Both the Barcelona and the Le Castellet meetings of the inaugural season of the GT Sports Club proved to be excellent examples of the framework set out by Stéphane Ratel and the SRO Motorsports Group: a GT Sports Club meeting aims to give the gentleman driver the opportunity to race against his peers, in an enjoyable and sunny atmosphere, in a short timeframe which would allow them to fit the race weekend into the their often busy schedules.
The Algarve meeting is yet another prime specimen of such a meeting. The Autodromo Internacional Algarve is known as a one of the best and most challenging circuits in Europe, and the vicinity of the Portimao coastline makes it an excellent location to combine sporting performances and a leisurely break.
After two of the four meetings (the season ends in Misano in early October), three drivers have managed to position themselves at the top of the standings. Cedric Mezard (#8 Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari) has a two-point lead, even though the Frenchman has yet to win a race. After three runner-up positions in four races, Mezard has got his mind set on a first win in Algarve.
In joint second are the two race winners of 2015. Max Bianchi (#23 Kessel Racing Ferrari) was the best in the Barcelona main race, while his Italian countryman Stefano Pezzucchi (#35 Krypton Motorsport Porsche) has won the other three. Pezzucchi will not increase his tally of wins this weekend however, as he is unable to make it to Portugal.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese team Sports & You makes its series debut with a Mercedes SLS AMG, which will be driven by Natalia Freidina from Russia.
In the Iron Cup, reserved for drivers over 60, Martin Lanting has taken the lead of the standings after a stellar performance in Le Castellet. With his #48 AF Corse Ferrari the Monegasque not only took the class win in both qualifying and main races, he also managed to finish third overall in the main race. In the Iron Cup standings Lanting now enjoys an 11-point advantage over Belgian Louis-Philippe Soenen. All Iron Cup drivers will have an extra challenger in the person of Stephen Earle. The American, winner of Blancpain Endurance Series Am Cup in Monza earlier this year, will drive the #111 Kessel Racing Ferrari.
The GT Sports Club action starts with the free practice session on Saturday September 5th at noon, with both races on Sunday September 6th.
Saturday, September 5th
Free Practice 12:00 – 12:40
Qualifying 15:25 – 15:45
Sunday, September 6th
Qualifying Race 09:35 – 10:00
Main Race 12:20 – 13:00
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