Season-start 2020 in Imola

Rinaldi Ferrari at Bronce-Test in Imola - picture by SRO/Dirk Bogaerts
Rinaldi Ferrari at Bronce-Test in Imola - picture by SRO/Dirk Bogaerts

On this weekend also Pierre Ehret´s 2020 racing season finally starts. After the long lockdown of the worldwide motorsport scene caused by the Corona pandemic the former Blancpain Endurance Series will start into its new season next Sunday the 26.7.2020 with the first edition of the 3h of Imola. The series will operate under the new label "GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup powered by Amazon Web Services".

Apart from that, most things remain the same for Pierre: once again the Rinaldi Racing team is the responsible squad for the Ferrari F488 GT3 of the 63-year-old privateer. The team mates in the series, which this year only consists of 4 races - Imola, Spa Nürburgring and Le Castellet - are the 50-year-old Italian Rino Mastronardi, with whom Ehret was able to win the vice-title in the Am class of the series as well as 2 race wins in the class in 2017, and the 30-year-old German driver Daniel Keilwitz, who became ADAC GT Masters Champion in 2013 and previously won the FIA GT3 European Championship in 2010. However, the racing class will be new: by signing Keilwitz, who has FIA Gold status, the trio will no longer compete in the Am class but in the Pro-Am class.

"The change became necessary because with Daniel we have a very fast man in the cockpit , who has been classified by the FIA with a gold status. So the Pro-Am class with him and Rino and me as bronze pilots was the only possibility. Both Rino, who also drives a program in the Michelin Le Mans Cup on a Ferrari and with whom I have already had a good season in 2017, and Daniel are two top drivers with experience in our team, which let us expect a lot for this season. Now all that remains is for me to hurry up a bit from a speed perspective."

In the Pro-Am class, a total of 12 teams with cars from 7 manufacturers - Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, AMG-Mercedes and Porsche - are entered for the 3h of Imola next weekend. Ehret, Mastronardi and Keilwitz are one of 3 crews in the class to bring german-speaking drivers to the track in the Emglia Romana.

"Much foe, much honor! Finally we start in a full class again, which certainly doesn't make the race for a victory or title any easier. Also otherwise this special season will hold some challenges. With only 4 heats it depends all the more on a 100 percent-job and regular scoring. Also the 24h of Spa, which has now become a 25h race due to the time change on the race weekend in October, will be more difficult due to the extended darkness. The weather can of course play a big role this late in the year. We will definitely take some snow chains with us."