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Monza Saturday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Saturday BES notebook from Monza…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***The Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo immediately got off to a good start.The pole time in the first qualifying session of the new era was a 1:46.625, almost a second faster than the quickest GT3 time of the day, a 1:47.566 posted by Norbert Siedler’s Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia during Free Practice. The Super Trofeo teams only received their cars recently, and with this being their first outing, there is certainly more potential still to be unlocked.

***Several DTM drivers are using the three-hour race at Monza to get up to speed before their own season kicks off in three weeks’ time. Nico Müller will drive one of the new Audi R8 LMS, while Eduardo Mortara joins Saintéloc in the Pro Cup. Mike Rockenfeller was also scheduled to take the wheel of a second generation Audi R8 LMS, but the German later disappeared from the entry list. Daniel Juncadella joins ROWE Racing on behalf of Mercedes, while Bernd Schneider and Maro Engel, two of their former DTM drivers, are also on the grid.

***Fifteen GT3s are expected for the opening round of the GT Sports Club at Barcelona next week. The series was created to cater to the needs of gentleman drivers wanting to race against their peers, without sharing the car with a pro driver. Additional entries are expected for the second meeting at Paul Ricard.

***Lamborghini confirmed in Monza that it is fully committed to customer racing with Huracán GT3 and Super Trofeo. Giorgio Sanna told Sportscar365 that any involvement in the new gen LMP2 category is no longer on Lamborghini’s radar.

***Even though the FIA recently confirmed that an end-of-season GT World Cup for GT3 cars will be held in Macau on Nov. 19-22, rumors are getting stronger that the governing body is pushing for the return of FIA GT3 World Championship. Stéphane Ratel and SRO are not involved however.

***Ferrari dominated the first day of running at Monza, the home track of the Prancing Horse. Most of the 458s are running in an updated 2015-spec. The main working points were improved reliability and better performance, the update includes, amongst other things, five-way dampers, a new carbon engine floor and air intakes.

***Phoenix Racing has modified the lineup of its new Audi R8 LMS at the last moment. Only Christopher Haase remains from the original trio, Markus Winkelhock and Christian Mamerow will join him this weekend. Meanwhile, Christopher Mies moved over the No. 3 WRT Audi.

***Phoenix Racing’s announced full-season car is not present in Monza, as both Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong are competing in the ADAC Qualifying Race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife this weekend.

***Attempto Racing managed to fill the seats on its Pro Cup entered McLaren 650S GT3 at the very last minute. French GT champion Nicolas Armindo, Swiss Porsche Cup racer Fabian Thuner, and Miguel Ramos will compete with the No. 55 McLaren. The latter will race another 650S for Theo Martin Motorsport in the International GT Open Series this year, together with Alvaro Parente. Attempto also fields a McLaren in the Pro-Am Cup and a Porsche 997 GT3-R in the Am Cup.

***Be sure to download the official SRO Spotter Guide. Whth no less than 59 starters, it’s a must have for those following Sunday’s three-hour endure. It features all the new liveries and up to date lineups. Click here to download.

***U.S viewers will be able to tune in to CBS Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET for same-day coverage on Sunday. Live streaming can be found here, but will be geo-blocked in the U.S.

Laurent Mercier 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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