The final stretch of the season of the 2022 International GT Open is about to start and as per tradition Monza and Barcelona will host the two final rounds, and no less traditional is the fact that those decisive two rounds are particularly exciting for fans and the series community, as the fight for the titles gets tighter.
The first of the two stops is Monza, which this year is even a more special round, as the legendary Autodromo Nazionale celebrates its first century of life, an honour that only Spa-Francorchamps and Indianapolis, among the tracks in activity, can claim. The ‘Tempio della Velocità’ will dress in its best to welcome the GT Open, and the series is ready to pay back, with an excellent entry (24 cars, with 8 brands represented) and a stellar fight.
One point: that’s the narrow gap that separates the first two at the top of the overall standings, the two Lamborghinis of Oregon Team. Glenn Van Berlo-Kevin Gilardoni and Benja Hites-Leonardo Pulcini took one win each in the last round in Austria, reaching the 99 and 98-point mark, respectively. But the fight for the title is far from being a family affair, as the pair of the Optimum Motorsport McLaren, Nick Moss-Joe Osborne, are only 5 points away from the top and fully part of the battle.
Fresh from a remarkable P2 in Austria, Steve Jens-Sébastien Baud, with one of the getSpeed Mercedes, will seek their first victory, but the Pro class will include in Monza two new entries of the highest level. Former champion squad Imperiale Racing is back with a Lamborghini Huracan for Irish rising star James roe and Alberto Di Folco, while Dinamic Motorsport, one of the top Porsche teams in the GT scene, will make its GT Open debut with a 991 R entrusted to Riccardo Cazzaniga and works driver Klaus Bächler. The Italian squad will also be in Barcelona, in view of a full campaign next year.
PRO-AM - The Pro-Am classkeeps to be as closely-fought as always. At the moment, the Audi R8 LMS of Polish squad Olimp Racing, with Marcin Jedlinski-Karol Basz, keeps a 10-point advantage on the Theeba Motorsport pair, Reema Juffali-Adam Christodoulou, whose Mercedes was severely damaged in an accident in Race 2 at the Red Bull Ring.
Third in contention, and always very consistent is the GetSpeed Mercedes of Janine Shoffner-Moritz Kranz, only 11 points from the lead, with the Kessel Racing Ferrari of Murat Cuhadaroglu-David Fumanelli two points behind, after clinching two podium finishes and the overall pole in Austria. Five points further is the SPS Mercedes of Dexter Müller-Yannick Mettler.
Florian Scholze will be again at the wheel of the team GT Mercedes alongside Alain Valente, recomposing the pair that took a surprising overall win in Race 1 at the Hugaroring, while the Ferrari camp will also include Roman Ziemian-Axcil Jefferies (Kessel Racing) and Willem Van der Vorm-Michele Rugolo (AF Corse).
A welcome new entry in Italy will be 7TSIX, the new British squad fielding a McLaren 720S, which debuts in the series, with a pair having GT Open returnee Brad Ellis as the professional driver and Leo Loukas, from Cyprus, as the Am.
Last but not least, Nova Race like in the past is appearing in the last rounds of the season, with one of its Honda NSX, this time entrusted to a pair of Chinese drivers, Zhiwei Lu and Liangbo Yao, active in the Asian GT scene.
AM Class - In the Am class also the fight is close, more than what the standings actually show. Alex Hrachowina-Martin Konrad lead by 15 points, at the wheel of the Mann Filter Team Landgraf Mercedes, but the other AMG by GetSpeed, in the hands of Adam Osieka-Kiki Sak Nana is becoming a tougher rival race after race.
Third is the AF Corse Ferrari of Laurent De Meeus, who will have again Jamie Stanley as teammate. Ferrari is represented by Stanislaw Jedlinski-Krystian Korzeniowski (Olimp Racing) and Stephen Earle-Erwin Zanotti (Kessel Racing), while it will be home race for the sole Lamborghini in the class, the one of Giuseppe Cipriani (Barone Rampante) and Pascal Bachmann is back with the Aston Martin of Street Art Racing.
At Monza, the race programme includes the other GT Sport-promoted series, the GT Cup Open Europe and the Euroformula Open, along the TCR Europe, the Alpine Europa Cup and the Caterham FRA, forming an exciting and diversified package.