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Weekly Racing Roundup (12.28.20)

News and notes including 24H Dubai lineups, Walkenhorst’s 2021 plans and more…

Image: HRT

***Haupt Racing Team has named its driver lineups for the Hankook 24H Dubai on Jan. 15-16. The GTWC Europe front-runner will field a pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos. The No. 4 Bilstein machine will be driven by Maro Engel, Patrick Assenheimer, Khaled Al Qubaisi and Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am runner-up Ryan Ratcliffe.

***HRT’s No. 5 Am-class car has Florian Scholze, Valentin Pierburg and Nico Bastian listed, along with Assenheimer and Al Qubaisi who are registered in both entries.

***Porsche factory driver Mathieu Jaminet is set for his 24H Dubai debut with GPX Racing. The Frenchman will share the UAE-flagged team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R with Axcil Jefferies, Frederic Fatien and Porsche Young Professional Julien Andlauer.

***Half a dozen GT3 Pro lineups for Dubai have now been confirmed. FIA World Endurance GTE-Am champions Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard feature in French team Racetivity’s Mercedes-AMG, while Audi factory drivers Markus Winkelhock and Christopher Mies headline Attempto Racing’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo crew. Herberth Motorsport’s two-car Porsche squad includes Klaus Bachler and Sven Mueller in one car, with Robert and Alfred Renauer in the other.

***Comtoyou Racing and UAE-based Dragon Racing have also signed up for Dubai. FIA WTCR outfit Comtoyou Racing has entered a pair of Audi RS 3 LMS TCRs while Dragon is set to run a Mercedes-AMG GT4.

***24H Series organizer Creventic has given the official green light for the 6H Abu Dhabi race to go ahead on Jan. 22-23. Creventic announced on Dec. 24 that teams taking part in both the 24H Dubai and 6H Abu Dhabi will no longer need to quarantine between the two events.

***A suggestion to mandate a Silver-rated driver in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup Pro-class lineups next season has been dropped. Endurance-info reports that the rumor which started at the end of the 2020 season did not receive a majority of votes in a survey put out by series organizer SRO Motorsports Group.

Photo: Jan Brucke/VLN

***Walkenhorst Motorsport is planning to add a third BMW M6 GT3 to its NLS and Nürburgring 24 program for next year. The German squad, which captured a win and three podiums in the five-round 2020 NLS campaign, will continue to run on Yokohama tires. David Pittard and Christian Krognes are confirmed to work with the team again next season.

***Team owner Henry Walkenhorst said: “The last three years have shown how great the potential and the results of the close cooperation between Yokohama and Walkenhorst are. We are very pleased to announce our multi-year contract with Yokohama Rubber, which also covers the launch of the successor to the M6 ​​GT3.”

***Automotive and industry parts supplier Schaeffler has become the official innovation partner of the DTM. The co-operation will see Schaeffler lead the development of the DTM Electric series while its logo will be present at race meetings next year.

“This partnership goes wide beyond classic sponsoring,” said Marcel Mohaupt, managing director of the DTM series organizer ITR. “The Schaeffler Group as an innovative technology company is the ideal partner for the joint development of the fully electric DTM Electric that will be a part of the DTM platform from 2023.”

***LMP3 and Porsche competitor Muehlner Motorsport plans to start testing a LMP2 car next year, with a view to running it in the 2022 European Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It could also race in the 2021 ELMS finale in October. Muehlner has already confirmed plans to run Duqueinie D08 Nissans in IMSA LMP3 competition next year. It is also fielding one Duqueine in the ELMS and two in Michelin Le Mans Cup.

***KTM is “talking to various teams” that are interested in running its new X-Bow GT2 car next year. A KTM spokesperson told Sportscar365 that a Swiss outfit is set to run a car in the GT2 European Series, in addition to the quartet of confirmed entries for True Racing by Reiter Engineering. The X-Bow has yet to be officially homologated by category creator SRO but is expected to be fully signed off in time for the 2021 season.

***The virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans held in June has been received several end-of-year accolades including the ‘Live Experience award’ at the Leaders Sports Awards, the Simmy Award for Best Event from the Virtual Competition Organisation and the Autosport Pioneering and Innovation Award. The event, which was held on the original date of the postponed real-world Le Mans race, has also been shortlisted for the European Sponsorship Awards and nominated for the Sports Technology Awards.

***Toyota will launch its Le Mans Hypercar on Jan. 15, four days later than initially planned. The manufacturer had previously bookmarked Jan. 11 for when it would reveal its replacement for the triple Le Mans-winning Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1.

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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