The V de V sportscar championship returns to action at Mugello in full force with the 6-hour endurance race.
6 Hours Endurance GT / Touring cars / LM P3: Battle of the Italians
Local supporters are in for a treat with two of these jewels set for a fight, as both get closer to the championship's finale. Team Visiom's 488 GT3 is currently at the top of the standings after winning the 4 hour races at Barcelona, Le Mans and Motorland while AF Corse will be aiming to push their 458 GT3 to the top step of the podium as drivers Montermini, Cordoni and Zanuttini race on home turf against the Pagny/Perrier/Bouvet trio.
The battle for third place in the championship is also undetermined; AB Sport Auto's n°45 Renault R.S.01 (Thybaud / Proust / Jousse) will be cautious of RMS' Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, in the hands of Bachelier / Mallegol / Blank, current leaders of the GTV2 class. Then again, the n°11 V de V / AB Sport Auto Renault isn't far behind in terms of points. Drivers Van de Vyver, Carugati and Wegelin will also be watching out for Swiss ANTeam and their super quick Dodge Viper GT3-R.
In addition, IMSA Performance - second at Le Mans with their Porsche 991 GT3-R - will be making a return to the challenge, as will Belgian team WRT who line up their Audi R8 LMS Ultra. Solution F and driver duo Charriol / Rayneri (SF V8) will this time be aiming to extend their lead in the S1 class.
LMP3/PFV: Ligier and Ginetta are off again
The two constructors have given the crowds quite a display of action so far this season. Graff, defending French colours, have continued to shine. Thanks to Eric Trouillet and his teammates' (Rosselo and Dagoneau) efforts he now occupies first place in the championship standings ahead of the Inter Europol Competition machine. Nevertheless, the n°13 car has been expertly driven by Smiechowski / Hippe throughout the season and has lead a strong pack of Ligier managed by N'Race, By Speed Factory and Be Motorsport. Mugello will also see the arrival of GPC Motorsport to the LMP3 category, in collaboration with Yvan Muller Racing.
Throughout the season, Simpson Motorsport and CWS Recycling have dominated in the PFV class and share an equal number of victories going into the next round, yet the n°57 still has the upper hand on points over the Robertson / White Ginetta G57. Five British models are expected in Italy, with one G57 entered by Race Performance and another by Nova Race.
6 Hours V de V Endurance Proto: DB Autosport have their sights set high
After qualifying on pole for the first time this year at Paul Ricard, Daniel Bassora's troupe managed to transform their pace over one lap into a victory at Motorland to such extent his strong driver trio (Dannielou/Petersen/Delafosse) behind the wheel of Norma M20 FC n°22 is now ready to challenge leaders Vilarino / Ferté / Illiano in the TFT n°2 car for the title. Victorious in the South of France, the n°32 CD Sport machine fancies its chances at a win in Mugello after Bole Besançon, Maulini and Foubert brought their car home in first place last year. TFT's sister car driven by Bazaud / Thirion / Caillon leads the Prestige class, yet the n°6 Norma is still under threat from drivers N. and F. Da Rocha and teammate Delomier in the Ligier JS 53 Evo 2 of team IDEC Sport Racing. These two teams are separated in the overall standings by Equipe Palmyr's n°40 entrant, entrusted to Mondolot, Zollinger and Thuner who sit in 5th. Amongst the 25 CN prototypes, Italian team Avelon Formula will be present with their Wolf GB08 T, the only turbo-powered car on the grid, whose goal is to test the new engine in light of the 2017 regulations.
Challenge Funyo V de V: Unstoppable Romain Houllier
Will the phenomenal domination of HMC Racing's star driver continue in Mugello? After 10 wins in 12 races, the question on everyone's lips is who and when will he be knocked off the top spot. Jean Quelet (Prom'Auto Sport) is the only other driver to have tasted victory so far this season and showed serious pace at Motorland. He stands third in the provisional championship standings, while regular podium finisher Arlan Boulain (AGR Bleu Mercure) occupies second place. In the vast Funyo F5 clan, Cédric Gardin (SBD) has managed to pull ahead of rival Renaud Malinconi (Team V-USA), however the battle for the third spot is far from over between Aurélien Robineau (HMC Racing), Cyril Denis (Wintec) and Patrick Seille (AGR Bleu Mercure).
Challenge Monoplace V de V: A duel between Peroni & Heriau
Despite Australian Alex Peroni (TS Corse) having lead a ferocious start to the season with 6 victories in 12 races, French driver Gilles Heriau has come back fighting for Formula Motorsport. He now edges closer to his rival after securing a total of 8 podium finishes including a win in Spain. Erwin Creed on the other hand, third in the provisional championship standings, has his attention focused on opponents Alexey Chuklin (MP Motorsport) and Grégoire Saucy (GSK Grand Prix) after many close battles in previous rounds.
Not to be ignored is the return of reigning champion David Droux, who will take to the stage once again in Mugello with team RC Formula. In the Gentleman driver class, Pietro Peccenini (TS Corse) will make the most of his home circuit to try and extend his lead over Christophe Hurni (Sports Promotion), Lebreton (Formula Motorsport) and Grégory Choukroun (Lamo Racing Car).