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    Weekend preview: Decisive Valencia date for Bertolini-Machiels

    At Valencia, in the GT World Challenge, the final titles in the Sprint series will be awarded with the Ferraris still in the mix in the Pro-Am class.

    Maranello 16 settembre 2022

    At Valencia, in the GT World Challenge, the final titles in the Sprint series will be awarded with the Ferraris still in the mix in the Pro-Am class. The combined series championship titles are also up for grabs ahead of the Endurance final in Barcelona. Italy’s Vallelunga will hold the third round of the Italian Gran Turismo Endurance Championship with the participation of two former Ferrari Formula 1 drivers. Germany will host a date of the Ultimate Cup Series.

    GT World Challenge Europe. The Valencia track is set to stage the final round of the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint. With the title already in the bag, Ulysse De Pauw and Pierre-Alexandre Jean will get a chance to race without having to do the maths as they bid to increase their points haul. The AF Corse crew had, in fact, already secured the team and driver 2022 season Silver Cup honours earlier in Misano. It has been a memorable year for them, with five wins and three podiums in the eight races held so far: but the pair will not remain satisfied, aiming to seal third place in the overall standings as well.

    Still to be decided is the Pro-Am class title, where Miguel Ramos and Dean MacDonald of Garage 59 lead the table on 98.5 points, compared to the 78 of AF Corse’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 with the duo made up of Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini. The AF Corse drivers remain at a substantial distance, but are not yet mathematically out of the running. Meanwhile, chances look slim for AF Corse's Cedric Sbirrazzuoli in the no. 21 Ferrari, who holds third place on 71.5 points. It will be a long shot for the Monegasque driver, who races alongside Hugo Delacour.

    While the drivers' title seems to favour Garage 59, AF Corse currently holds the advantage in the team championship: the Italian team has three more points than its rival.

    The challenge remains wide open in the combined Sprint-Endurance contest, where Miguel Ramos' advantage over Machiels-Bertolini is a mere 1.5 points.

    After Friday's free practice and pre-qualifying, the programme in Spain will include Saturday's qualifying to determine the Race 1 grid, with the race getting underway at 14:00 and concluding at 15:00. On Sunday, qualifying is set from 09.05 to 09.25, while Race 2 kicks off at 13.30.

    CIGT. The Vallelunga circuit hosts the third round of the Italian Gran Turismo Endurance Championship, the penultimate round of the 2022 championship. The entry list features the names of two former Formula 1 drivers, protagonists with Ferrari. Scuderia Baldini has, indeed, signed up Rubens Barrichello and Giancarlo Fisichella for the round in the Lazio region, who will go in the hunt for victory aboard the no. 27 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. The Brazilian driver had carried out some earlier testing on June 21 at Vallelunga, a prelude to this new adventure in the Italian Gran Turismo Championship.

    Among the GT CUP PRO-AM cars, the Coluccio-Mazzola crew in the Easy Race-run Ferrari will try to lengthen the gap over the Lamborghini of Pavlovic-Fischbaum, with whom they share the lead.

    A Ferrari duel looks likely in the GT CUP-AM between the SR&R team entrants: leader Francesco La Mazza will race Lorenzo Bontempelli, second in the standings, and Jacopo Baratto at Vallelunga. Also second are team-mates Buttarelli-Cossu-Bacci.

    The third round of the Endurance series kicks off on Friday with a one-hour free practice session at 16.05, continuing on Saturday with the second session from 08.30 to 09.30. This will be followed in the afternoon by the three qualifying sessions, from 14.55 to 16.00, which will determine the starting grid for the two-hour race scheduled for Sunday at 15.00.

    Ultimate Cup Series. For the first time the Ultimate Cup Series stops off at the German circuit of Hockenheim for the fourth round of the season. Two formats are scheduled: a 4-hour race for the GTs as well as the Hyper Sprint formula with two 20-minute races and one 50-minute contest.

    Featuring In the endurance race will be Visiom's Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 with Jean-Paul Pagny, David Hallyday and Jean Bernard Bouvet, second on 76 points compared to the 86 of rivals Racetivity, in search of their first triumph of the season. After a brilliant performance at Misano in the Hyper Sprint in the UGT3A class, SR&R's Luca Demarchi is first in the standings tied with CMR's Eric Mouez on 136 points. Edoardo Barbolini, also racing with SR&R, is third on 112 points.

    In the UGT3B class, CMR team’s Alexis Berthet, thanks to his double win at Misano, holds third place on 82 points, eight points behind the leader.