BMS new boys: Ferdinando Monfardini and Giorgio Mondini
BMS new boys: Ferdinando Monfardini and Giorgio Mondini
Aston Martin Racing BMS has signed up two exciting young drivers, fresh from single-seaters, to drive the nr 22 Aston Martin DBR9. We spoke to them in Nogaro ...
Ferdinando, this season is going to be your first season in the FIA GT Championship, what did you do before?
FM : "I raced in F3000 in 2004, then I did two years in GP2, one of the greatest single-seater series. Single-seater cars are really different from GT cars. First of all they are single make Championships; I have always done Championships with only one make of tyres and one type of car! The cars are also very different, and in the FIA GT Championship you have to work more on the cars to find the performance, the set-up is very important in order to have a good car."
Why did you choose the FIA GT Championship?
FM : "In GP2, if you are supported by a manufacturer or a big sponsor, who is involved in Formula One, you can drive a better car, in a top team. If not… it is much more difficult for you! So I decided to go to GT racing, because if I want to carry on racing, and to be a professional racing driver, it is the only way. "
What do you think about GT racing so far?
FM : "The FIA GT Championship is very strong, with a lot of professional drivers, top cars, top teams, and strong manufacturers like Aston Martin. I have to change my way of driving, from short races against your competitors, where you have to push from the start to the finish, to endurance racing with a co-driver.
The races are much more strategic, you really need to race with your head. It is new for me to work with a team-mate, in a real association, and not for myself alone. My motivation is very strong this year, and I’m convinced that is a good point in order to get good results in this Championship."
Giorgio, where did you race before?
GM : "I started my career in 2001 in the Formula Renault Eurocup, where I also raced in 2002. In 2003 I started in the Formula Renault V6, and I won the Championship in 2004. Then in 2005 I raced in the World Series by Renault; in the middle of the 2005 season I switched to GP2, where I also raced in 2006. On the same time I was a test driver in Formula One for Midland F1. It was very interesting to drive a Formula One, I learned a lot and I understood a lot of different things. I did about 5000 kilometers in the Midland F1."
What is your program this season?
GM : "I’m going to do the FIA GT Championship with the BMS Scuderia Italia Aston Martin DBR9, and I’m planned to test again in Formula One. I have one more test with Midland F1, and if I do well in the FIA GT Championship, I will test more."
Why did you choose the FIA GT Championship?
GM : "I know this Championship quite well, as Stephane Ratel is a great friend. Then when I was racing in Formula Renault Eurocup it was in the same meetings as the FIA GT Championship, so I was able to see how good this Championship is. I was looking for a Championship with very professional team, close to what I have known in single-seater series.
With a lot of professional teams and manufacturers involved in this Championship, the FIA GT Championship was the best solution. BMS is a good choice, very professional. We are supported by Pirelli, and I’m sure that we can do something great."
Two young drivers in the same cars, with not a lot of experience in GT Racing… it is going to be a learning season for you?
GM : "We need time… we need to get used to the car, but it is going to be interesting. There are a lot of drivers with a strong experience in this Championship, but we will work to be on their level very fast. I did around 40 laps in Monza, 40 laps in Nogaro… then we are going straight to the first race in Zhuhai! We have to work by ourselves and we are going to discover several points in Zhuhai. The team, Aston Martin Racing BMS Suderia Italia, is going to help us a lot, and Jamie Davies and abio Babini are also a big reference for us. With them we are going to learn quickly."
What was your first feeling with this car?
GM : "Before first getting in the car, I thought there would be a big difference between a single seater car and our Aston Martin… but in fact there are fewer differences than we could have imagined. In fact, when we get used to the car, the only big difference is the weight! The engine, the brakes, the body… it is a really good package."
Following a recent decision by the FIA, the Lister Storm GT is now eligible to compete for a further two years in the FIA GT Championship.
A statement from Lister Racing explained : "Looking at the times set at the recent test in Monza, and comparing them with Tom Coronel’s times in the Storm, set two years’ ago in similar conditions, the car will still be very competiti weiter >>
Starting with the 2007 season, the team formerly known as Racealliance will be renamed Jetalliance Racing. This is due to the new majority shareholder, the Jetalliance Group.
The Austrian Aston Martin Importer Karner Holding remains a partner with a strategic 10% share. Katharina Lichtner-Hoyer, sister of majority shareholder Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer, has been named as CEO. weiter >>
After a successful test in Monza, the Scuderia Ecosse team were out on track a little closer to home, taking advantage of being based near to Knockhill Circuit. Tomas Enge, Tim Mullen and Andrew Kirkaldy were on driving duty; this was Tomas’ first run with the team so a chance for everyone to get acquainted.
