It’s just two weeks since Chris Metcalfe announced his intention to return to the tracks in GT race events during 2022, and already further offers have boosted what is looking like being a busy season of action for the racer, writes James Beckett.
With a test schedule in both GT4 and GT3 specification cars already being worked up for early in the year, the Vale-based racer is now also set to drive a Ferrari 488 GT3 in selected rounds of the ACISport administered Italian Gran Turismo Championship.
The Italian national GT series features both Sprint and Endurance races, with action at eight race events. Starting at the famous Autodromo di Monza - home of the Italian F1 Grand Prix - in April, the GT Championship will race at Sicily’s high-speed Enna-Pergusa track in May, before visiting the Misano, Mugello, Imola, and Vallelunga tracks prior to concluding with races at Monza and Mugello.
Metcalfe said: “Plans were already underway to visit Italy to test a car, and this is part of our planned project to race at Le Mans. Now on the back of that, the opportunity has arisen to drive a Ferrari in Italy on a number of occasions.”
He added: “The Italian Gran Turismo Championship is very competitive, and the series visits some really famous and important race tracks. Ferrari is so popular in Italian motorsport, and the opportunity to drive one of the marques 488 GT3 cars in events at tracks such as Monza, Enna-Pergusa and Imola is something to really look forward to.”
The Ferrari 488 GT3 is one of the world’s leading GT3 cars, and scored many victories in events around the world in 2021 - notably winning the Total Energies Spa 24 Hours at the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium.
With long distance races on his comeback agenda, Metcalfe said: “Le Mans is the ultimate aim for this chapter of my career, but it is not possible to just turn up and race in the FIA World Endurance Championship and its Grand Prix d’Endurance in France without good preparation.
“An association with a Ferrari team does offer this for me, and hands a great possibility to test GT cars and race them in Italy and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe races as well - such as the Spa 24 Hours.”