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Monza Saturday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Saturday notebook from Monza…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***In addition to the typical scrutineering procedures performed by competitors on Friday, drivers also completed the Sean Edwards Test, a quiz regarding Blancpain GT-specific safety regulations and procedures. It marks the second year all drivers must take the test, administered on tablet devices.

***Lucas Luhr could have additional outings with ROWE Racing this season. The BMW factory driver makes his team debut this weekend alongside fellow former Muscle Milk Pickett Racing co-driver Klaus Graf and Stef Dusseldorp. Graf told Sportscar365 that Monza is likely a one-off for him as his focus is on the team’s Nurburgring 24 program.

***Only Stef Dusseldorp, Philipp Eng and Alexander Sims are confirmed at ROWE for the entire Blancpain GT Series season. The remaining positions will be filled by BMW factory drivers, which will rotate throughout the season. It’s not clear yet who will partner with Dusseldorp at the Brands Hatch Sprint Cup round.

***A number of teams are switching between two separate car configurations, in the build up to next month’s Nurburgring 24. Cars running in the SP9-GT3 class in VLN/N24 competition are allowed greater freedom in shocks, but are also subject to slight aero differences, such as a higher minimum ride height.

***While some teams are utilizing separate chassis, both ROWE Racing and Black Falcon are among the teams using the same cars in the early season VLN rounds, as well as the Blancpain GT season.

***The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe is reaching new heights this season. For the season-opener at Monza a record grid of 47 Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo has been assembled, spread across 22 teams and 70 drivers. Several established GT3 teams have also decided to join the series this season: Attempto Racing, Dörr Motorsport, FFF Racing Team and GDL Motorsport.

***Even before on track action has begun at Monza, Antonelli Motorsport has received a 30-second stop & go time penalty for Sunday’s three-hour race. The Italian team took delivery of its brand new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 only very recently and tested the car at Monza on April 16. As the test took place less than two weeks before the Blancpain event, the team was deemed to be in violation of the Sporting Regulations.

***The minimum pitstop time for Monza has effectively been set at 95 seconds (from pit in to pit out), although SRO chose to use a 20-second time range where the total length of a pit stop may not fall within. With the range set from 75 to 95 seconds, cars are still allowed to make a pitstop under 75 seconds, although this effectively excludes the possibility of a full service stop including a driver change. For example, a splash-and-dash fuel stop would still be allowed without incurring a penalty.

***Pirelli is not only the exclusive tire supplier for the Blancpain GT Series. The Italian company made the claim in the Monza paddock that it is the “global leader” in motorsport. Pirelli has added another ten (car) championships to its portfolio over the winter months, which means it now supplies no fewer than 181 series worldwide.

***The final entry list for the Monza event was confirmed right before Free Practice got underway. As expected, the AF2 Motorsport Lamborghini effort was a no show. This withdrawal was compensated by the addition of a second Classic & Modern Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in the Am Cup.

***Be sure to download the official SRO Spotter Guide, which features all 57 starters for tomorrow’s three-hour race, including all the new liveries and lineups. Click here to download the latest version.

John Dagys contributed to this report

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

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