The serious business of the day was to test various Pirelli tyre weiter >>
Monday night saw the PK Carsport season officially get underway in the Versuz discothèque in Hasselt. Drivers Anthony Kumpen and Bert Longin will be driving the team’s Corvette C5-R in the FIA GT Championship, as well as racing a Corvette Z06 in the Belcar.
"Due to the change of the regulations we had no choice and we had to go from three to two drivers" said Anthony Kump weiter >>
Barwell Motorsport’s Jonathan Cocker, who will make his GT1 debut in Zhuhai, has been named as one of the 20 finalists for the Motor Sport Association’s new British Race Elite programme.
David Brabham was one of those with the task of selecting the 20 drivers, aged between 16 and 25, who would go through to the next stage. "We tried to cover as many racing categories as weiter >>
2006 Champions AF Corse, to be known as AF Corse Motorola for the 2007 season, will be returning to defend their title with two Ferrari 430 GT2 cars and four top drivers ! For 2007, the nr 50 Ferrari 430 GT2 will be driven by Toni Vilander and Dirk Müller, while the nr 51 car will be in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni and Stephane Ortelili.
Returning to the team after racing weiter >>
Michael Bartels has announced that Vitaphone Racing fully intends to defend their titles in the GT1 category - including aiming for three-in-a-row in the Teams title, which it won in 2005 and 2006.
The German team will enter two Maserati MC 12 cars, shod this year with Michelin tyres. "It will not be easy to achieve our goals," Bartels admitted. "The competition will be e weiter >>
The cars will soon be loaded into the plane, and will set off for Zhuhai, China, where the first event of the 2007 season will take place. The first in a new era of two-hour races,with two obligatory pit stops including driver change - ten years after the first FIA GT race took place in 1997.
The entry grid for this first race is impressive, and with so many top driver li weiter >>
2007 FIA GT Championhsip Round 1 - ZHUHAI CHINA
1 Vitaphone Racing Team GER Michael Bartels GER Thomas Biagi ITA Maserati MC 12 GT1 GT1
2 Vitaphone Racing Team GER Miguel Ramos POR Christian Montanari RSM Maserati MC 12 GT1 GT1
4 GLPK Carsport BEL Anthony Kumpen BEL Bert Longin BEL Corvette C5R GT1
5 Carsport Holland NED Jean-Denis Deletraz weiter >>
This week saw the GT4 European Cup get underway at the Paul Armagnac circuit in Nogaro, France, with the first performance balancing tests of some of the cars due to take part in this year’s series.
Four different models of car were presented for testing : the Ford Mustang FR 500 GT, Nissan 350 Evo, Lotus Sport Exige and Aston Martin Vantage N24. They were put through th weiter >>
The Ford GT lands up in the FIA-GT3 championship !
This time the information is official; the Ford GT, worthy successor of the mythical GT40, will as from 2007 appear in GT3 version. And on top of that it will be competing in the European FIA-GT3 championship, all thanks to the initiative of an in weiter >>
Pos Car Class Car Thursday Friday Fastest
23 Aston Martin Racing BMSGT1 Aston Martin DBR9 1:46.622 1:45.504 1:45.504
33 Race Alliance GT1 Aston Martin DBR9 1:47.292 1:46.420 1:46.420
3 Phoenix GT1 Aston Martin DBR9 1:46.837 1:46.837
8 All-Inkl.com Racing GT1 Lamborghini Murciélago 1:47.802 1:47.802
The 2007 season of the FIA GT Championship got underway in Monza, with a press conference and test session around the powerful circuit.
Three sessions took place on track for the GT1 and GT2 cars, with a total of 20 cars taking to the track. The best time of the day was set by the nr 23 Aston Martin Racing BMS weiter >>
2007 FIA GT Championhsip
3 Phoenix Racing GER Giorgio Mondini Emmanuel Collard FRA Matteo Malucelli ITA Aston Martin DBR9 GT1
7 All-Inkl.com Reiter Lamborghini GER Christophe Bouchut FRA Stefan Mücke GER Marc Basseng GER Lamborghini Murciélago GT1
8 All-Inkl.com Reiter Lamborghini GE weiter >>
New team Spectrum Motorsport, led by Dana Brewer, is planning to enter two Saleen cars in the 2007 season of the FIA GT Championship. One car will be entered in the full season, and will be driven by two as-yet-unnamed American drivers, while the second car, to run in the Citation Cup, will weiter >>
The Spanish RSV Motorsport team makes sure its attendance to the new season of the International GT Open and de National GT Championship, and it takes responsibility of carrying out with the scheduled sportive programme for this year 2006. They are also going to take part in the prominent 24 Hours Spa in t weiter >>
ASL Team Mücke – Motorsports in FIA GT Championship
A new challenge is waiting for Stefan Mücke. From 2002 till 2006 the Berlin racer drove a Mercedes-Benz at the German Touringcar Challenge (DTM). For the coming season 2007 he will race in the FIA GT Championship for the ALL-INKL.COM weiter >>
Teams and drivers contacting the SRO London offices might have noticed that there’s a new face in the Team Relations department. Meet Paolo Callea, who has joined SRO to work on the FIA GT team relations.
