Spanish GT Preview - Albacete

The sixth edition of Spanish GT Championship starts this weekend at Albacete – writes Sergio Fonseca. Before the night comes at 8 pm on Saturday, thirty cars are expected for the "premiere" - the second race is scheduled for Sunday, after lunch.

Every team has made a huge effort during the winter and few contenders will be unprepared for the first round. The level of competition seems to be even better than last year.

During the "off-season", the Spanish GT Championship saw a big ’battle’ between the biggest Spanish teams for the acquisition of the two brand new SEAT Cupra GT cars. Just one car will be ready for the season's start – the Lois Racing Lozano Motorsport car, for José Manuel Valero and Jorge Martínez Aspar (Moto GP team owner). It might be asking too much for the 'new' SEAT to be truly competitive first time out.

Meycom's Cupra GT isn't quite ready to race so Miguel Angel de Castro and Angel Burgueño will drive the impressive Marcos LM 600. SEAT Toledo GTs, last year’s cars, will appear once again. Darro Motor Sport, the champion team, will enter one car for Gines Vivancos and Jordi Gene and have sold the other Toledo GT to Saturn Motorsport, the team which is running a Chevrolet Corvette in the Italian GT Championship.

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Marcos Racing International announced two Marcos LM 600s, but they will just run one car for Cor Euser and young Dutchman Danny van Dongen (above). Shaun Balfe Motorsport (Mosler) is another team to watch out. The British crew put on a fantastic race in the last year’s event at Montmelo, Barcelona, and Balfe and Nigel Taylor will drive again.

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The other favourites for the victories are the Porsche 911 GT2 of the Mello- Breyner Bros, Darro Motor Sport's Ferrari 360 Modena (the Valencia FIA-GT car) and the ASM Team Porsche 911 GT3-RS. After the 24 hours of Daytona, Pedro Couceiro and Miguel Pais do Amaral are more confident than ever to win one of the two weekend races.

A French team will debut an Opel Astra Silhouette in the series. The cars are still being developed - by Protonic? These unusual cars will generate a lot of interest but we'll have to wait some races before they all reach their peak of form and speed.

Certainly, the GTB category will give us another good motorsport show. Manel Cerqueda and the ex-Formula 1 driver, Luis Pérez Sala, will try to defend their 2003 championship. It will be a fight between the Spanish Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge and Portuguese Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.

This year, the championship promoter, Jesus Pareja, decided to recreate the old GTC class. At Albacete we are expecting five cars, but the category entry list will grow. Porsche Boxters from the Portuguese Siemens Mobile Cup aren't ready yet, the little Comarth hasn't finished its 2004 development and Ángel Banús' Audi TT isn't confirmed for Albacete.

ENTRY LIST

GTA
1- DARRO MOTOR RACING - Gines Vivancos / Jordi Gene - SEAT TOLEDO GT
4- TEAM GALP ENERGY / POSTLOG - M. Mello Breyner / P. Mello Breyner - PORSCHE
911 GT2
5- MEYCOM SPORT - Miguel De Castro / A.Burgueño - MARCOS LM 600
6- MOTOR COMPETICION - L.Villalba / F.Gutierrez - PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS
7- SATURN MOTORSPORT - L.Llobet / V.Fernandez - SEAT TOLEDO GT
8- ASM TEAM - M.Amaral / P.Couceiro - PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS
9- DANIEL DESBRUERES - P.Brocard / D.Desbrueres - OPEL ASTRA SILHOUETE
10- MARCOS RACING INT - C.Euser / Van Dongen - MARCOS LM 600
11- SHAUN BALFE MOTORSPORT - S.Balfe / N.Taylor - MOSLER MT900R
12- LOIS RACING - JM.Valero / J.Aspar - SEAT CUPRA GT
14- YELLOW RACING TEAM - P.Nevoa / F.Vernier - FERRARI 360 MODENA N-GT
15- DARRO MOTOR RACING - L.Monzon / TBA - FERRARI 360 MODENA N-GT

GTB
21- AUTOMOVIL CLUB DE ANDORRA - M.Cerqueda / L.P.Sala - FERRARI 360 MODENA
CHALLENGE
22- SERGIO BORRELL - S.Puig / J.Vinyes - FERRARI 360 MODENA CHALLENGE
23- COMUNIDAD VALENCIANA - Sa / TBA - FERRARI 360 MODENA CHALLENGE
24- CLUB MOTOR JEREZ - S.Watson / S.Mollinedo - FERRARI 360 MODENA CHALLENGE
25- MARCOS RACING INT - Saez Merino / C.Bastos - MARCOS MANTIS
27- ANTONIO CUTILLAS - A.Cutillas / R.Galiano - FERRARI 360 MODENA CHALLENGE
28- ASM TEAM - P.Bastos / A.Paes - PORSCHE 996 GT3 CUP
29- ASM TEAM - J.Terenas / C.Peres - PORSCHE 996 GT3 CUP

GTC
36- JORGE ENRIQUEZ - J.Enriquez / De la Cuerda - VENTURI 400 TROPHY
37- RIBES - F.Robert / J.Sosa - PORSCHE 996 CUP
38- MEYCOM SPORT - J.Macias / D.Izaguirre - VENTURI 400 TROPHY
39- ESCUDERIA MIL LAGOS - A.Escamez / J.Bergel - FERRARI 355 CHALLENGE
40- CLAUDIA FERNANDEZ - M.Iacovacci / TBA - VENTURI 400 TROPHY.

 

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