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    Weekend notebook: wins at Paul Ricard

    Maranello 25 luglio 2023

    The International GT Open saw the first win in the championship for a Ferrari 296 GT3, the AF Corse number 25 car, in the Am class, while in the Pro Am class, the number 27 AF Corse 488 GT3 Evo 2020 scored a win and extended its lead in the standings even further. More wins and positive results were racked up in the GT Cup Europe, also held at Paul Ricard. In Japan, the Ferrari Comet Racing 488 GT3 Evo 2020 pulled off an impressive performance in the GT World Challenge Asia.

    International GT Open. Held at the Paul Ricard circuit, the fourth event in the International GT Open was marked by scorching temperatures which put all the drivers under strain. By the end of the weekend in France, the duo of drivers Marco Pulcini and Eddie Cheever at the wheel of the number 27 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 had established an even stronger lead in the Pro Am class standings, with 42 points against the 29 points of the closest rivals, with a win - their third this season - in Race-1 (also counting as fourth place overall) and a second place finish in Race-2.

    The southern French circuit also set the scene for the first victory of a Ferrari 296 GT3 in the GT Open championship, with a triumphant win in the Am class scored by the pairing of Giorgio Sernagiotto - Alessandro Cozzi in the number 25 AF Corse car in Race-1. Second place went to teammates Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald. Sernagiotto and Cozzi also earned a spot on the podium in Race-2, with a second place finish, and were followed once again by Saada-Grunewald, who lost their lead in the ranking but still remain close to the leaders, with a difference of just two points.

    The best performance in the Pro class was by Marinangeli–Agostini in the number 51 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3, with a fourth place finish (fifth overall) in Race-1.

    The next round in the championship, the second to last, will be held at Monza over the weekend of 23 and 24 September.

    GT Cup Europe. In the third event in the GT Cup Europe, hosted at the Paul Ricard circuit, the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evos made their mark right from the qualification sessions, with Mertel Motorsport dominating session one with the top three places. The fastest lap time of 2’06’’821 was set by Fernando Navarrete, putting him ahead of Jorge Cabezas and Luca Ludwig.

    The Ferraris just missed an overall win in Race-1 however, and had to make do with a successful finish in the Pro Am class (second place overall) by the number 17 Rossocorsa car driven by Lorenzo Innocenti, who is paired with Andrea Belicchi. Third place (sixth overall) was secured for Cabezas, as a duo with Ivan Velasco, in the number 80 car.

    In Race-2, Innocenti’s driving teammate Belicchi improved his performance and crossed the line first, in front of everyone. Third place went to Ivan Velasco, as a pair with Cabezas in the number 17 car. These results consolidated the Velasco-Cabezas duo’s lead in the standings, with 65 points setting them 17 points clear of their nearest rivals. Also in Race-2, the number 19 Mertel Motorsport Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo was driven to second place in the Am class (sixth overall) with Stefano Bozzoni at the steering wheel, teammate of Fernando Navarrete.

    The challenge continues in September, over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th, with the fourth round of the championship hosted at Monza.

    GT World Challenge Asia. The fourth event in this season of the GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS, contested on the Motegi circuit, was a good weekend for the number 7 Comet Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 driven by Yusuke Yamasaki and Yorikatsu Tsujiko which, thanks to third- and fourth-place finishes in the Am class in Race-1 and Race-2 respectively, confirmed a third place in the class standings, but, even more importantly, also consolidated its leadership in the Japan Cup Am ranking by increasing its advantage over the nearest competitor to 37 points. The Comet Racing pairing also secured a third place finish in the Am class.

    The other Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 entries fared well in the Pro Am class in Race-1, with fifth place going to the number 555 Maezawa Racing car driven by Piti Bhirombhakdi and Naoki Yokomizo and seventh racked up by the number 1 CarGuy Racing car with Takeshi Kimura and Kei Cozzolino at the wheel.

    The next event, the fifth in the season, will be held at Okayama from 18 to 20 August.

    25 luglio, 2023