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Monza Pre-Race Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ pre-race Blancpain GT notebook from Monza

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***Robin Frijns only arrived at Monza in time for Qualifying on Sunday morning. The Dutch driver competed in the Formula E Paris ePrix on Saturday, where he finished 7th.

***Frijns received dispensation from the stewards for missing the practice sessions, which Michael Meadows and Stuart Leonard – his teammates on the No. 2 WRT Audi R8 LMS – completed on their own.

***It could be possible to see an additional Ferrari 488 GT3 in the Pro Cup for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, with a lineup that could be capable of chasing the overall win. Although nothing is confirmed yet, it would be logical for AF Corse to run the car.

***Jörg Viebahn has replaced Marc Sourd in the No. 42 CMR Sport Garage Ferrari 458 Italia overnight, as the latter crashed the car in the opening minutes of Free Practice yesterday. Viebahn is also competing in the GT4 European Series this weekend, racing one of the PROsport Performance Porsche Cayman PRO4 GT4s.

***While the unique nature of the Monza track usually favors one or two GT3 models, this year’s BoP seems to be well balanced. All brands made it into the top-20, bar the Pro Am Cup entered Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 that won on its debut here one year ago seemed to struggle though, with the first car (No. 16 GRT) ending up in P20.

***While Maxime Soulet was able to bring the No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 up to sixth in the dying minutes of Q3, the sister No. 7 car only managed P35 (+1.121s). The car experienced a boost issue in the final 15-minute session. While the team was able to fix the problem, there wasn’t enough time and clear track left for Steven Kane to improve much.

***Speeding in the pit lane has been a real issue at Monza this weekend. On Saturday alone, more than 25 drivers were fined for not respecting the 50km/h speed limit in the pit lane. Besides the fine, all drivers involved got a Behavior Warning Points for the offense.

***Dennis Lind won on his debut in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe this weekend, beating a 47-car grid in changing weather conditions in Race 1 on Saturday. The 23-year-old Dane finished 4.4s in front of Nicola De Marco and Fabrizio Del Monte, while Harald Schlegelmilch completed the podium. The second race on Sunday was won by Henry Hassid and Nicolas Armindo in the Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini, in front of Race 1 winners De Marco/Del Monte.

***The Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo cars were right on the pace with the GT3 cars of the Blancpain GT Series this weekend. On Saturday, Vito Postiglione was more than three tenths faster than the fastest time in Blancpain practice. Maxi Buhk’s pole time on Sunday morning was one tenth faster though.

***Twenty seven car turned up for the opening round of the GT4 European Series. The first race on Saturday was won by the No. 90 Villorba Corse Maserati Trofeo MC GT4, in front of both Ekris Motorsport BMW M4 GT4s.

***On Sunday morning V8 Racing International scored a 1-2 with the Chevrolet Camaro GT4, while Blancpain Sprint driver and 2015 Maserati Trofeo World Series champion Romain Monti completed the podium in a Maserati Trofeo MC GT4.

***North American viewers can watch same-day coverage of the event on CBS Sports Network, with a one-hour highlights package on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET

***All qualifying sessions and races will continue to be streamed live on the series’ official website,, while U.S. viewers can watch live coverage on Motor Trend on Demand.

***Click here to download the complete grid for today’s three-hour Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup season opener at Monza.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.


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