A new six-hour endurance race will take place at Monza for the first time this March.
The Targa 6H Monza on March 10 will be an all-comers race open to GT3 and GT4 machinery, TCR touring cars and Group CN prototypes.
It has been launched by the organiser of the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, Driving Force Events, which has hopes of establishing the Targa as an important race at the start of the European endurance season.
Driving Force boss Andrea Ficarelli told Autosport: “This is the first step, but we hope that the event will evolve and become the permanent opener to the endurance racing in Europe.”
Ficarelli explained that the catalyst for the Targa was a two-day open test at Monza on the Thursday and Friday before the race.
“Monza has two rare days of unrestricted testing, so we came up with the idea of offering teams and drivers doing the test the chance to have a race as well on Saturday,” he said.
“It will be very compact event format, a bit like the VLN long-distance championship races on Nurburgring-Nordschleife: teams will have a free practice and qualifying session in the morning and then the race in the afternoon.”
Ficarelli revealed that he had modest expectations for the size of the grid in the first year of the six-hour race.
“A good start would be 20 to 25 cars, but we are ready to cope with less,” he said.
He insisted that the clash with the Creventic-organised Silverstone 24 Hours would not be a problem because the two races are “appealing to different markets”.
Ficarelli isn’t expecting many teams competing in the Blancpain GT Series to take part, because the official test for the pan-European championship is scheduled for Paul Ricard the following week.
The class structure for the event and other organisational details should be finalised within a week.
Pirelli is likely to be the sole tyre supplier.