This weekend sees the engines revving once more in two championships where Ferrari has always played a starring role, the Ultimate Cup Series, making its debut at Paul Ricard, and Britcar with the first round of the season at the Silverstone circuit. The European 24H Series season also begins with the 12 Hours of Mugello.
Ultimate Cup Series. The fifth season of the Ultimate Cup Series kicks off at the French circuit of Paul Ricard, with the reigning champions of the Visiom team also on the starting line. David Hallyday, Jean-Paul Pagny and Jean-Bernard Bouvet will be in the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, with the title they won in the Endurance Championship in 2022 there for the taking. The crew also won in 2019 and 2020. A second Ferrari has been entered, a 488 Challenge Evo, entrusted to the XP Developpement team with Karl Pedraza, Philippe Papin and Roland Marchix racing in the 3B class.
The 4-hour test will kick off on Sunday at 8.30 a.m., after the qualifying sessions set for Saturday from 3.45 p.m.
The Sprint GT format is also scheduled for the same weekend, with two races of 25 minutes and one of 50. This will see the SR&R team take part, after triumphing in the 3A class last year. There will also be Class 3A title winner Edoardo Barbolini, who will be joined in 2023 by Francesco Atzori in a Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo. Completing the SR&R team line-up: Lorenzo Bontempelli and Ling Kang in a 488 GT3 Evo 2020, Lorenzo Cossu in a 488 Challenge Evo, Alessio Bacci at the wheel of a 458 Challenge and Aramis in a 430 Challenge, all entered in class 3B. In the 3B class, the CMR team is fielding a 488 Challenge Evo with Alexis Berthet and Patrick Michellier.
At Le Castellet, Sprint Series qualifying is scheduled for Friday at 5.25 p.m., with Race-1 and Race-2, both lasting 25 minutes, starting on Saturday at 10.15 a.m. and 2 p.m. respectively, while the 50 minutes of Race-3 will start at 5.40 p.m.
Britcar. The new Britcar season gets underway with the British Endurance Championship and Britcar Trophy races at the Silverstone circuit in GP configuration, with the series becoming increasingly important and attracting new entrants. The RNR Performance Cars team that saw the 2022 title slip away in the last race will represent the Ferrari colours. They lost by just two points, but had the consolation of picking up the C-class champions title. Drivers Chris Goddard and Charlie Hollings return from that crew, accompanied this year by Charlie Hand. Another new element is the car, which this year will be a 488 Challenge Evo. In the B class, John Seale and Jami Stanley of the FF Corse team will field another 488 Challenge Evo. The team finished third last season.
Qualifying and the three-hour Endurance race starting at 1.40 p.m. are scheduled for Saturday. Sunday is dedicated to the Britcar Trophy, with qualifying from 9.40 to 10 a.m. and 50-minute race at 12.35 and 3.25 p.m. All times are local.
24H Series. The 12 Hours of Mugello opens the European 24-hour series season and sees Kessel Racing’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 at the start with LMDV, Alessandro Cutrera, Marco Talarico, Marco Frezza and David Fumanelli at the wheel. Qualifying for the ninth edition of the endurance event is scheduled for Friday from 2.25 to 4.45 p.m., while the first leg of the race will start on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The start of the second leg is set for Sunday, from 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All times are local.