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In Focus: Local favourite Ferrari brings strong representation to Monza

21 April 2018

Monza is widely acknowledged as the home of Italian motorsport, and no manufacturer is more closely linked with the historic circuit than Ferrari.

The Maranello brand is among the most recognisable and successful in all of sport, with its prancing horse motif having featured on iconic racing machines and legendary drivers’ overalls.

Among its racing commitments, Ferrari has a strong presence in the Blancpain GT Series. The manufacturer will be on home turf this weekend for the opening Endurance Cup round of 2018 at Monza, with seven of their 488 GT3s set to contest the three-hour race. With strong representation on the track, there will be no shortage of support around the circuit from Ferrari’s passionate fans. 

The marque is represented in the Pro class thanks to the SMP Racing squad. The Russian outfit will contest the full Endurance Cup schedule this year with an impressive line-up aboard their #72 car.

Ferrari factory drivers Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina return to the team for a second successive campaign, and will be joined by Russian ace Mikhail Aleshin. An established international racer with significant experience in sportscars and single-seaters, Aleshin completes a line-up capable of battling for top honours on Sunday afternoon.

Ferrari will be the best-represented brand in the Pro-Am Cup at Monza, with five 488 GT3s set to tackle the class this weekend. Among the drivers who will carry the prancing horse into battle are a number of former class champions, creating the potential for a highly competitive event. 

Two of these entries come from the AF Corse stable. The #51 car is shared by regular teammates Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin, who combined to win the Endurance Cup Pro-Am title in 2015. The pair are extremely well acquainted with Ferrari machinery and should be among the Pro-Am front-runners this weekend.

The #53 AF Corse machine will be shared by Niek Hommerson, Louis Machiels, and Andrea Bertolini. Hommerson and Machiels were back-to-back Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am champions in 2011 and 2012, with experienced GT ace Bertolini part of their crew during the latter campaign.

Kessel Racing will be present with 2016 Pro-Am champion Michael Broniszewski, who continues his successful association with the Swiss outfit for another season. The Polish driver will be joined by Ferrari factory ace Alessandro Pier Guidi, who will compete in the Blancpain GT Series for a fourth successive year.

Three-time grand prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella returns to Blancpain GT Series action with the 961 Corse squad this weekend. The Italian – who ended his F1 career in Ferrari machinery – will share with compatriot Lorenzo Bontempelli and Lebanese racer Alex Demerdjian.

The Ferrari Pro-Am quintet is completed by the #333 Rinaldi Racing entry of Alexander Matschull, Rinat Salikhov, and Dominik Schwager. Matschull will be contesting his first year in the series, but can count on considerable experience from his two teammates.

Rinaldi Racing will field a second Ferrari 488 GT3, which will compete in the Am Cup at Monza. Pierre Ehret returns to the Italian squad and, having finished as Am class runner-up in the Endurance Cup last season, will be hoping to go one better in 2018.

The German driver will be joined by a Finn and a South Korean to form a truly global trio. Rory Penttinen made his series debut alongside Ehret at Paul Ricard last term and will be back for more at Monza. Finally, South Korea’s Rick Yoon will make his first appearance for Rinaldi having already contested a number of Blancpain GT Series Asia events.

Ferrari's Monza Entry List

#11 Kessel Racing: Michael Broniszewski / Alessandro Pier Guidi (Pro-Am Cup) 

#51 AF Corse  : Duncan Cameron / Matt Griffin   (Pro-Am Cup) 

#53 AF Corse  : Niek Hommerson / Andrea Bertolini (Pro-Am Cup)

#72 SMP Racing: Mikhail Aleshin  / Davide Rigon / Miguel Molina (Pro) 

#333 Rinaldi Racing: Alexander Matschull / Rinat Salikhov / Dominik Schwäger (Pro-Am Cup)

 #488 Rinaldi Racing: Pierre Ehret / Rory Penttinen / Rick Yoon (AM Cup)

#961 961 Corse: Alex Demerdjian / Lorenzo Bontempelli / Giancarlo Fisichella (Pro-Am Cup)