• Blancpain Endurance Series season opener at Monza next weekend
• GRT Grasser Racing to field two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs
• Team principal Gottfried Grasser: “Monza as the curtain-raiser is always an early highlight of season and a happy hunting ground for us”
GRT Grasser Racing Team go into the season opener of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with a double dose of momentum. After magnificent victories in the 24-hour Daytona classic and the 12 Hours of Sebring, the team are looking to build on their current run of form in the Blancpain GT Series. The campaign gets underway next weekend in the Royal Park of Monza. Two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs will be fielded in the Endurance Cup. The team based in Knittelfeld (Austria) is sending a competition-hardened trio of Lamborghini works driver Mirko Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen and Christian Engelhart into action. Meanwhile, the cockpit of the number 19 Lamborghini will be shared by Lucas Mauron, Gerhard Tweraser and Arno Santamato.
GRT Grasser Racing have a red-hot prospect in the number 63 car. Ineichen (Switzerland), Engelhart (Germany) and Bortolotti (Italy) notched up their recent victories at Daytona and Sebring behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO. The Italian and the German were also members of the threesome which won the drivers’ championship and the team championship for GRT Grasser Racing in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series. They are a driver crew who will have extra wind in their sails as they return to Europe from their exploits overseas.
The second of the two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVOs also has a familiar face on board. Tweraser, who comes from Knittelfeld where GRT Grasser Racing are based, first drove for them in 2013 and has been competing on their behalf ever since. Mauron, a 20-year-old from Switzerland, and Santamato from France complete the second driver line-up. The trio have extensive experience in GT endurance racing and are a perfect supporting act for the senior crew of Bortolotti, Ineichen and Engelhart.
Five endurance races and five sprints
In 2019, GRT Grasser Racing will once again enjoy full works support from Lamborghini. The race calendar of the Endurance Cup comprises a total of five rounds. After Monza, the series moves on to the Silverstone Circuit (11th - 12th May). Next is the 1,000km race at Paul Ricard (31st May - 1st June) followed by a trip to the Ardennes for the classic 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (25th - 28th July). The final showdown comes on the weekend of 28th - 29th September at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
In addition, GRT Grasser Racing will be competing in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe. The sprint series emerged from the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, which has now been incorporated into the Blancpain GT World Challenge. In the five races at Brands Hatch, Misano, Zandvoort, the Nürburgring and the Hungaroring, the Austrian outfit will be pinning its hopes on the driver duo of Bortolotti and Engelhart.
Team principal Gottfried Grasser: “Monza as the curtain-raiser is always an early highlight of season and a happy hunting ground for us. We won there in 2015 and 2017, and we were also highly competitive last year. The EVO will make things a bit more difficult for us this time, because the extra downforce and drag means that we won’t be all that fast on the long straights. However, we have already tested there with the new car, and we found a good solution to get the car properly balanced. For the first time, we’ll be fielding two cars – one in the Pro and one in the Silver Cup. In both categories, we have what it takes to be among the front-runners. We have done a lot of testing to put a first-class vehicle at the disposal of our drivers. I’m looking forward to the Endurance and Sprint season in the Blancpain GT Series with great optimism and am delighted to be returning to the birthplace of our Lamborghini Huracán GT3.”
GRT Grasser Racing driver line up 2019 Blancpain GT Series:
Blancpain Endurance Cup
Car number: 63 (PRO Cup)
Drivers: Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart, Rolf Ineichen
Car number: 19 (Silver Cup)
Drivers: Lucas Mauron, Gerhard Tweraser, Arno Santamato
Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe
Drivers: Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart