The International GT Open 2014 keeps its pace : two weeks after the Algarve, teams and drivers are heading to another much-liked circuit in the Iberian Peninsula, Jerez de la Frontera, for the third round of the season, and are ready to receive the traditional warm welcome at the Andalusian track, which hosts an official event of the series for the second year in a row.
The main novelty ahead of this third round is the much-awaited debut of the Nissan GT-R, which marks the first participation of the Japanese maker in the series. The car, a former works machine from JRM (which continues to be involved in its preparation, is entered by Italian squad Nova Race. The outfit, besed in Reggio Emilia and directed by Elisa Maioli and Luca Magnoni, is known for having competed in Italy and in some 24 hrs races (Dubai, Nürburgring, Barcelona) with Ginetta cars, of which it is the official importer in Italy. Nova Race is now embarking in a new project with the Nissan GT-R that they will enter in selected international events after debuting in Monza a couple of weeks ago. At the wheel of the car will be Lorenzo Bontempelli, a well-known contender in the GT Open and a GTS Champion in 2012, and Davide Valsecchi, the former GP2 Champion and F.1 test driver for Lotus, whose debut in the GT Open at the Nürburgring this year was frustrated when his Eurotech Lamborghini crashed heavily in free practice.
The entry list for Jerez does not contain other main changes, except the come-back of Drivex, which missed the Algarve round. The Spanish outfit has entered both its Porsches 911 RSR, with young Dane Thomas Fjordbach joining the squad.
As things start to get serious in the championship, there will be little time though to indulge to local attractions and delicacies. Corvette and Ferrari have dominated so far in the two categories: the C6 of V8 Racing and SRT have shared two overall wins each (with Maxime Soulet leading in the standings) while, in GTS, the F458 have trusted victories, with AF Corse triumphing twice and SMP Racing and Ombra Racing once each, as Giorgio Roda is a lone points leader.
No doubt that Ferrari will try to break the Corvette supremacy in SuperGT, as Villorba’s Montermini-Schirò and SMP Racing’s Zampieri-Mavlanov, who took two seconds each, seem ready to climb to the highest step on the podium. Similarly, in GTS, the Autorlando Porsche and the V8 Racing GT3 Corvette will try to break Ferrari’s dominance.