The International GT Open returns to racing after the summer break at the Red Bull Ring for the fifth round of the season.
The event sees a 24-car entry, the best so far this year with debuts and returns adding up nicely to the title battles across classes.
Glenn Van Berlo and Kevin Gilardoni arrive in Austria as the new leaders of the standings. The Dutch-Swiss pairing from the Oregon team earned their first win at the Hungaroring and, with consistency elsewhere, hold a 3-point lead over Nick Moss-Joe Osborne, who both claimed 2 wins at Optimum Motorsport McLaren.
A further seven points behind are his Oregon Lamborghini teammates Benji Hites-Leo Pulcini, who have 3 wins to their credit, including the endurance race at Spa, but suffered setbacks at the final round in Hungary.
These are the three main contenders for the title, but the Pro category also includes a Mercedes, from GetSpeed Performance, entrusted to Steve Jans and Sébastien Baud.
In the Pro-Am class, the situation has turned in favor of Olimp Racing Audi, with the Polish team leading the class by 20 points with Marcin Jedlinski and Karol Basz both having two wins.
His main contenders, Saudi driver Reema Juffali and Adam Christodoulou, at Theeba Motorsport Mercedes, will surely be keen to rectify the situation, after two events without points, and return to the form that has given them three class wins.
Close behind in the standings are the GetSpeed Mercedes of Janine Shoffner-Moritz Krantz, who have been on the podium in the last three events, the SPS automotive performance of Swiss duo Dexter Müller-Yannick Mettler, the Kessel Racing Ferrari of Murat Cuhadaroglu- David Fumanelli, Alain Valente with Team GT Mercedes (the overall winner of Race 1 in Hungary will meet Bernhard Laber at this round), and the other Kessel Racing car of Roman Ziemian-Axcil Jefferies.
In Austria, three new entries will power the Pro-Am class. Greystone GT is making its international competitive debut with a McLaren 720S entrusted to Andrew Gilbert and double GT Open vice-champion Fran Rueda.
AF Corse is fielding a second Ferrari 488 for Willem Van der Vorm, a Ferrari Challenge specialist, paired with Michele Rugolo.
Equipe Vitesse makes its first appearance of the year, with its Mercedes AMG for Mario Hirschi and Dominik Schraml, a Bavarian-Austrian who will basically race on home soil.
Last but not least, Aust Motorsport’s Audi R8 LMS returns for a third appearance this season, featuring Dino Steiner and local hero Max Hofer.
The Am class welcomes hometown heroes and veteran GT Open Am racers Alex Hrachowina and Martin Konrad. They lead the standings in the Mann Filter Team Landgraf Mercedes and will want to strengthen their path to the title, already with five wins to their name.
They have a 12-point lead over GetSpeed’s Kiki Sak Nana-Adam Osieka, the Thai-German pairing who won the endurance race at Spa, and the AF Corse Ferrari of Laurent De Meeus, who will partner this time with Johnny Mowlem.
Class regulars include Stanislaw Jedlinski-Krystian Korzeniowski’s Olimp Racing Mercedes, which finished on the podium twice in Hungary, Stephen Earle-Erwin Zanotti’s Kessel Racing Ferrari and Giuseppe Cipriani’s Barone Rampante Lambo.
At Red Bull Ring, there will be three new entries when Antonelli Motorsport makes its first appearance of the season, with the Mercedes in the hands of Florian Scholze (on the road with a third different team this season and overall winner in Race 1 in Hungary) and Marco Antonelli.
Motopark, the well-known single-seater team that is a top force in the Euroformula Open, is entering a Mercedes AMG for Heiko Neumann and team boss Timo Rumpfkeil and an all-Austrian package, Baron Motorsport’s Ferrari 488, with Ferrari Challenge. stars Ernst Kirchmayr and Philipp Baron make their series debuts.
22-12 GTO RBR Entry v1