The Winter Test of the International GT Open concluded today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after a very productive and smooth two days, which included ten 55-minute sessions. Contenders could discover the latest 4.657 km layout of track (without the chicane), which posed no issues whatsoever and resulted almost 5 seconds faster with respect to last October’s qualifying results.
Teams present worked intensively. Main points of interest were the following:
Racing One officially joined the series at the test and was the first team to bring to the track the new Ferrari 296, which was finished to be mounted on Wednesday and tested with Jody Fannin at the wheel in a one-off tester role. The German squad was present also with its 488 for Jacob Schell-Stefan Aust. Other 488 present were the Baron Motorsport car (with Daniele Di Amato partnering with Ernst Kirchmayr) and one from Kessel Racing, with what will be the Swiss team’s leading pair for the season: former Euroformula champion Niccolò Schirò and Nicolò Rosi.
It was the first appearance for the Lamborghini Huracan EVO2, in action with Team Oregon and Bonaldi Motorsport. The reigning champion was present with renewed driver line-up: Maximilian Paul-Pierre Louis Chovet and Pietro Perolini-Daan Arrow. To be noted that Arrow is the pseudonym of Daan Pijl, whose family name in Dutch means exactly that, ‘arrow’.
Bonaldi Motorsport did the shake-down of the cars on Wednesday, with Milos Pavlović-Sanporn Jao Javanil and Sandro Mur-Martin Kodrić being in full gear on day 2. In the fifth Huracán (an Evo 1) on track, the one by Barone Rampante, Jens Liebhauser made his return in the GT Open alongside Giuseppe Cipriani.
Greystone GT represented McLaren with its two 720S of Andrew Gilbert-Fran Rueda and the newly confirmed pair of the Proctors father and son, while new entry Eastalent Racing Team took first contact with the series with Simon Reicher at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS. Street-Art Racing is starting its second season in the GT Open, with Jahid Fazal-Karim making its first appearance in a GT3 car alongside Pascal Bachmann.
Four Mercedes AMG were in action, on behalf of Motopark and GetSpeed. At Motopark, Heiko Neumann-Timo Rumpfkeil were joined by newly announced South American pair of Diego Menchaca-Marcos Siebert. At GetSpeed, different drivers alternated at the wheel of the two cars: Kiki Sak Nana, Axel Blom, Steve Jans, Al Faisal Al Zubair and Fabian Schiller.
In terms of results, the GetSpeed Mercedes #77 proved fastest in both days, with an overall best mark on Day 1 of 1.38.966, beating sister car #786 (1.39.919), the other Mercedes #17 of Team Motopark (1.40.022), the Eastalent RT Audi #23 (1.40.235), the Team Oregon Lambo #19 (1.40.237) and the Greystone GT McLaren #84 (1.40.274)
The period of private tests and ... announcements will now continue until the season-opener at Potimão on 28-30 April.