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Weekly Racing Roundup (1.11.21)

Winter series updates, GRT’s Lambo lineup for Dubai, Riley LMP3 at Pikes Peak and more…

Photo: GT4 South European Series

***The final round of the GT4 South European Series will be held jointly with the GT Winter Series season opener, generating a 29-car field for the Portimao meeting on Jan. 23-24. The entry list includes a Ligier LMP3, a Mercedes-AMG GT3 and several GT4 cars. The first event of the GT4 South European Series was held at Jerez in December. The German GT Winter Series also races at Portimao in February and Aragon in March.

***The 24 Hours of Portimao has been moved back one week to Jul. 16-18. The date of the fifth round of Creventic’s 24H Series has been changed to avoid clashes with other European race events.

***GRT Grasser Racing has locked in its driver lineup for this weekend’s Hankook 24H Dubai. Returning Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti headlines the four-man crew. The Italian will share GRT’s single Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo with Rolf Ineichen, Rik Breukers and Adrian Amstutz.

***American GT3 competitor Tim Pappas is making his first 24H Dubai start in a decade, driving an MRS-GT Racing Porsche Cup car. Pappas is teamed up with Saif Alameri, Jukka Honkavuori and reigning overall winner Jeroen Bleekemolen.

***Track action for the 24H Dubai started today, with a quartet of two-hour unofficial test sessions taking place. More testing will be held on Wednesday, ahead of free practice and qualifying on Thursday. View the latest entry list here.

***Garage 59 has named two Silver-rated drivers to complete its two-car Asian Le Mans Series lineup. Reigning Italian GT Sprint champion Yuki Nemoto will join Marvin Kirchhofer and Mike Benham in the No. 89 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, while Garage 59 returnee Valentine Hasse-Clot will share the No. 88 with Maxime Martin and Alexander West.

Photo: Kelly-Moss Road and Race Facebook

***Pirelli GT4 America team Kelly-Moss Road and Race is preparing a Riley-Ave LMP3 car for this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The Riley-Ave AR-2’s most recent race outing came in the IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Daytona last January.

***Double 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Romain Dumas was placed 42nd in the Dakar Rally after stage eight on Monday. The Frenchman experienced a major delay on stage two when his Rebellion vehicle collided with another car whilst negotiating a sand dune. Dumas is almost 21 hours behind rally leader Stephane Peterhansel.

******Team Virage is aiming to field a pair of Aston Martins in the GT4 European Series. The Spanish squad, which has been an Aston Martin partner since 2019, is running a test program throughout January and February to solidify crews for the Silver Cup and Pro-Am classes. Virage is also planning to run Ligier LMP3 machinery in the European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and Ultimate Cup. Its stable includes a Mercedes-AMG GT3 that could appear in MLMC and Ultimate Cup events.

***Iron Lynx has released a six-part documentary series detailing the 2020 season of the team’s all-female No. 83 Ferrari crew nicknamed the ‘Iron Dames’. Michelle Gatting, Manuela Gostner and Rahel Frey took three podiums en route to finishing fourth in the GTE standings.

***British GT champion Sandy Mitchell has been named as the 2020 Allan Simonsen Award recipient. The award recognizes the driver that best epitomizes the speed and spirit of Simonsen, who lost his life in a 2013 accident at Le Mans.

***Ahead of an announcement on Friday (Thursday for U.S audiences), Toyota has shared a soundbite of its new Le Mans Hypercar. The Japanese manufacturer is set to confirm technical details and reveal its drivers for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship.

On this weekend: Hankook 24H Dubai (Dubai Autodrome)

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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