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Weekly Racing Roundup (3.27.23)

News including Absolute Racing’s GTWC Asia return, GT4 Europe entries and more…

Image: Absolute Racing

***Absolute Racing will return to Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS this year with a pair of Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. Alexandre Imperatori and Bao Jinlong will race the No. 992 machine in the Pro-Am class, while the No. 911 driver pairing is yet to be announced. Absolute last entered GTWC Asia in 2019 with a mixture of Porsche and Audi entries.

***Absolute team director Fabian Fior said: “The team is eager to go again head-to-head with some of the top teams and drivers in the Asia-Pacific region. We have high hopes for the new Porsche 911 GT3 R, which we believe will help us achieve the same success in the series as its predecessor. Alex and Bao are part of [the] Absolute Racing family, and they are both capable of delivering strong performances.”

***Grasser Racing Team has finalized its Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup driving squad. Sam Neary, Ricky Capo and Fabrizio Crestani will share the Austrian team’s No. 58 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 in the five-round series, which includes the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa. British GT driver Neary and Australian racer Capo recently took part in the official pre-season test. Grasser named the first of its Silver-class lineups three weeks ago.

***A record 52 cars are on the full-season entry list for the GT4 European Series. The field includes 23 cars competing in Silver Cup, including a handful of new competitors such as EastSide Motorsport, Xwift Racing Events, Overdrive Racing, Elite Motorsport and CSA Racing.

***Reigning GT4 European Silver Cup champion Sainteloc Racing will aim to defend its title with a new driver lineup. Former LMP2 racer Paul Petit and Spain’s Marc Lopez, who joins from Team Fullmotorsport, will share the French squad’s No. 67 Audi R8 LMS GT4 after Erwan Bastard and Roee Meyuas took the championship last year. Sainteloc has also confirmed Cyril Saleilles and Anthony Beltoise in the No. 14 Audi for Pro-Am.

***Team Joos Sportwagentechnik will remain in ADAC GT Masters after finishing second in the drivers’ standings last season. The team has pledged a single-car entry with the new Type-992 Porsche, continuing its affiliation with the brand. “We feel very comfortable here and are sure that the series will develop very well this year as well,” said team boss Michael Joos. “Of course, our aim is to fight for the title again this year.”

***The Ultimate Cup Series held its season-opener at Paul Ricard last weekend. The four-hour GT and touring car race was won by the Visiom team’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 driven by David Hallyday, Jean-Paul Pagny and Jean-Bernard Bouvet. Top honors in the four-hour prototype enduro went to Team Virage’s LMP3 lineup of George King, Manuel Espirito Santo and Vyacheslav Gutak. Ferrari ouftit SR&R won all three GT sprint races.

***The Ferrari Challenge Europe season also kicked off over the weekend, with Eliseo Donno winning both Trofeo Pirelli races at Circuit Ricardo Tormo near Valencia.

On this weekend: Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, Pirelli GT4 America, GT America powered by AWS (Sonoma), NLS (Round 2)

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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