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Mertel Motorsport to field all female-team in GT Cup Open

Laura van den Hengel and Alba Vazquez will share the #83 Ferrari 488 Challenge EVO in GT Cup Open, in an all-female crew by Mertel Motorsport.

Laura van den Hengel, Alba Vazquez, Mertel Motorsport, GT Cup Open 2024
Photo by: Fotospeedy

German team Mertel Motorsport is set to field an all-female crew in the upcoming GT Cup Open championship, with Alba Vazquez Redondo joining the already confirmed Laura van den Hengel at the wheel of the #83 white and turquoise Ferrari 488 Challenge EVO.

The drivers have already completed pre-season testing and impressed with significant improvements throughout the two-day test at Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona.

The car will be followed by female engineers and mechanics and is part of a 6-car line up by the Nuremberg-based squad across classes.

Despite her relatively inexperience of GT racing, van den Hengel was the protagonist of a highly promising debut last year, when she entered two rounds in GT Cup Open in a Porsche GT3 992 Cup. In what was effectively her step up from karting to race cars, Laura had a top ten in class at Paul Ricard and went on to finish eighth twice in Monza, in extremely tricky weather conditions that highlighted her potential.

Despite minimal testing, the Dutch racer emerged as a very promising bronze driver and is aiming to carry momentum into 2024, as she contests her first full season campaign in GT racing, on the popular International GT Open package.

Joining van den Hengel will be young Spaniard Alba Vazquez, who makes her series debut after competing nationally in the CET and GT-CER series in the last couple of seasons.

Vazquez made her racing debut in 2022 after graduating from karting; she would score 6 podiums over 5 race meetings in a Honda Civic Type R CET, eventually claiming third in the drivers' championship as well as the Female Trophy title.

In 2023, Vazquez stepped up to the GT-CER (Spanish Endurance Championship), where she drove the Renault Clio Cup V at Navarra, finishing fourth in race 1. Unfortunately, an accident took her out of contention for most of the year, although she did collect a third place in class at the 8 Hours of Jarama in November to close out a challenging year on a positive note.

Alba is now ready to bounce back with her first international racing programme.

"I’m very proud to be able to announce that I will race for Mertel Motorsport and Ferrari in the 2024 season, with some sponsors from previous seasons who continue to trust me", Alba wrote. "This season Bosch Spain and I embark on a journey together in search of many successes."

After a first successful season in GT Cup Open, Mertel Motorsport's powerhouse will see 12 drivers on 6 cars; alongside the all-female team in the AM class, the German squad will also field Anny Frosio - who will share the #85 car with Jorge Cabezas. The Swiss woman has so far collected experience in track days and has a handful of guest starts in amateur races - she will therefore aim to build experience over her first season in GT Cup Open.

The six event calendar will feature rounds at Portimao - home of the season opener on 28th April - Hockenheimring, the legendary Spa Francorchamps, Paul Ricard, Barcelona and Monza, which will wrap up the season in October.



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