Heat and hot battles on the Danube shores


The International GT Open 2014 is reaching the mid-season mark, as it heads eastwards  for the fourth round of the year. Next stop will be in Hungary, at the Hungaroring, the F.1 track in the outskirts of Budapest. Following a first visit in 2012, this is the second time that the GT Open will be at the Hungaroring, a most appreciated venue which offers the additional attractions of one of the most beautiful European capitals and the Danube region. Summer can be quite hot in Central Europe but besides from the expected warm weather, the heat is coming mostly from the championship situation!

The Jerez round brought, in both classes, a strong reaction by opposition to the forces having dominated the first two rounds: the Ferraris took victories (with SMP Racing and Villorba Corse) over the Corvettes in the overall results, but saw their winning trend interrupted in GTS, where Audi and Nissan took top honors.

As a consequence, the championship battles are more open than ever and gaps have closed in the provisional standings. In the overall rankings, Andrea Montermini-Niccolò Schirò, the Villorba Corse pair, are now leading, with 13 points over Miguel Ramos-Nicky Pastorelli (V8 Racing Corvette) and 15 over Roman Mavlanov-Daniel Zampieri, with their SMP Racing Ferrari.

In GTS, it is still a Ferrari trio on top, but young Giorgio Roda (AF Corse) has now only a 5-point lead on José Manuel Pérez-Aicart-Vyacheslav Maleev (SMP Racing), with Claudio Sdanewitsch (AF Corse) only 1 point aback. Former double GT Open champion Joel Camathias and team mate Matteo Beretta (21 points) are now leading the opposition to the Prancing Horse, on the Autorlando Porsche.

There are few but interesting novelties in the field. Easy Race is joining the GT Open for the occasion. The Italian team, which had raced in the series back in 2009, is bringing a Ferrari F458 GT3 for two well-known Italian GT specialists, Fabio Mancini and Andrea Dromedari.

V8 Racing, on another hand, will have a slightly modified driver line-up in its GT3 Corvette: with Dylan Derdaele taken by other commitments, Dennis Retera will be joined by Daniel Keilwitz. The German, one of top GT drivers internationally and the current reigning champion of the ADAC GT Masters, is a well-known Corvette specialist and will make his debut in the GT Open.

Ombra Racing, finally, is facing an exceptional situation this weekend: the Italian squad will bring a single car, as Mario Cordoni, taken by professional duties, cannot attend this event, therefore car #62 will stay at home. The other regular machine of the Italian squad, #63, suffered a heavy crash in the first laps of Race 2 at Jerez. It has been completely rebuilt and repaired but Stefano Costantini, who was at the wheel when the accident occurred, is still suffering from back pains and still forced to stay at rest. He will be replaced only for this race by Álvaro Barba. The former GT Open Champion knows well the team, for which he raced last year, and will form an all-Spanish duo with Alan Sicart. 

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