The Fanatec GT Notebook: Monza

The Fanatec GT Notebook: Monza

The 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS season begins this weekend at Monza. Here's the latest news from the track ahead Sunday's three-hour Endurance Cup race. 

2023 Fanatec GT Europe season up and running at Monza 

The first full-field sessions of the season took place on Saturday with Free PracticeThe first full-field sessions of the season took place on Saturday with Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying taking place at Monza. 

The #88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG led the opening run, while Tresor Attempto Racing impressed in the second by leading the way with its Silver Cup class Audi. Cars will be back on-track tomorrow morning at 09:00 CEST for Qualifying. The format remains the same for 2023, with the aggregate time from three quick-fire sessions setting the grid for the afternoon's season-opening race at 15:00.

> Free Practice Report & Times

> Pre-Qualifying Report & Times

> Free Practice Photo Gallery

> Pre-Qualifying Photo Gallery

Comtoyou Racing Audi leads Monza Bronze Test 

Loris Hezemans topped Friday afternoon's Bronze Test at Monza in the #12 Comtoyou Racing Audi to officially open the 2023 Fanatec GT Europe season. 

The 60-minute session saw 20 cars turn laps at the 5.8km Italian circuit. In addition to all Bronze drivers, a handful of Silver-graded entrants were also on-track, including the pace-setting Hezemans. They were joined by Lamborghini ace Andrea Caldarelli, who carried out test laps on behalf of SRO in the #63 Iron Lynx machine.

Though primarily about preparation, there was a late-session tussle at the head of the order as Hezemans traded fastest laps with the #188 Garage 59 McLaren, though the latter had all of its lap times deleted at the very end of the run.

As such, the debuting Comtoyou squad was on top with a 1m47.677s, 0.354s clear of the guesting Caldarelli. The next fastest Bronze was Niki Leutwiler (1m48.113s) in the #24 Car Collection Porsche, followed by Louis Machiels (1m48.186s) in his familiar #52 AF Corse Ferrari.

A total of 21 cars ran in the session, which was uneventful in terms of stoppages, with green flag conditions prevailing from start to finish. A handful of cars made brief off-track excursions, though none was serious enough to require an intervention. 

The full field will be on-track tomorrow morning for Free Practice, which gets underway at 09:00 CEST. The session will mark the start of live streaming from the track, which continues throughout the weekend on the GT World YouTube channel and across the Fanatec GT Europe social media platforms.

> Full session result

The weekend begins on Friday with the Bronze test. This one-hour session is predominantly for Bronze drivers, though some Silvers are eligible should they meet certain criteria. Saturday is all about prep work: free practice begins at 09:00 while pre-qualifying kicks off at 13:40, both lasting 90 minutes. The serious action takes place on Sunday with qualifying at 09:00 and the season-opening race at 15:00. 

It’ll be easy for spectators to stay up to speed with all the action on Saturday and Sunday thanks to a giant screen situated opposite the grandstand at the Variante del Rettifilo chicane. What’s more, a pit walk will be organised between 18:40 and 19:30 on Saturday evening to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the field of 2023.  

The Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series race takes place in the Fanatec Esports Arena at 18:00 on Saturday evening. All Pro, Gold Cup and Silver Cup teams must field one of their drivers to contest a 60-minute Assetto Corsa Competizione race, with points scored on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis and counting towards the real-world teams’ championships. 

In a new addition for 2023, a second Assetto Corsa Competizione contest will bring together top professional sim racers from across the continent. The SRO Esports Sim Pro Series will run on Sunday, with 23 of the 24 entries confirmed in advance; the final slot at each event will be determined by a last-chance qualifier hosted on-site.

Fanatec GT Europe Timetable

Friday 21 April
17:00–18:00: Bronze Test

Saturday 22 April
09:00–10:30: Free Practice
13:40–15:10: Pre-Qualifying

Saturday 23 April
09:00–10:00: Qualifying
15:00–18:00: 3-Hour Race