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Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (1.7.19)

British GT and Blancpain GT Asia news, plus Mike Rockenfeller’s reaction to new DTM cars…

Photo: SRO

Third Ford Mustang GT4 Confirmed for British GT

A third Ford Mustang GT4 has been confirmed for the British GT Championship, with a single entry from RACE Performance having been announced last week.

The car, which will be driven by former British Touring Car Championship driver Sam Smelt, will join the pair of Multimatic-entered Fords confirmed last month.

Smelt tested the Ford at Donington Park last month and has previously worked with RACE Performance team principal Ryan Connolly in BTCC. 

“I’m delighted to be making the step up to British GT with Sam, the Mustang and entire RACE Performance team,” said Connolly. 

“Having engineered Sam in the BTCC last season I can see what an unbelievable talent he is and I truly believe GT racing will suit his smooth and refined driving style perfectly.

“My staff and myself have been involved in the championship for a number of seasons as supplied staff for other teams, but to put this together as RACE really is something very special for me.”

Photo: SRO

VSR Confirms Lamborghini GT3 Evo for Blancpain GT Asia

Vincenzo Sospiri Racing has confirmed it will return to the renamed Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia with an updated Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

The Italian team finished runner-up in the Am drivers’ standings in 2017 but will run in the Pro-Am class this season after previously entering cars in the Silver and Am cups. Both drivers are yet to be announced.

VSR’s program is expected to also include entries in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, with the one-make championship supporting Blancpain GT Asia at five rounds this season.

“It’s great to be back racing in Asia again and to be working with SRO in their very competitive championship,” said team owner Vincenzo Sospiri. 

“The whole team is looking forward to a successful season.”

Photo: Audi

Rockenfeller: New DTM Cars “Two or Three Seconds Faster”

The new turbocharged DTM cars will lap up to three seconds faster than their predecessors, according to Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller after initial pre-season testing.

Rockenfeller explained that the new cars produce around 100 horsepower more than the naturally-aspirated cars, resulting in higher speeds.

“The engine has greater thrust,” he explained. “Feeling its acceleration even in fourth, fifth and sixth gear is awesome. You do have tremendous power as soon as the turbo kicks in. 

“Depending on the track, the lap times will be two or three seconds faster than before. You approach the turns quicker and the braking phases become a little longer. 

“We pass the straights faster because we’re driving at higher speeds – maybe at more than 300 km/h (186 mph) for the first time! 

“That would be fantastic and should definitely be possible with DRS and some slipstreaming.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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