Paolo has been actively involved in Motorsport since an early age. He had previous experience directly in karting, before moving to cars with Volvo and BMW. After he gra weiter >>
The 2006 edition of the FIA GT Championship book
- which also includes photos and reports on the inaugural season of the FIA GT3 European Championship
- is now available from Belgian publishers Apach.
The book, which is 144 pages long, has over 200 colour photos, and costs 42 euros.
For more information, or to pla weiter >>
Up until recently, the only way to get on-board camera images from a racing car or motorcycle was to transmit the images to the TV Compound via a helicopter hovering above the race circuit. However, following the introduction of digital microwave links around five years ago, Gigawave engineers set out to exploit the benefits offered by digital technology and eliminate the need fo weiter >>
French team First Racing is planning to run a team of Lamborghini Gallardo cars in the FIA GT3 European Championship this season. The First Racing workshops, in Magny-Cours, will take delivery of the three cars in mid-February. Fabien Giroix and Hans Reiter once worked together in the context of the DTM, resulting in this latest collaboration.
The Lamborghini Gallardo rac weiter >>
Aston Martin Racing BMS and Pirelli undertook two days of testing at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit on February 9th and 10th. Fabio Babini and Jamie Davies, who have been confirmed as the drivers of the nr 23 car for 2007, completed extensive testing of the Pirelli tyres, and worked on further development. The cars were also driven by
two young single-seater drivers, Alessa weiter >>
Monaco-based team JMB Racing has announced its racing plans for 2007. This includes entering two Maserati MC12 cars in the GT1 category of the 207 FIA GT Championship. The team will also enter three Ferrari 430 GT3 cars in the FIA GT3 European Championship, and will run two Maserati Trofeo cars in the GT4 European Cup.
JMB last ran Maserati MC 12 cars in the 2005 season, weiter >>
Bert Longin, driver with the GLPK Corvette for the last two years and threetimes race winner, has signed a two-year contract with his sponsors, Johnson Controls.
"I am really pleased with this," Belgian driver Bert said. "I think this is recognition of what I achieved last season. For me, it is a sign that I am doing my job. I have never had a two-year contract before; no weiter >>
The 2006 British and FIA GT3 European Champions, Leo Machitski and Sean Edwards respectively, have come together for 2007 to take the next step in GT racing, when they will race the Tech9 Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-RSR.
The team undertook a shakedown onm February 7th at Brands Hatch. "The target was simply to put 200 km on the car and bed everything in," commented team ow weiter >>
The full range of Aston Martin racing cars have been testing at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit.
As well as the Aston Martin DBR9, which runs in the FIA GT Championship, the test included the DBRS9, a race-winner in the FIA GT3 European Championship last year, and the N24, which is one of the potential cars for the new GT4 European Championship.
BMS Scu weiter >>
After three intense days of testing in Adria on February 6th, 7th and 8th, Scuderia Playteam-Sarafree has announced the names of the drivers for their two Maserati MC 12 cars for the 2007 FIA GT Championship.
One car will be in the hands of 2006 Champion Andrea Bertolini and 2006 runner-up Andrea Piccini. The other car will be driven by Giambattista Giannoccaro and Alessa weiter >>
For 2007, RS Line and Reiter Engineering will be coming together under the banner All Inkl.com Racing to run two Lamborghini Murciélago cars in the FIA GT Championship, under the lead of All-Inkl.com’s René Munnich.
One car will be led by 2006 All Inkl.com driver, and triple FIA GT Champion, Christophe Bouchut. His team-mate is yet to be announced. "I am very happy to wor weiter >>
The 2007 season of the FIA GT and FIA GT3 European Championships will get underway on February 22nd at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, in Italy, with a two-day FIA-sanctioned official test session, including a media day and press conference on the first day.
