Maranello cars are in for an intense weekend in the GT World Challenge America and Asia, and in Europe where a 296 GT3 will line up in the NLS, and seven Ferraris will take to the track in Budapest for round three of the International GT Open.
GT World Challenge America. Ferrari returns to Virginia International Raceway with the new 296 GT3, deployed by Conquest Racing and Triarsi Competizione on the scenic 17-turn, 3.27-mile circuit.
In the Pro class, Alessandro Balzan and Manny Franco return in the Conquest Racing’s Ferrari 296 GT3 number 21, knocked out in an accident during the Saturday race in the last event at the Circuit of The Americas. The damage meant the team had to skip Sunday’s event, ending their podium streak after second places in the previous two weekends.
Triarsi Competizione will field the number 33 Ferrari 296 GT3, crewed by Ryan Dalziel and Justin Wetherill, in the competitive Pro Am category. Dalziel qualified second for Sunday’s race at COTA, but a penalty at the start knocked him back, leading to a sixth-place finish. Onofrio Triarsi and Charlie Scardina won both races in the Am category at VIR a year ago.
The track action starts on Friday with two one-hour sessions at 10.00 a.m., and 3.15 p.m. Qualifying is on Saturday at 9 a.m., followed by the first 90-minute race at 3.10 p.m. The weekend will finish on Sunday with Race-2 at 3.45 p.m.
International GT Open. After its debut at Portimão and the endurance round at Spa, the championship reverts to a two-race formula for round three this weekend at the Hungaroring in Budapest.
In the Pro class, AF Corse’s Nicola Marinangeli and Riccardo Agostini lie fifth in the overall standings after their positive fifth place in the Belgian round.
Ferrari has a big contingent in the finely balanced Pro Am class, in which Kessel Racing’s Niccolò Schirò and Nicolò Rosi top the standings. The pair, making their debut in the 296 GT3, are just two points clear of their pursuers, including the AF Corse team with Marco Pulcini and Eddie Cheever.
Kessel Racing will field another 296 GT3 on its debut in the same class, driven by Frédéric Jousset and David Fumanelli, while Racing One’s Omar Jackson and Axcil Jefferies will race in the 296 GT3. Finally, Laurent De Meeus and Jamie Stanley will also take to the track for AF Corse.
The Am class, with 11 entrants, all in Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s, features Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald of AF Corse Ferrari, who moved into the lead after their win at Spa. Ernst Kirchmayr and Philipp Baron of Baron Motorsport are in third position, just three points behind the leader.
AF Corse will field two more Ferraris, one crewed by Alessandro Cozzi and Giorgio Sernagiotto and the other by Gino Forgione and Andrea Montermini. Olimp Racing will be there with Stanislaw Jedlinski and Krystian Korzeniowski, while Jakob Schell and Stefan Aust will take the wheel for Racing One.
After qualifying on Saturday 17th at 9.45 a.m. and the first 70-minute race at 2.25 p.m., the drivers will be back on track at the same time on Sunday for time trials, while the sixty-minute Race-2 will kick off at 2 p.m.
NLS. A Ferrari 296 GT3 will line up among the over 100 cars for round four of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, which coincides with the 46th RCM DMV Grenzlandrennen on the German circuit.
In the SP9 class, the Octane 126 team will field the crew of Björn Grossmann, Jonathan Hirschi and Luca Ludwig in the new Maranello car.
After qualifying at 8.30 a.m., the four-hour race will start at 12 p.m on Saturday 17th.
GT World Challenge Asia. Fuji International Speedway will welcome a record forty entries this weekend for rounds three and four of the championship, which also coincides with the inaugural Japan Cup event. Three Ferraris will start, with the CarGuy Racing team represented by Takeshi Kimura and Kei Cozzolino in the Pro Am class, the latter just back from the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The pair also competed in the Japan Cup with the 296 GT3. Maezawa Racing will line up Thailand’s Piti Bhirombhakdi and Naoki Yokomizo in the same class, driving a 488 GT3 Evo 2020, while Comet Racing deploys Yusuke Yamasaki and Yorikatsu Tsujiko in the Am class, also in a Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
After Friday’s free practice, the two qualifying sessions kick off on Saturday at 9.57 a.m. and 10.19 a.m., followed by the sixty-minute Race-1 later that day at 2.25 p.m. and Race-2 on Sunday 18th at 12 p.m. over the same distance (all times indicated are local).