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Weekly Racing Roundup (12.17.18)

BoP tests for new GT Cup Open, BMW M6 for British GT, Wall Bathurst lineup and more…

Photo: GT Cup Open Europe

BoP Tests Completed for GT Cup Open Europe

Balance of Performance tests for the new GT Cup Open Europe series, aimed at “cars one step below GT3”, were completed at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last week.

The cup, which will support International GT Open events next season, will be open to a combination of Cup and GT4 cars.

Five different cars were involved at the BoP tests: the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, Mercedes-AMG R, McLaren 570S GT4, Audi R8 LMS GT4 and Porsche 911 Carrera Supercup.

Several high-profile drivers took part in the test, including Thomas Jaeger, Giovanni Venturini, Euan Hankey and FIA GT Nations Cup winner Ayhancan Guven.

“After the sessions done at the Hungaroring and Monza, this one complements very well the set of data needed to finalize the BoP in the next few weeks,” said GT Sport CEO Jesus Pareja. 

“We are very happy with the outcome and the progress. We are anxious to see the GT Cup Open rolling and so seems to be the GT racing community, given the number of contacts we are receiving. The response is being very encouraging!” 

Photo: BMW

Century to Give BMW M6 GT3 British GT Debut

The BMW M6 GT3 will make its British GT Championship debut next season with GT4 teams’ champion Century Motorsport.

GT4 champion Jack Mitchell will join Adrian Willmott in a single-car GT3 entry from Century, which will again run a pair of BMW M4 GT4s in the lower category next season.

It will be the first time that BMW’s current GT3 car has competed in British GT, with the brand having been absent from the top class of the series since 2016 when AMD Tuning and Rollcentre Racing ran the Z4 GT3.

“To be the team that brings the BMW M6 to British GT is something that feels very special,” said team principal Nathan Freke. 

“It’s a car that’s had an unbelievably successful 2018 and, with the support of BMW, I have no doubt at all it will be a force to be reckoned in British GT in 2019. 

“It’s something that I’ve been working very hard on, and with such a successful 2018 with the GT4 program, it was a natural step to take.”

Photo: Teo Martin

Teo Martin, BMW Split

Leading BMW customer team Teo Martin Motorsport has ended its relationship with the German manufacturer after three seasons competing in the International GT Open.

The partnership brought ten race wins and 33 podium finishes in 42 races, along with the 2016 teams’ title.

The Spanish team will announce new plans for the 2019 season shortly, and is set to remain in GT Open with another manufacturer.

“Together we have pursued the victory in an unequaled effort and we have written a page of the history of the M6 GT3 and BMW, but now it is time to look forward in search of new and exciting challenges,” a statement from the team read.

Photo: Australian GT

Wall Racing Confirms Bathurst 12H Return

Wall Racing will return to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 after a double podium in this year’s race.

The car will be driven by reigning Australian GT Endurance champion Tony D’Alberto along with Jules Westwood, Adrian Deitz and Cameron McConville, entered in the Pro-Am class.

“It’s great to be heading back to the Bathurst 12 Hour, this is always a great event for our team and we are looking to achieve a class podium again in 2019,” said team owner David Wall.

“After finishing the 2018 Australian GT Endurance Championship, the Huracan has been at the Wall Racing workshop, being prepared for the event. 

“We have a very strong driving combination and feel that a strong outright result won’t be out of the question.”

News & Notes

***BMW has restarted production of its M4 GT4 after selling the first batch of 80 cars following the car’s first season of competition. The car claimed more than 30 class wins and almost 100 podium finishes on four continents during 2018.

***Sean Rayhall will retire from racing at the end of the year, the American revealed on Twitter on Sunday. He cited “the lifestyle and pressure that comes with motorsport” as the reason for him hanging up the helmet to pursue a new career in a different industry next year.

***Porsche and iRacing have announced the Porsche iRacing World Championship Series that will see drivers race the virtual 911 GT3 Cup car in a ten-round championship next year. Drivers will compete for a prize pool of $100,000.

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

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