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Weekly Racing Roundup (1.4.21)

News of the week including Dubai entries, NLS programs and sports car drivers in the Dakar…

Photo: Audi

***Double IMSA GT Daytona champion Christina Nielsen and seven-time Indianapolis 500 competitor Pippa Mann are set to drive for the all-female Girls Only team in this year’s Nürburgring 24. Nielsen and Mann will team up with Carrie Schreiner and Celia Martin to drive the WS Racing-prepared Giti Tire Audi R8 LMS GT4 on the Nordschleife.

***WS Racing is also aiming to expand into prototype racing this year with an LMP3-class Duqueine D08 Nissan. The team run by Nicole Willems has set up a crowdfunding initiative that enables supporters to be represented on the car’s livery during races.

***Team WRT has been awarded the title of Team of the Year for 2020 by the Belgian Royal Automobile Club. WRT won the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS overall title, while its drivers Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor clinched the Sprint Cup championship. It marks the sixth time that the team has won the RACB’s annual award.

***WRT has also named its driver lineup for the Hankook 24H Dubai on Jan. 15-16. Vanthoor and Kelvin van der Linde headline the five-man crew which also includes Benjamin Goethe, Louis Machiels and former Bentley Academy driver Frank Bird.

***56 cars are on the entry for Dubai, which is the first 24-hour race of the year. Thirteen GT3 cars are signed up, including eight in the GT3-Pro division.

***Optimum Motorsport has committed to the 6H Abu Dhabi race later this month with a single McLaren 720S GT3. The British squad has not yet named its driver lineup. A total of eight GT3 cars have been registered for the event run by Dubai organizer Creventic.

***Team Parker Racing has named its drivers for this weekend’s Gulf 12 Hours. Derek Pierce, Andy Meyrick and Euan McKay will share the team’s Bentley Continental GT3.

***Gulf 12H track action begins on Thursday, Jan. 7 with a practice session, followed by more practice and qualifying on Friday. The two-part race is being held on Saturday.

***Team ABBA Racing is the first outfit to confirm an entry for the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s new Silver-Am category. Father-and-son duo Richard and Sam Neary will drive the ABBA Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo for the second season in a row.

***Teichmann Racing has announced plans to run a KTM X-Bow GTX in the NLS next season with an entry competing under the Superdrink Racing banner. Felix von der Laden, Felix Hirsiger, Hendrik Still, touring car stalwart Peter Terting and KTM development driver Laura Kraihamer will share driving duties. The GTX is a version of KTM’s latest X-Bow race car. The model range also includes the more powerful X-Bow GT2, which is due to receive homologation for SRO Motorsports Group’s GT2 formula.

***A handful of sports car drivers are taking part in the 2021 Dakar Rally, which kicked off on Saturday in Jeddah. Double 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Romain Dumas is driving for former LMP1 entrant Rebellion Racing, while 2003 Le Mans GTS class winner Tomas Enge is making his Dakar debut in a light prototype buggy. Liam Griffin, the 2018 European Le Mans Series GTE runner-up, and DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom are competing in the same class as Enge.

On this weekend: Gulf 12 Hours (Bahrain International Circuit)

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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