22 marzo 2016
Melbourne, 22 March 2016 - The opening weekend of the new Ferrari 488 GT3 was fought on two parallel fronts, with a triumph at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a much more problematic experience at the Australian GT Championship. The difficulty was certainly no fault of the 488 GT3, which was clearly very competitive. Rather it was a bureaucratic problem that led to the exclusion of the cars from the main class. The organiser penalised the 488s due to the non-arrival from France of the approval documentation for the cars, relegating them to the Invitational class that yields no points for the teams and drivers.
Total domination. The two 488 GT3s entered in the four races at Melbourne won hands down in the Invitational class but were unable to fight for victory with the other main competitors. Andrea Montermini took the Invitational class in Race-1 with the DeFelice Homes team car in front of D'Alberto with the 488 of Maranello Motorsport team. Montermini came fifth overall in the race won by Craig Baird (Mercedes), In Race-2 Benny Simonsen (DeFelice Homes) came second overall, leaving top spot at the finish line to the McLaren of Nathan Morcom simply due to a slight error in the final stretch. Peter Edwards of Maranello Motorsport finished second. In Race-3 Montermini again won the Invitational class, with the Mercedes of Matthew Solomon taking overall victory. The F430 of Koala Motorsport team took third with Brenton Griguol at the wheel. Simonsen topped the Invitational class in Race-4 and was sixth overall in a race won by James Kondouris (Audi).
Next appointment. The championship will be back on track at Phillip Island at the end of May, but before then comes the opening race of the Australian GT Trophy at the Sandown circuit on 3 April.