New names in the grid, as the GT Open goes to the Hungaroring for more exciting battles


The 2024 International GT Open is back to action and heading to its traditional early summer visit to the Hungaroring, which will mark the exact middle point in the 8-round calendar. The stop at the track near Budapest, the beautiful capital on the Danube, is always one of the most pleasant ones for contenders and one that attracts most fans. It also produces intense and closely-fought races, as the 4.381-km sinuous and hilly track poses challenges different from any other circuit.

Confirming the pattern being seen this year, a grid of no less than 33 cars is expected, and the games remain wide open in all classes concerning the fights for the titles.

PRO: ALL IN CONTENTION FOR VICTORY - In the overall standings, considering that the pair on top of the standings is not competing full-season, the car virtually leading the championship is the #10 Lamborghini Huracan of Team Oregon entrusted to Alessio Deledda and Jordan Pepper, with a single point of advantage over the two Mercedes AMG of Diego Menchaca-Marcos Siebert (Motopark) and Mikaeel Pitamber-Dominik Baumann (SPS). After a somehow slower start of the season, the Oregon Lambos seem to be reaching their cruise speed and it will be interesting to see if they confirm this trend. For the occasion, factory driver Pepper will not be able to be present alongside Deledda and will be replaced by Maximilian Paul, the young and fast German who knows perfectly well the series, the car and the team from last year and took a fantastic last-corner precisely here twelve months ago.

The list of candidates to victory in the 10-car strong class is long. It includes the GetSpeed Mercedes of Anthony Bartone-Fabian Schiller and the Eastalent Racing Audi of Simon Reicher-Christopher, which both have one win to their credit and are fourth and fifth in the standings, respectively.

Team Oregon’s two other Lambos are also in the fight, with Artëm Petrov-Marzio Moretti and Leo Pulcini-Simon Connor Primm (the latter a young star in the ADAC GT, replacing Rolf Ineichen, not ye entirely fit after his big crash at Spa), and so are the Car Collection Porsche of Gustav Bergström-Nico Menzel, the AF Corse Ferrari of Nicola Marinangeli-Vincent Abril and the Motopark Mercedes of Lukas Dunner-Lorenzo Fluxá.

PRO-AM: A THREE-WAY FIGHT AT THE TOP – The most well-attended (19 cars) and very competitive class sees an exciting battle at the top of the standings, with three different brands and teams currently in the top 3. Current leaders and reigning champions Marco Pulcini-Eddie Cheever, in the Spirit of Race  Ferrari 296, have seen their advantage reduced to 3 points following the win in the Spa Endurance race of Marcin Jedliński-Karol Basz, in the Olimp Racing Audi. In third, only six points behind the lead is the Motopark Mercedes of Morten Strømsted-Thomas Ikin, still chasing their first win but strong with four podium finishes.

The Ferraris are the most numerous in the category, with AF Corse fielding the Brazilian duo of Marcelo Hahn-Allam Khodair and Alessandro Cozzi paired this time with young star Eliseo Donno, as well as Laurent De Meeus-Jamie Stanley and Jean Claude Saada-Conrad Grunewald. Spirit of Race enters Gino Forgione-Michele Rugolo, while racing one’s car, which scored a superb win in Hockenheim will be in the hands of Ernst Kirchmayr associated this time with David Fumanelli, in his first appearance this year.

Mercedes has three additional cars in the class, with series regulars Dexter Müller-Yannick Mettler (SPS), the Getspeed pair formed by Valentin Pierburg-Aaron Walker, and the SVC car of Frenchmen Michaël Blanchemain-Jim Pla.

Porsche is represented by Car Collection, which has two cars in the class entrusted to ‘Hash’-Alex Fontana and Bashar Mardini paired here with Swedish Carrera Cup specialist Emil Persson.

Greystone GT defends the colours of McLaren, with its two 720S for Andrey Borodin-Joe Osborne and Stuart Proctor whose son and teammate Lewis will be replaced here by Steven Gray.

In the role of new entry at home will be Zengő Motorsport, the best-known Magyar squad which has been a strong player on the international touring car racing scene in the last decade, and will make its debut in GT3 racing in front of its many fans. It enters a Mercedes AMG for young local hero Dániel Nagy, also coming from TCR racing.

Last but certainly not least are the Audi R8 LMS, with Czech squad ISR Racing entering Filip Salaquarda-Libor Milota, having the round closest to home, and Tresor Attempto Racing in its first appearance this year. The German squad has been a sporadic contender (and a race winner) in the past and is making its return with Florian Scholze-Alex Aka.

AM: THE CLUB OF FOUR KEEP FIGHTING – The Am class may include only four cars but the battle is hot this year! Giuseppe Cipriani, in the Lambo of Il Barone Rampante, is leading the standings, and his win at Spa allowed him to extend his gap to 8 points, but nothing is done. Reigning champions Heiko Neumann-Timo Rumpfkeil (Motopark Mercedes) are determined to retain their crown, while the Olimp Racing Ferrari of Stanislaw Jedliński-Krystian Korzeniowski and the Getspeed Mercedes of Kiki San Nana-Adam Osieka have certainly not said their last word.