Ferrari logo

    Weekend preview: Ferrari on the hunt for titles in the ELMS, GT Open and GT Cup Europe

    Ferrari 488 GTE - Elms 2023

    Maranello 20 ottobre 2023

    On the weekend that sees the conclusion of several championships in Europe, Ferrari has its sights on the title in the ELMS double round in Portimão, where the final round of the Le Mans Cup is also being contested, and in Barcelona for the International GT Open and GT Cup Europe finale. Ferrari is on the track in Hockenheim for the last round of the DTM.

    ELMS. There will be five Ferraris in action in Portimão for the two races of 4 hours each that will end the season for the series, which from 2024 will see the cars transition from LMGTE to LMGT3 configuration. In the 13 seasons of the competition, 67 races have been contested between the Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series, with the Maranello-based manufacturer triumphing on no fewer than 45 occasions.
    The grand finale will see the 4 Hours of Algarve contested on Friday, 20 October, and the 4 Hours of Portimão on Sunday, on the same circuit, with results yet to be determined.
    Starting from third place in the overall standings, eight points behind the leader, are Takeshi Kimura and Gregory Huffaker II, who will share the number 57 Ferrari 488 GTE with official Ferrari driver Daniel Serra.
    The other official driver, Nicklas Nielsen, will be sitting in the number 50 Formula Racing car, along with Johnny and Conrad Laursen. Kriton Lentoudis, Rui Aguas and Ulysse De Pauw will be in number 51 for AF Corse, while Duncan Cameron, David Perel and Matthew Griffin will take turns at the wheel of the Spirit of Race number 55. Finally, JMW Motorsport entrusts Ferrari number 66 to Martin Berry, Lorcan Hanafin and Jon Lancaster.

    The 4 Hours of Algarve will see the LMGTE class cars take to the track for qualifying on Friday, 20 October at 10.50 a.m., with the race starting at 3.45 p.m. On Saturday, 21 October, it’s time for the 4 Hours of Portimão, with qualifying at 6.45 p.m. and the green flag for the last round of the season at 2 p.m. on 22 October.

    Le Mans Cup. It’s also the last round of the season for the Le Mans Cup, which sees two Ferrari 296 GT3s from the AF Corse team on the track of the Algarve circuit once again. It’s a Japanese crew on number 51 with Koizumi Hiroshi and Kei Cozzolino, while number 83 will be entrusted to the French pairing of Charles-Henri Samani and Emmanuel Collard. After Free Practice on Thursday, 19 October at 2.30 p.m., Free Practice 2 will follow at 10.10 a.m. on Saturday, with Qualifying scheduled on the same day (4.10 p.m.). Green light for the race on Sunday at 10 a.m.

    International GT Open. The decisive challenge for the International GT Open titles is in Barcelona, with the series now at the final round of the season with twelve Ferraris on the track. AF Corse’s pairing of Nicola Marinangeli and Riccardo Agostini, fifth in the overall standings, won’t be able to compete for the overall title, but will still aim for another podium finish after their second place at Monza.
    The Piacenza-based team leads in the Pro Am standings, on the other hand, with the pairing of Marco Pulcini and Eddie Cheever III in the number 27 Ferrari 296 GT3, 7 points clear of their closest rivals. Also still mathematically in the running for the title is the number 38 Ferrari 296 GT3 of Kessel Racing, driven by Nicolò Rosi and Niccolò Schirò.

    The Swiss team will also field the number 11 in the same class with David Fumanelli and Frédéric Jousset at the steering wheel, while AF Corse will race with Laurent De Meeus and Jamie Stanley in the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. Omar Jackson and Axcil Jefferies will represent the German Racing One team in the number 26 Ferrari 296 GT3.
    The name of the winner of the Am class is also yet to be inscribed on the trophy, with AF Corse starting from second in the standings six points behind the leader, with the pairing made up of Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald who will climb aboard the number 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. Third, nine points behind, is the number 91 Ferrari of Team Baron Motorsport with Philip Baron and Ernst Kirchmayr. Also on the track for AF Corse will be the number 88 488 GT3 Evo 2020 featuring Gino Forgione and Andrea Montermini and the number 25 296 GT3 with Alessandro Cozzi and Giorgio Sernagiotto, as well as Jay Schreibman and Oswaldo Negri in the number 52 488 GT3 Evo 2020 making a one-off appearance. A Ferrari 296 GT3 will also be fielded by the Polish Olimp Racing team with Stanislaw Jedlinski and Krystian Korzeniowski.

    Official Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 10.20 a.m., while the one-hour and ten-minute race will kick off at 3.05 p.m. The second Qualifying will be held on Sunday at 9.30 a.m. with the 60-minute race getting underway at 1.30 p.m.

    GT Cup Europe. Five Prancing Horse cars are set to take part in the final season showdown, which, as per tradition, will be held at the Barcelona circuit. Only mathematics separates the Spanish pairing Ivan Velasco and Jorge Cabezas, in the number 80 MERTEL Motorsport-run Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo, from winning the title. In the race for the other final podium places in the same Pro Am class will be the two Italian drivers Lorenzo Innocenti and Andrea Belicchi, in the number 17 488 Challenge Evo of Rossocorsa Racing, while MERTEL Motorsport’s sister car, the number 81, will see Luca Ludwig and Steven Liquorish take turns at the wheel.

    In the Am class, still with winning ambitions, the number 69 Kessel Racing-managed Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo will take to the track with brothers Alexandre and Mikael Bochez, who are seven points behind the leaders. MERTEL Motorsport’s third car in the race will be the number 19 crewed by Stefano Bozzoni and Fernando Navarrete.

    The first Qualifying session will be held on Saturday, 21 October at 9.50 a.m., with the green light for the 50-minute Race-1 at 1.40 p.m., while on Sunday after Qualifying at 9 a.m. will be Race-2, scheduled at 3.10 p.m.

    DTM. The final date for the DTM at the Hockenheim circuit will feature two Emil Frey Racing-run Ferrari 296 GT3s on the track. In the number 69 will be Thierry Vermeulen, who narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint in September at the same track, while in the number 14 will sit Jack Aitken, who scored a third-place finish on his debut and a triumph in the round at the Lausitzring earlier this season.

    All times are local.