The 2019 GT4 European Series season gets underway in Italy this weekend, with the series returning to Monza for the first time since 2016.
The Monza round is the first of six double rounds on the calendar, all to be held on the same weekends as the Blancpain GT Series.
A total of 37 cars are ready to race in the season opener at the 5.793km (3.6 mile) Monza circuit, with Alpine, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ekris (BMW), Ginetta, KTM, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche all represented.
After a very successful debut season in which the Alpine A110 GT4 secured a win on its debut weekend at Spa, two French teams are set to race the Alpine this season. CMR expands to a three-car operation for 2019, with one car in each of the three categories. The French marque will also be represented by series newcomer Rédelé Competition.
The all-new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 will make its GT4 European Series debut at Monza. Seven of the new-spec Vantage GT4s are set to race in the championship. Street Art Racing, Academy Motorsport and PROsport Performance will all run two-car efforts, while British squad Generation AMR SuperRacing will field a one-car Pro-Am effort.
Phoenix Racing will be the sole representative of Audi in the GT4 European Series. The Meuspath-based team will contest the Silver Cup class with one Audi R8 LMS GT4 for reigning champion Nicolaj Møller-Madsen and Cedric Freiburghaus, one of eight drivers who raced at Monza when the series last visited the track.
The BMW brand will be represented by the same teams that raced the BMW M4 GT4 last year. In the Silver Cup, a pair of BMW M4 GT4s will be entered by MDM Motorsport again, while Sammarinese squad W&D Racing Team will also contest the Pro-Am category with one car. Germany’s RN Vision STS and Turkish squad Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport add the final two BMW M4 GT4 entries.
The Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R will contest its second full season in the GT4 European Series in 2019, with Dutch squad V8 Racing fielding the American muscle car in the Silver Cup at Monza.
The 2017 GT4 European Series champions return after taking a sabbatical from the series in 2018. The Dutch team will enter a single Ekris M4 GT4 in the Silver Cup and will receive technical support from experienced motorsport team Schubert Motorsport.
Series newcomer NM Racing Team will represent Ginetta. Nil Montserrat’s team impressed on its Championnat de France FFSA GT, GT4 France debut in Barcelona last year and the Spanish team is set to compete in the highly-competitive Silver Cup with the Ginetta G55 GT4 as its weapon of choice.
True Racing returns to the series with a pair of KTM X-Bow GT4s. The KTM brand is also represented by series newcomer Razoon, more than racing, which will step up to the GT4 European Series with one car. The Austrian team made its SRO series debut in the GT4 Central European Cup in 2018.
The McLaren 570S GT4 claimed two race wins in the GT4 European Series in 2018 and McLaren GT customer teams Equipe Verschuur and Team GT will try their utmost to increase that number this year. Equipe Verschuur will run two McLaren 570S GT4s, one in Silver Cup and one in Am under the Las Moras Racing Team banner, while Germany’s Team GT fields a one-car full-season effort in the Silver Cup.
Mercedes-AMG will be the purveyor of the GT4 European Series with nine Mercedes-AMG GT4s entered for Monza and eight confirmed for the entire season. Stalwart GT squad Selleslagh Racing Team will field three cars, with two cars entered in the Silver Cup and one in the Am class.
Leipert Motorsport and Bullitt Racing will continue in the GT4 European Series, with both teams expanding to two-car efforts. Schwede Motorsport has switched to Mercedes, entering a pair of Mercedes-AMG GT4s in the Pro-Am category.
Porsche will be represented by Allied-Racing this season, with the German team completing the Monza grid with two new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS MRs. Both cars will contest the Pro-Am category, with reigning Am champion Niki Leutwiler one of the four drivers of Jan Kasperlik’s team.
Test sessions kick off Monza weekend on Thursday
The Monza weekend gets underway on Thursday 11 April with four 50-minute private testing sessions at 10.00, 12.00, 15.00 and 17.00. The first one-hour free practice session will begin on Friday morning at 11.40, followed by a second practice session at 15.30. Qualifying takes place on Saturday morning at 10.30, with the first 60-minute race getting underway at 15.10 on Saturday afternoon. The second race will begin at 12.05 on Sunday afternoon.
Nina Pfiffner, Series Manager GT4 European Series: “After last years successful season, I`m looking forward to having another great season. We will have many teams from last year joining again, as well as several newcomers in the GT4 European Series. This season promises to bring exciting races and track action. With the GT4 category growing worldwide and with new championships in Europe this year, we are happy to have a solid grid again with a big variety of manufacturers and some promising new GT4 models.”