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Weekly Racing Roundup (11.30.20)

GT Open champions confirmed, new Ferrari 488 model unveiled and team programs announced…

Photo: GT Open

***Miguel Ramos and Henrique Chaves have been confirmed as the 2020 International GT Open champions at the outcome of three appeals stemming from a series of on-track incidents at the final round of the season. Both appeals from Teo Martin Motorsport – which ran Ramos and Chaves – and one from AF Corse were withdrawn before the scheduled hearing date of Nov. 18.

***Ramos and Chaves were provisional champions after the Barcelona meeting on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, which saw AF Corse win on the road before its victory was taken away for Vincent Abril spinning Teo Martin’s McLaren 720S GT3 into the gravel to capture the lead.

***Nova Race will run a pair of Honda NSX GT3 Evos in the 2021 Italian GT Championship. The Varese-based team, which is the first Italian Honda GT3 customer, currently competes in GT4 but expects to field entries in both categories next season.

***Triple Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner Marco Werner recently tested ByKolles Racing’s ENSO CLM P1/01 AER. The German driver, who made eight 24 Hours of Le Mans appearances with Audi, last raced an LMP1 car in 2009.

***Dinamic Motorsport has committed two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs for the Gulf 12 Hours at Bahrain International Circuit. One of the cars will be driven by Mauro Calamia, Stefano Monaco and Roberto Pampanini. Dinamic is also one of several notable GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS teams to have signed up for the Hankook 24H Dubai.

***Several GT4 entries have been confirmed for the Gulf 12 Hours’ first Bahraini edition. Former Cetilar Racing program operator Villorba Corse is fielding a Mercedes-AMG GT4 for Jean-Luc D’Auria, Benedetto Strignano, Piero Randazzo and Michele Camarlinghi. British squad Brookspeed has committed with two McLaren 570S GT4s with drivers TBA, while SVC Sport Management has registered a Maserati Gran Turismo MC to be driven by Antoni Chodzen, Piotr Chodzen and Patrick Zamparini.

***Andy Meyrick and Daniel Schneider will return for a second season of Michelin Le Mans Cup together driving a United Autosports Ligier JS P320 Nissan. The pair finished 11th this year and scored a breakthrough podium result at the second Paul Ricard race.

***GetSpeed Performance has purchased and taken delivery of a Mercedes-AMG GT4. The German squad, which became an official AMG affiliate team this year, has been active in the GT3 scene but now looks set to diversify its operations.

***Jeroen Bleekemolen and Jan Lammers are among the participants in this weekend’s nine-hour South African Endurance Series race at Killarney. Both Dutch aces are set to drive Ginetta G55 GT3s for Team Africa Le Mans, according to the 36-car entry list.

Image: Ferrari

***Ferrari last week launched a limited edition track-only car, the 488 GT Modificata, that takes its influences from the Italian marque’s GTE and GT3 racing products developed from the 488 road car line. The 700-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 model combines existing race technologies with improved features taking it outside FIA Balance of Performance windows. Customers can drive the car on track days, including Ferrari’s own Club Competizioni GT events.

***Praga will announce full details of its updated R1 prototype racer in January, while production slots have been confirmed through the end of March. The Czech constructor is also planning to open a new British headquarters in spring 2021. Praga has released the first teaser images of its 195,000 EUR ($233,290 US) next-generation Praga R1 ahead of its full reveal. 

***A Porsche 911 GT2 RS equipped with Goodyear tires broke the Mount Panorama production car record last Friday. Australia’s Jeff Morton clocked a 2:14.238 around the 3.861-mile course during a Super Sprint session at the Bathurst Challenge event. The previous record was a 2:16.5 set by Bernd Scheider aboard a Mercedes-AMG GT R three years ago.

Morton said: “My fastest speed on Conrod Straight was 299.6 km/h [186.2 mph]. We didn’t quite get to 300 km/h, but maybe next year!”

***Team WRT has released a video recapping its second year competing in the DTM. The Belgian squad’s best-finishing driver was Ferdinand Habsburg in 10th.

***Madpanda Motorsport has launched a competition for fans to win tires used by the team during its debut GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season. Details can be found here.

***A new Scandinavian GT series has been launched by the organizers of Norway’s leading domestic competition. The Scandinavian GT+ Championship is set to debut next year and will allow an open range of sports car machinery including cars outside the standard homologated GT formulas. A schedule has yet to be released.

***Super Taikyu has revealed its provisional 2021 calendar and named Hankook as its exclusive tire provider for the next three seasons. Next year’s campaign is set to start at Motegi on Mar. 20-21 and conclude at Okayama in October or November.

***The 2021 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup calendar has also been released. The German brand’s leading one-make series will continue to follow most of Formula One’s European leg, but won’t support a North American grand prix which it has done in recent years.

2021 Super Taikyu Schedule
Mar. 20-21 – Motegi
Apr. 17-18 – SUGO
Jun. 4-6 – Fuji 24 Hours
Jul. 31-Aug. 1 – Autopolis
Sep. 18-19 – Suzuka
Oct. 30-31 or Nov. 13-14 – Okayama

2021 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Schedule
May. 20-23 – Monaco
Jun. 25-27 – Paul Ricard
Jul. 2-4 – Red Bull Ring
Jul. 16-18 – Silverstone
Jul. 31-Aug. 1 – Hungaroring
Aug. 20-22 – Spa-Francorchamps
Sep. 3-5 – Zandvoort
Sep. 10-12 – Monza

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

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