2022 Endurance Cup Schedule

GTWC Europe Endurance Cup to visit Imola instead of Monza next season…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Imola has replaced Monza as the venue for the opening round of next year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix circuit will return to the Endurance Cup schedule after one year of absence for a three-hour race on April 3, one week earlier than the provisional date for the now-canceled Monza meeting.

Imola was previously brought in to stage the opening round of the 2020 season when the 3 Hours of Monza was canceled due to the first coronavirus wave in Europe.

Sportscar365 understands that the reason for the change on this occasion is related to the cost of staging an event at Monza.

Imola has also replaced Monza on the 2022 European Le Mans Series and DTM calendars.

The inaugural GTWC Europe 3 Hours of Imola last year was won by Kelvin van der Linde, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Mirko Bortolotti in a Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

Monza has hosted all ten of the other Endurance Cup races in Italy since the inaugural 2011 season.

“I am delighted that we will return to Imola next year to open the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS season,” said SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel.

“We were immensely impressed by what we experienced in 2020, particularly as the event was organized at short notice and amid significant COVID restrictions.

“So, when an opportunity arose for 2022, we worked hard to ensure that it became a reality.

“This circuit possesses a unique atmosphere that I really look forward to experiencing again next year.

“What’s more, I am very pleased that the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, GT4 European Series and Fanatec GT2 European Series will all be part of the program. It promises to be a perfect way to open the new season.”

The introduction of Imola marks the second venue change for the 2022 Endurance Cup season, after Hockenheim was announced as the replacement for the Nürburgring when the provisional schedule was published in early September.

“It is undoubtedly a fact that the presence of internationally renowned sporting events certifies the central role of our circuit in the world of motorsport,” commented Imola circuit general manager Pietro Benvenuti.

“The return of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS to Imola proves it and constitutes yet another part of a truly important 2022 calendar.

“Our mission, as we have repeatedly reiterated, is an increasingly multifunctional use of the structure but the core business obviously remains the motor activity, and races such as Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS represent an economic driving force of great importance for the territory, in a time when strong signs of recovery are needed.”

In addition to announcing the Italian venue change, GTWC Europe has identified a new date for next year’s official pre-season test days at Paul Ricard.

The two-day event will take place on March 7-8, two weeks earlier than the dates that were announced by SRO Motorsports Group at Barcelona.

The now-discarded March 21-22 slot was established to enable drivers racing in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour on the preceding weekend to head directly to France.

2022 GTWC Europe Endurance Cup schedule

March 7-8 – Official test days (Paul Ricard)
April 1-3 – 3H Imola
June 3-5 – Paul Ricard 1000km
June 21-22 – Official test days (Spa)
July 29-31 – TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa
Sep. 2-4 – 3H Hockenheim
Sep. 30-Oct. 2 – 3H Barcelona

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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