Misano Adriatico, 29 March 2017 - Twenty-six entries have been confirmed for the opening round of the 2017 GT Sports Club at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Italy on April 1-2: eleven will be on Ferrari cars. Following two successful seasons, SRO Motorsports Group’s Bronze-only drivers series returns for its third campaign with an expanded calendar, great variety of modern GT machinery supplied by Ferrari and three more manufacturers.
The three-class structure is set to continue, with most entries eligible for Overall honours, drivers aged 60 and over catered for thanks to the Iron Cup classification, and racers piloting “trophy” cars vying for the Xtra Cup Class. Reigning Overall champion, Ferrari driver Michal Broniszewski, will not return to defend his 2016 title, so his succession to the throne is shaping up to be a thrilling race amongst an exciting group of challengers. Seven Overall drivers will be at the wheel of a Ferrari. Patrick Van Glabeke will drive the 488 GT3 entered by AF Corse while the other six will be on the glorious 458 Italia (GT3 and GTE spec). Under the AF Corse banner Christoph Ulrich will be racing while Kessel Racing will field three cars for Alexis De Bernardi, Claudio Schiavoni and Deborah Mayer. Marco Galassi will drive the Team Malucelli 458 Italia GT3 while Yoshiki Ohmura will be at the wheel of a 458 Italia GTE entered by StileF Squadra Corse.
This year’s Iron Cup also promises to be fascinating to watch as two-time champion Martin Lanting seeks to make it an unprecedented hat trick. Once again racing for AF Corse, the Monegasque is making the switch to the Ferrari 488 GT3 after sealing last year’s crown aboard the 458 GTE model. Having missed out on the 2016 Iron Cup by a single point, runner-up Stephen Earle enters his 26th year of racing as a man on a mission and will still be competing at the wheel of his Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. Lanting and Earle will need to keep a close watch on Louis Philippe Soenen, as the Belgian switches to Ferrari machinery with an eye towards mounting a genuine Iron Cup title challenge. Ferrari is also represented by Artega Rennsport, which comes back with a 488 GT3 for Iron Cup hopeful Klaus Dieter Frers.
Saturday’s action at Misano begins with two 30-minute practice sessions followed by a 20-minute qualifying run. The 25-minute Qualifying Race takes place that same evening (at 18.35 CET) before drivers and teams return mid-morning on Sunday for their 40-minute Main Race at 11. Both races will be streamed live on www.blancpainsportsclub.com/gt/live