Impressive 54-car grid for the 3 Hours of Monza

  • Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Monza, preview
  • Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Monza, preview
  • Blancpain GT Series Monza preview 1

The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will kick-off this weekend with the 3 Hours of Monza at the iconic Italian Grand Prix circuit. It’s the first of five rounds of the 2018 season which includes similar 3-hour races at Silverstone (May) and Barcelona (September), the 6-hour race at Circuit Paul Ricard (June) and the legendary 24 Hours of Spa in July.

Fifty-four crews are on the entry list for Monza’s race, including 24 Pro entries. Twelve manufacturers will be represented: Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Nissan, Bentley, Jaguar, McLaren and Aston Martin.

Last year's champions Caldarelli, Bortolotti and Engelhart willdrive the #63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3

Last year’s champions Caldarelli, Bortolotti and Engelhart will drive the #63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3

The reigning Endurance Cup Teams’ Champions are Bentley Team M-Sport. The team will bring a pair of their new 2018-spec Continental GT3s to Monza. Steven Kane, Guy Smith and Jules Gounon will drive the #7 Bentley, Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Vincent Abril will race in the #8 car.

The defending Drivers’ champions Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Andrea Caldarelli will compete again in the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

Paddock at Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Paddock at Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Aston Martin is returning to the top class in the Endurance Cup with Swiss outfit R-Motorsport. The team will field fielding a pair of V12 Vantages for a group of accomplished drivers that includes factory drivers Nicki Thiim and Maxime Martin. Porsche also sends factory drivers Romain Dumas, Frederic Makowiecki and Dirk Werner to represent a brand in only one 911 GT3 R under Manthey Racing’s banner.

The best-represented brand will be Mercedes-AMG, with five cars in Pro class and eight more cars on other classes (Pro-Am Cup, Am Cup, Silver Cup). Audi will be represented by four Pro cars at Monza and three more in other classes. Fellow German manufacturer BMW will be present in the Pro category with two Rowe Racing’s M6 GT3, including one for last year’s Spa 24h winners Nick Catsburg and Alexander Sims.

Ferrari will be represented by one SMP Racing’s car in Pro class but the Italian marque will have the biggest presence in the Pro-Am class with five cars. One of the drivers would be former F1 star Giancarlo Fisichella.

Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Monza

The #63 Lamborghini was a victorious car last year at Monza

Here’s the full entry list for the 3 Hours of Monza.

The action at Monza begins on Saturday with practice and pre-qualifying session. The qualifying session is scheduled for Sunday morning and then the race will start at 15.00.

Photos: Olivier Beroud, Pascal Saivet,

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