Teams due to attend the test days include All-Inkl.com with the Lamborghini Murciélago cars, Race Alliance and As weiter >>
FIA GT Championship Neue Herausforderung für Stefan Mücke
Der Berliner fährt 2007 im Lamborghini Murciélago in der FIA GT Meisterschaft
Eine neue Herausforderung steht Stefan Mücke bevor: Der Berliner Rennfahrer, der von 2002 bis 2006 in den Deutschen Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) jeweils mit ei weiter >>
FIA GT CHAMPIONSHIP 2007
After making his début in the international arena in the Le Mans Series in 2006, Jos Menten moved his ambitions to a full-season entry in the FIA GT Championship. The 25-year old talented Dutchman inked a deal with All-Inkl.com Reiter Lamborghini. Together with his fellow countryman Peter Kox he will spur a Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT spec weiter >>
With the growth of the FIA GT Championship and the reduction of the race length, SRO is delighted to confirm a very significant increase of the TV coverage for the 2007 season.
This includes a deal with DSF in Germany to show all the events either live or same-day delayed. DSF is Germany’s leading sports network, present in over 90% of German homes.
In Belgium, an weiter >>
For 2007, SRO will take a step towards re-establishing the balance between professionals and non-professionals with the formation of the Citation GT1 Cup. Running within the GT1 category of the 2007 FIA GT Championship, the Citation GT1 Cup will involve a separate classification and podium for the eligible cars. It will be open to non-professional drivers, using the same criteria weiter >>
2007 SRO Motorsport Group extends its activities for 2007
The SRO Motorsports Group will be extending its activities in 2007, with the creation of four new series as well as taking over the running of a fifth. This expansion will involve setting up three new offices, as well as those established in London and Paris.
SRO Motorsports Gro weiter >>
Championnat d'Europe GT3 de la FIA(5 épreuves / events)
06/05 GB Silverstone Silverstone International
20/05 RO Bucharest Ring Bucharest Ring
24/06 I Monza Monza
23/09 CZ Brno Brno
04/11 UAE Dubai Dubai International Circuit
- FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE L'AUTOMOBILE - FIA - weiter >>
FIA GT Championship – Dubai Motorcity GT 500
Encouraged by the good results in the past couple of months, Jos Menten went to the United Arab Emirates for the closing of the FIA GT Championship season. Especially for his Middle Eastern adventure, Menten switched to the Zakspeed Racing Team, wh weiter >>
The prize-giving and end of season party for the 2006 season of the FIA GT Championship was held in Dubai on Saturday evening, in a glittering party co-hosted by the Dubai Autodrome and SRO, promoters of the Championship.
The 2006 Champions received their trophies, including the top three in the Manufacturers Cup in both categories, the top three in the Teams Championshi weiter >>
Dubai, which so nearly saw the first non-manufacturer win for the Aston Martin DBR9 last year, proved to be good for the Aston cars this weekend, with not only victory for Phoenix, but the three other cars finishing in fourth to sixth positions.
Fourth place went to the Aston Martin Racing BMS DBR9, aft weiter >>
The GT2 victory went to Mullen and Niarchos, in the nr 63 Ferrari 430 GT2 of Scuderia Ecosse. The new British GT Champions put in an excellent performance, and have really dominated the category all weekend. However, the ten points were not enough to promote Mullen to third in the Classification, as he wa weiter >>
The Larbre Ferrari 550 Maranello, running in G2 and which set the best time in qualifying, was awarded 10 kg penalty weight by the GT Bureau, and also placed behind the GT1 cars on the grid.
However, it drove a good race and finished 7th overall for Gardel, Zacchia and Makowiecki, who were pleased with the performance shown by the car, with its customer engine designed b weiter >>
The Warm-up session was largely uneventful, with Deletraz being fastest at the start, followed by Peter, Ramos and Gardel.
Nine minutes in, Malucelli set the fastest time in the session so far of 1:56.798.
Kumpen sped up the field, getting second, then two minutes before t weiter >>
Times generally come down over the weekend in Dubai, as the grip increases and the track gets steadily cleaner. The best time in the first free practice session was a lap of 1:58.104 from Andrea Piccini in the nr 5 Phoenix Racing Aston Martin DBR9, set right at the end of the session.
He was sixth tenths ahead of the nr 33 Race Alliance car, shared by Philipp Peter, Karl weiter >>
FIA GT Meisterschaft 2006
10. Lauf / Finale MotorCity GT 500 Race am 17./18.11. 2006
Ob Formel1 oder DTM – alle großen Automobilmeisterschaften haben ihre diesjährige Saison bereits beendet. Die international renommierte FIA GT Meisterschaft für GT- und Sportwagen trägt ihr diesjähriges Saiso weiter >>