Seventeen cars took the track today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first day of the combined GT Open and GT Cup Open Europe Winter Test. A perfect Spring day welcomed the eleven teams present, which will be joined tomorrow by Madpanda Motorsport.
Teams present include:
- Team Lazarus is present with one Bentley and three drivers (Ivan Peklin, andy Cantu and, tomorrow, Nico Verrone) to be tested ahead of the definition of its two pairs.
- Boutsen Ginion fields Swiss driver François Grimm, already confirmed for the season with the Lambo Huracán of the squad.
- Giuseppe Cipriani is back to the GT Open, now with a Lamborghini and reviving his historic team, Il Barone Rampante.
- Reno Racing starts the first full-campaign of a Honda NSX, with Jens Reno Møller at the wheel.
- AKM Motorsport is present with one of its two Mercedes AMG for Alex Moiseev-Loris Spinelli.
- VSR attends with two of its Lamborghini and four of its confirmed drivers: Michele Beretta, Frederick Schandorff, Yuki Nemoto and Baptiste Moulin.
- Another Lambo is fielded by the debuting HP Racing International, with Coach McKansy and Jan Seyffert.
- Balfe Motorsport is back to the series in style with its new Audi R8 LMS for Shaun Balfe and Adam Carroll.
- Another of this year’s top teams, Lechner Racing, makes its first appearance with its Porsche 911 R for Al Faisal Al Zubair-Andy Soucek.
Among GT Cup Open contenders:
- Q1 Trackracing is present with its four Porsche 911 Cup (with Belgium’s Nicolas Vandierendonck, Jan Lauryssen and Filip Teunkens, and Polish duo Maciej Darmetko-Artur Janosz).
- debuting Polish team ALDA Motorsport with another Porsche, for Jakub Dwernicki-Jan Antoszewski.
- Spanish squad Three Sixty is now in charge of the Trans Am Euro 2018 of Albert Estragués.
The intense day of testing ended with Beretta-Schandorff (VSR Lambo) posting the best time (1.45.475) after topping sessions 1 and 3 on the slightly-modified Catalan track after the changes to turn 10. Only 31 thousandths behind was the AKM Mercedes of Spinelli-Moiseev, fastest in session 2, which preceded the Lambo of Cipriani (-0.440), the Lechner Racing Porsche of Al Zubair-Soucek (-0.787) and the new Audi of Balfe-Carroll (-0.829).
The only incidents to report involved the Lazarus Bentley and the AKM Mercedes, which went off track at turn 8 and hit the wall, with some damage.