Rowe Racing sealed a convincing one-two in the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe: the pinnacle of GT racing, exclusively equipped by Pirelli. A total  of 55 GT3 cars raced for three hours at Monza, with the two Rowe Racing BMW M4 cars finishing first and second: Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann, and Nick Yelloly leading home their team mates Daniel Harper, Max Hesse, and Neil Verhagen. Iron Lynx’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 driven by Andrea Caldarelli, Mirko Bortolotti and Jordan Pepper was third, with Pirelli’s Head of Motorsport Mario Isola handing out the trophies to the nine podium finishers.

The 30,000 spectators at the ‘Temple of Speed’ over the weekend witnessed a closely-fought race, with five of the eight manufacturers represented in the championship finishing in the top 10. BMW and Audi were among the stars of the show, each with three cars in the top seven, having covered 94 laps.

Rowe Racing made the most of the first two qualifying sessions, the only ones to be held this morning, to start from first and third on the grid. Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus were second, in a WRT-run BMW, but their car was forced into retirement an hour after the start.

Despite predictions of uncertain weather, the track remained dry throughout the race with ambient temperatures between 20 and 21 degrees. Asphalt temperature was 41 degrees when the race got underway at 15:15, dropping by five degrees before the finish.

All the cars used the Pirelli P Zero DHF, introduced in 2022 specifically for GT racing. Compared to the previous DHE, the new construction improves car balance between front and rear in particular. The DHF also offers a winder usage window, as shown today, and it has been optimised to work well even in high temperatures.

The next round of the GT World Challenge Europe will be at Brands Hatch from May 13-14 for the opening round of the Sprint Cup, which has reached a record of 41 entries this year: to be split into three classes in England for reasons of space.

The Endurance Cup will resume at Paul Ricard in France from June 2-4, before heading to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for the legendary 24 Hours from June 27 to July 2.

This was a busy weekend for Pirelli’s motorsport division, which was present at three tracks in northern Italy. As well as the opening round of the GT World Challenge Europe, Pirelli supplied the second round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe at Misano, as well as the first ACI Racing Weekend of the year at Imola, which hosted the FIA-certified Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine and Italian F4 Championship, plus the Zinox F2000 Italian Trophy.

At Monza, Pirelli supplied 4200 tyres for the GT World Challenge Europe teams as well as those in the GT2 European Series and GT4 European Series, making a total of more than 100 GT cars on track. Around 70 staff from Pirelli were present to ensure the correct management of the tyre supply.

At the Marco Simoncelli Misano track, around 2000 Ferrari Challenge Europe tyres were managed by 14 fitters. Pirelli has been the sole supplier of Ferrari’s one-make series since it started in 1993. More than 40 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars took to the track (split between the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell classes) using the P Zero DHB, specifically developed for the Ferrari series.

Meanwhile, at Imola’s Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the 110 cars entered into the three Pirelli-supplied championships at the ACI Racing weekend had 3200 tyres available to them, managed by 16 fitters.