Ducati’s Rossi to Race Ferrari at Monza BES

Valentino Rossi Four-Wheel News

This weekend, Valentino Rossi will once again pilot a four-wheel machine following an opportunity to compete in the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza, Italy (April 13-15).

The nine-time World Champion will compete behind the wheel of a Kessel Racing Ferrari 459 Italia with teammate Alessio Salucci in the Pro-Am Cup class. And the Ferrari will don Rossi’s legendary number 46, and will be decked out in VR46-Monster colors.

Valentino Rossi says: "We really decided on the last minute to participate in the Blancpain Endurance Series event in Monza and to race in partnership with my friend Uccio is a very big pleasure."

Stephane Ratel, founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, the promoters of the Blancpain Endurance Series, repsonsed with excitment following the announcement that Rossi will race at Monza.

Stephane Ratel says: "For many years I have been saying that from all of the world-class drivers and riders, the one I would most like to welcome in GT racing is Valentino Rossi.

"He is the ultimate motorsport hero and we must hope he will consider joining our championships on a more regular manner at some point in his outstanding career. At Monza, in a Ferrari, we could not have expected a better combination to make the event a success. Welcome Valentino."

Rossi’s announcement in GT racing follows the season opener of the 2012 MotoGP Championship at Qatar April 8. During the race, Rossi continued to struggle adapting to the Ducati Team GP12; he finished the race in 10th.

As for the Blancpain Endurance Series, the first round of the 2012 season will feature an entry list of 60 prestigious sportscars from 11 brands – Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Dodge, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan and Porsche.

Rossi will be up against a host of famous names including Le Mans 24 Hour winner David Brabham, former Formula One stars Mark Blundell and Karl Wendlinger along with several sportscar and endurance specialists.

The event program includes Pre-Qualifying on Friday, Qualifying on Saturday ahead of the three-hour Race starting at 14:15 local time on Sunday.