Reigning champion Alexander Mattschull kicked off the new season with a victory in the 3 Hours of Monza, the first round of the Blancpain Endurance Cup championship, and the second of the Blancpain GT championship, which includes points won in both the Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup.
Against every adversity. Car no. 333 driven by Mattschull, Rinat Salikhov and Dominik Schwager was competitive all weekend but it was in the race that the drivers and Rinaldi Racing really made the difference, overcoming every adversity. Indeed, having survived the first hectic stages race the crew then spent the race fighting back after a contact with another car. Then, finally they had to negotiate a difficult pit stop when a team released a car just as no. 333 came in for refuelling. However, not even these problems prevented the German team from winning ahead of the Bentley of Team Parker Racing, with Pierce-Smith-Morris, and the other Ferrari of Andrea Bertolini, Louis Machiels and Niek Hommerson, deservedly on the podium.
Solid performance. Rinaldi Racing can also be satisfied with the performance of its second car, the no. 488 of Pierre Ehret, Rory Penttinen and Rick Yoon. The trio enjoyed a solid race culminating in a podium finish in the class won by the Mercedes of the Akka ASP team of Giacque-Debard-Barthez.
Disappointment. The day’s disappointment came in the Pro class where the 488 GT3 of SMP Racing led for two-thirds of the race before having to retire due to a mechanical problem that was as trivial as it was fatal to the accelerator. Up to that point David Rigon, Miguel Molina and Mikhail Aleshin had been perfect, dominating the last two free practice sessions and winning a well-deserved pole position. The Audi of the WRT crewed by Laurent Vanthoor-Mies-Riberas won the race. The next round is at Silverstone from 18 to 20 May.