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Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (12.20.21)

Manthey’s N24 defense, British GT champions return, Le Mans esports news and more…

Photo: Porsche

News & Notes

***Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen will return to defend their Nürburgring 24 crown with Manthey Racing next year. The FIA World Endurance Championship duo will share the ‘Grello’ Porsche 911 GT3 R with Laurens Vanthoor and Frederic Makowiecki. Vanthoor and Makowiecki are also previous winners of the event, in 2015 and 2018 respectively.

***Dennis Lind and Leo Machitski are confirmed to defend their British GT title in a Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini. Barwell’s other GT3 crew of Sandy Mitchell and Adam Balon is also unchanged. “Dennis has attracted a lot of interest for what he achieved this season so I’m delighted that his other commitments won’t prevent him from sharing the No. 1 car with me in British GT,” said Machitski. “We worked really well together this year and I see no reason why we shouldn’t go into 2022 expecting to be contenders again.”

***Oregon Team is entering the GT3 arena and will embark on a two-car International GT Open program with Lamborghini. Super Trofeo Europe champions Leonardo Pulcini and Kevin Gilardoni remain with the team, but will captain different Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos with to-be-announced co-drivers.

***Sven Mueller has been named in Allied-Racing’s driver lineup for ADAC GT Masters. Mueller will share the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R with Joel Sturm.

***GT Masters has claimed a capacity grid for the 2022 season, consisting of a full 30 entries for 18 teams running cars from five brands: Porsche, Audi, Corvette, Mercedes-AMG and Lamborghini.

***Valentin Pierburg, Jim Pla and AKKA-ASP were the winners of Mercedes-AMG’s internal Customer Racing championship. Pierburg earned the overall title while Pla claimed the Pro accolade, with both Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS regulars receiving brand new Mercedes-AMG C63 coupes. AKKA-ASP was the top AMG team of the year, ahead of Winward Racing and DXDT Racing.

Image: Le Mans Virtual SeriesEsports News & More

***Agustin Canapino, Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzezinski won the penultimate round of the Le Mans Virtual Series, driving for Rebellion GPX. After the 500 Miles of Sebring, thhe No. 4 Floyd-ByKolles-Burst crew leads the LMP standings heading into next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans finale. GTE points leaders Rudy van Buren, Kevin Siggy and Enzo Bonito took the Sebring class win for BMW.

***The event that was due to host the season-ending 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, the Autosport International exhibition show in the U.K., has been postponed in response to the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The 24H Le Mans Virtual will now take place as an online event on Jan. 15-16.

***Two esports drivers – Luca D’Amelio and Christopher Hoegfeldt – earned places on the 24H Le Mans Virtual grid by finishing first and second in the LMP3-based Le Mans Virtual Cup race held on the Circuit de la Sarthe.

***Honda’s NSX GT3 model is set to appear in the 24H Series for the first time, courtesy of a planned two-race entry for GMB Motorsport. The Danish outfit intends to run an NSX at the 12 Hours of Hockenheim and 24 Hours of Portimao.

***Raffaele Marciello will compete under the Swiss flag and license next year, having previously raced under the colors of Italy. “A bit of a rough decision you may say, but after years without the support from the Federazione Italiana Sportiva Automobilismo, I believe the time has come to make a long-overdue change,” said the Mercedes-AMG ace.

***Yutaka Suzuki, the general manager of NISMO and team principal of the No. 23 Nissan GT500 team in Super GT’s top category, passed away on December 19 after a long illness. He was 56.

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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