After four events in Portugal, Great Britain, Spain and France supporting the GT1 World Championship, the FIA GT3 European Championship now heads to a new country and a new challenge for the next two one-hour races, when it will be the headline series at the Admiral GT3 Racing Weekend in Slovakia this weekend (19-21 August 2011).
It will be the first time that the FIA GT3 European Championship has raced at the new Slovakia Ring circuit, although the championship has visited Brno in the neighboring Czech Republic twice before (2007 and 2010).
The 5.9km Slovakia Ring circuit, which is located 40km from Bratislava, was opened in 2008. As well as the FIA GT3 European Championship the circuit will also host rounds of the Central European Zone Championship, the Radical European Cup and Formula D2 and D3 this weekend.
Championship leaders Francesco Castellacci and Federico Leo (79 points) (nr50 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia) hold a slender 4-point advantage over Enzo Ide and Greg Franchi (75 points) (nr33 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8), with Edward Sandstrom and Abdulaziz Al Faisal (73 points) (nr6 Need for Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4) just 2 points behind the Audi pairing. With 100 points on offer over the next two events, the championship is still wide open.
In the Team Championship, it is an all-BMW Z4 affair at the top of the table with Need for Speed Team Schubert (126 points) holding a 5-point lead over Faster Racing by DB Motorsport (121 points). However, AF Corse (97 points), Belgian Audi Club Team WRT (88 points) and Graff Racing (85 points) are all within striking distance of the leaders and it could all change once again this weekend in Slovakia.
Slovakia is represented by four drivers for the first ever FIA GT3 event in their country with Anton Kiaba and Stefan Rosina racing with Reiter Engineering, taking the wheel of the nr25 Lamborghini Gallardo LP600. Jirko Malcharek will join French driver Didier Andre in the nr32 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8, while Filip Sladecka will race with Patrick Hirsch in the nr45 HEICO Motorsport Mercedes Benz SLS AMG.
The Czech Republic is also well represented this weekend, with the Gravity Charouz Racing team hoping for success with their pair of Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGs on their neighbour’s premier race circuit. Jarek Janis will once again join Russian Leo Machitski in the nr11 car, while the nr12 Mercedes is an all-Czech line up with Jan Stovicek and Jakub Knoll sharing the driving duties.
Track action begins on Friday 19th August with Free Practice, while Qualifying and Round 9 of the 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship take place on Saturday 20th at 09:30 and 14:45 (local time) respectively. Round 10 takes place on Sunday 21st August and is due to start at 11:15.
- FIA GT3