News & Notes
***Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello will complete his first full season in ADAC GT Masters with Montaplast by Land Motorsport, joining Christopher Mies in one of the team’s Audi R8 LMS GT3s. He replaces Connor De Phillippi in the lineup, while brothers Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde will share Land’s second car. Elder brother Kelvin won the championship in 2014 while Mies was 2016 champion.
***Claudia Huertgen replaces Maximilian Hacklaender as Sven Barth’s teammate at RWT Racing for the GT Masters season. The pair will drive the team’s sole Corvette C7 GT3-R, the same model that Callaway Competition’s Jules Gounon won the championship with last year.
***Frikadelli Racing will run a pair of Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in the VLN championship and Nürburgring 24, making the switch to Dunlops after extensive tire testing last season. The team has so far signed Lance David Arnold and Felipe Laser for the program with further drivers set to be announced soon.
***The Targa 6H Monza, originally scheduled for March 10, has been canceled by Driving Force Events Ltd., the promoters behind the Gulf 12 Hours. “Although we have registered an encouraging level of interest from teams and drivers, the number of entries confirmed two weeks before the event is not high enough to ensure the race’s level of quality is in line with the minimum standards of our organization and of Autodromo di Monza,” a statement read.
***Phoenix Racing Asia is set to return to the Blancpain GT Series Asia with at least one Audi GT3 and a possible second car. It won two races last year while Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong were crowned Silver Cup champions. “The driver lineups will depend on whether we enter a second car but, either way, I’m confident we have the potential to fight for victories,” commented team principal Lee. “Winning the Silver Cup was a fantastic achievement against so many quality entries but this year our sights are firmly set on claiming the overall GT3 Drivers’ crown.”
***Scott Taylor Motorsport will run two Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the CAMS Australian GT Championship with team owner Scott Taylor driving one of the cars. He will be joined by Craig Baird for the three endurance races while the other car will be driven by a currently unconfirmed lineup.
***United Autosports has confirmed its second Michelin Le Mans Cup lineup with Richard Meins and Wayne Boyd set to pilot one of the team’s three Ligier JS P3 Nissans in the series. This comes after Matt Bell and Jim McGuire were recently announced as the Anglo-American team’s first lineup, with news of the third and final driver pairing expected soon.
***Duncan Huisman and Luc Braams will drive a Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R in the GT4 European Series and have recently completed a shakedown of the car at Zandvoort. The 2017 GT4 European Series Northern Cup Pro-Am champions will race under the Las Moras Racing by V8 Racing banner, returning to their familiar team and manufacturer.
***Reigning GT4 European Series champion Ricardo van der Ende will be joined by Finlay Hutchinson in a McLaren 570S GT4 run by Equipe Verschuur, with van der Ende’s usual Ekris Motorsport team deciding not to race in the series this season.
***Ivan Pareras and Marcus Paverud will make their series debut in a Mercedes-AMG GT4 run by Leipert Motorsport, meanwhile. The German team tested the two 17-year-old drivers at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya recently.