Int’l GT Open At Istanbul This Weekend
After a long summer break, the International GT Open series returns, with the fourth round at Istanbul (September 22-24). As at Monza and Magny-Cours, the GTs are supporting the WTCC.

Jesús Pareja, the head of the GT Sport Organisation, is reasonably happy with a grid of 22 cars: “The fact that the race is taking place at a very busy moment of the calendar, combined with the financial and logistical challenge such a long trip poses to privateers, and current concerns with regard to security in this part of the world, have clearly had an impact on the number of entries. But the good news is that all the big boys will be there and that the circuit is really one of the most technical and spectacular ones. All the ingredients are there for superb racing and we are confident and happy to bring a very good show to the Turkish public.”

Currently, the Playteam SaraFree pairing of Michele Bartyan and Alessandro Pierguidi are in the lead of the championship with their Ferrari 430 GT (86 points and 2 victories), only four points ahead of José Manuel Pérez Aicart and Lucas Guerrero (82 points), who have not won yet but have been extremely consistent in the Escudería Bengala Mosler. In third place is Paolo Ruberti, the lead driver of Edil Cris Racing (79 points) after winning one race in the Venetian team’s Ferrari 360 and one in the new Ferrari 430. Ruberti is partnered by Matteo Cressoni.

Instead of an Autorlando Porsche (the team otherwise busy at Jarama) Gianluca Roda and Johnny Mowlem will race a GPC Ferrari 360, a model that has brought considerable success to the Englishman in recent years. After the event, Mowlem flies back to the UK, then almost immediately on to Atlanta, for the Petit Le Mans event.

RSV Motorsport enters three 430s, for Peter Sundberg / Domingo Romero, Michel Ligonnet / Roland Severin and former F1 driver Luis Pérez-Sala sharing with Manuel Cerqueda in a car carrying the colors of the Automòbil Club d’Andorra.

The GTS class sees several of the FIA GT3 cars heading straight to Turkey from last weekend’s event at Mugello:, the Racing Box Vipers are unbeaten so far, but will be challenged by the BMS Aston Martins.

One of the Racing Box Vipers will have an all-Turkish driver line-up: Vural Ak, who is a double Turkish Off-road Champion and a recognized competitor in international rally-raids, is partnered by Ahmed Özgün.

The two one-hour races (one on Saturday, one on Sunday) will be broadcasted live by the Eurosport network throughout the continent.

Istanbul GT Open Schedule (GMT+3)
Friday 22 September 2006
13:00 – 13:45 – Free Practice 1 (45’)
17:00 – 18:30 – Free Practice 2 (45’)
Saturday 23 September 2006
10:45 – 11:20 – Qualifying 1 (35’)
13:50 – 14:25 – Qualifying 2 (35’)
17:10 – 18:10 – Race 1 (26 laps)
Sunday 24 September 2006
08:30 – 08:45 – Warm up (15’)
12:55 – 13:55 – Race 2 (26 laps)

Entry List
2 Esc. Bengala E Lucas Guerrero E / José M. Pérez Aicart E Mosler MT900R GTA
5 RSV Motorsport E Peter Sundberg SE / Domingo Romero E Ferrari 430 GT2 GTA
6 RSV Motorsport E Michel Ligonnet FR / Ronald Severin D Ferrari 430 GT2 GTA
9 Victor Fdez. Roca E Victor Fernandez E / Luis Llobet E Seat Toledo GT GTA
14 Automobil Club D´Andorra AND Manuel Cerqueda AND / Luis Perez Sala E Ferrari 430 GT2 GTA
20 Edil Cris Racing Team IT Sergio Rota IT / tbn Ferrari 360 Modena GTC GTA
23 BMS - Scuderia Italia IT Matteo Maluccelli IT / Marcelo Zani IT Aston Martin DBRS9 GTS
24 BMS - Scuderia Italia IT Franco Groppi IT / Toni Seiler CH Aston Martin DBRS9 GTS
27 Racing Box IT tbn IT / tbn IT Dodge Viper Coupe GT3 GTS
28 Racing Box IT Vural Ak TR / Ahmed Özgün TR Dodge Viper Coupe GT3 GTS
33 Gianni Giudici IT Paolo Cutrera IT / Gianni Giudici IT Ferrari 360 Challenge GTB
34 Playteam srl IT Manuel Giao PT / Gianbattista Giannoccaro IT Ferrari 360 Modena GTC GTA
35 Gianni Giudici IT Beppe Arlotti IT / Fabrizio Gini IT Ferrari 360 Challenge GTB
36 Playteam srl IT Alessandro Pierguidi IT / Michele Bartyan IT Ferrari 430 GT2 GTA
37 Playteam srl IT Gianluca Tedoldi IT / Michele Maceratesi IT Ferrari 360 Modena GTC GTA
38 Marcos Racing NL Luis Bermudez de Castro E / Manuel Saez Merino E Marcos Mantis GTB
41 Esc. Roger Racing E Oscar Sanchez E / Juan Ramon Zapata E Ferrari 430 Challenge GTB
42 Fernando Glez.-Camino E Francesc Robert AND / Juan Ignacio Villacieros E Ferrari 430 Challenge GTB
43 Esc. Roger Racing E Henk Van Zoest NL / Ángel Santos E Ferrari 430 Challenge GTB
53 GPC Sport IT Gianluca Roda IT / Johnny Mowlem GB Ferrari 360 Modena GTC GTA
55 Edil Cris Racing Team IT Paolo Ruberti IT / Matteo Cressoni IT Ferrari 430 GT2 GTA
60 Cetea E Juan Carlos Lloveras E / Felipe Izquierdo E Ferrari 360 Challenge GTB

 

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