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Weekly Racing Roundup (2.21.22)

News including 30th anniversary SRO GT race at Spa, GTWC America programs and more…

Photo: SRO

***SRO Motorsports Group has announced plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary with a historic race during the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa weekend. A pair of 60-minute races will be held with six classes batching iconic cars that have competed in SRO-organized championships, including GT1 and GT3 machinery. The GT Anniversary competitors will also take part in the parade from Spa town center to the race track, alongside the 24H Spa main field.

***SRO has also published a three-round calendar for the GT1 Sports Club platform in 2022. The non-competitive track sessions for exclusive hypercars were trialed last October during the GTWC Europe season finale. This year’s schedule includes slots on the GTWC Europe bill at Paul Ricard in June and Barcelona in October, plus a third event at Yas Marina Circuit on Dec. 12-13.

***The separate GTWC Esports Endurance series for the Europe, Asia and America regions have been merged to form a global championship called the Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports. The calendar mimics real-world IGTC events: Bathurst 12 Hour (April 16), Suzuka 10 Hours (May 21), 24 Hours of Spa (June 18-19), California 8 Hours (July 16) and Kyalami 9 Hour (Aug. 27).

***Experienced GT4 squad BimmerWorld Racing will step up to the highest tier of SRO America competition when it tackles the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season with two BMW M4 GT3s. Team boss James Clay will co-drive with Ari Balogh, while Bill Auberlen and Chandler Hull are teaming up in the other entry.

***BimmerWorld is also running a BMW M4 GT4 in Pirelli GT4 America. Devin Jones and James Walker Jr., both of whom have prior experience with the team, will race together in 2022. “They have both been successful with BimmerWorld and the M4 GT4, and they are both important to the continuity and culture of our team,” said Clay.

***2018 IMSA GTD champion Bryan Sellers and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Dirk Mueller headline DXDT Racing’s lineup for GTWC America with two Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos. Sellers will share the No. 08 car with Scott Smithson and Mueller will link up with David Askew in the No. 63. Both entries are in the Pro-Am class.

***Flying Lizard Motorsports is returning to the GT4 America Pro-Am class with an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for Andy Lee and Elias Sabo. Flying Lizard is aiming to repeat the success of its 2020 season when Robby Foley and Michael Dinan won the 2020 SprintX Pro-Am title, with Dinan also winning Sprint Am.

***Street-Art Racing will represent Aston Martin on the International GT Open grid with a Vantage GT3 that will compete in an artistic livery and with the No. 007 designation. The drivers for the Belgian squad’s single-car effort are yet to be announced.

Image: Greystone GT

***In addition to its Gulf 12 Hours and GT4 European Series forays, Greystone GT will move into the Intelligent Money British GT Championship this year with a McLaren 720S GT3. The Silverstone-based team will run father-son duo Stewart and Lewis Proctor, who drove for Balfe Motorsport last season.

***Rutronik Racing will continue in ADAC GT Masters with a pair of updated Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs. The team won the title with Kelvin van der Linde and Patric Niederhauser in 2019. “We are pleased to line up with two cars again this year,” said team principal Fabian Plentz. “We have enjoyed success in the past in the ADAC GT Masters, and we would love to add to that this year.”

***Canadian driver Jeff Kingsley, who raced in the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in a Compass Racing McLaren, will switch to European racing in 2022 with GetSpeed Performance. Kingsley is one of three drivers named in GetSpeed’s Silver Cup crew for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup, alongside Ligier European Series ace Sebastien Baud and ex-WRT driver Valdemar Eriksen. They will share the No. 3 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

***Porsche Penske Motorsport has launched a recruitment drive for positions in a newly remodeled 105,000-sq. foot LMDh facility in Mannheim, Germany. Roles include simulation engineer, systems/data engineer, mechanism, drivetrain technician and tire technician. Mannheim will be the base for the Porsche-Penske FIA World Endurance Championship program.

***Construction of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach circuit began last Thursday. Assembling the 1.97-mile, 11-turn course requires the placement of 2,400 concrete blocks, four miles of fencing, 17,000 bolted tires, 14 spectator grandstands, six pedestrian bridges and eight giant vision TV boards. The event returns to its traditional weekend in April this year.

***By sweeping the 4 Hours of Abu Dhabi double-header, United Autosports became the third team to win races in three major LMP2 series with the Oreca 07 Gibson. The Anglo-American squad has earned victories with the car in the Asian and European Le Mans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship. The same applies to G-Drive Racing (with different operating teams) while DragonSpeed has won in ELMS, WEC and IMSA.

***The SRO America season kicks off this weekend with the opening round of the single-driver GT America powered by AWS series on the streets of St. Petersburg, where a 29-car field will contest a pair of 40-minutes races. Highlights on the entry include a Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R for Mirco Shultis, along with ten other GT3 cars in the ‘SRO3’ class including Mercedes-AMGs, Lamborghinis and Ferraris. GT4 cars and an Audi R8 LMS GT2 are also involved.

On this weekend: GT America powered by AWS (St. Petersburg)

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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