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Weekly Racing Roundup (3.5.18)

Drivex quickest again in GT Open testing plus several GT3 driver announcements…

Photo: FotoSpeedy

Drivex Remains on Top in Second GT Open Test

Drivex once again set the pace in pre-season testing for the International GT Open with Allam Khodair and Marcelo Hahn going quickest in the two-day test at Circuit Paul Ricard on Friday and Saturday.

This comes after the pairing topped the timesheets in the first test session at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya two weeks ago.

They posted a best lap time of 2:01.709 in their No. 16 Mercedes-AMG GT3 during the final session of the test, while the BMW Team Teo Martin entry of Andres Saravia was the second-quickest car of the weekend with its Day 1-topping lap time.

Seventeen cars were present at the track with several teams unable to travel to Paul Ricard having been affected by severe weather across Europe.

Official pre-season testing for the series is now complete with cars next set to take to the track at Estoril for the first round on April 14-15.

RESULTS: Friday; Saturday

News & Notes

***Alessandro Pier Guidi, Michele Rugolo and Marco Cioci are amongst the drivers involved in a two-car GT Open entry run by new team Luzich Racing. Pier Guidi and Mikkel Mac will drive one Ferrari 488 GT3 in the Pro category while Cioci will stand in for Pier Guidi at the two rounds which clash with the Ferrari factory driver’s FIA World Endurance Championship commitments with AF Corse’s GTE-Pro entry.

***Alexander West and Rugolo will join forces in the second Luzich car, running in the Pro-Am category. The team was created by American businessman and former racer Michael Luzich, who has experience driving in Ferrari Challenge and Blancpain GT Sports Club competition. Sandro Montani will serve as Team Principal while AF Corse will support the outfit’s two Ferraris.

***Lamborghini has revealed its factory and junior driver programs with entries in GT Open, GT Masters, Blancpain GT Series Asia and Super GT. It includes supplying drivers for Imperiale Racing’s three-car GT Open lineup and a large ADAC GT Masters effort from Grasser Racing Team with all three reigning Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup champions part of the program. (Read More

***Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet will partner Robert Renauer in a Porsche 911 GT3 R run by Precote Herberth Motorsport in GT Masters. Jaminet joins the operation after moving from Team75 Bernhard and finished eighth in his debut season last year, while Renauer has 95 GT Masters race starts to his name.

***HTP Motorsport has also revealed its GT Masters lineup for its pair of MANN-Filter-backed Mercedes-AMG GT3s. Former DTM driver Maximilian Goetz will join Markus Pommer in one car while Maximilian Buhk and Indy Dontje will share the second car. It comes as the Norbert Brueckner-led team takes on a reduced program this season with no Pro entries in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.

***Team Rosberg will return to GT Masters after a seven-year absence, entering a pair of Lamborghinis driven by Michele Beretta, Aaro Vainio, Jonathan Judek and Jimmy Eriksson, meanwhile.

***Norbert Siedler and Alex Mueller will return to Frikadelli Racing for the upcoming VLN season and Nürburgring 24, driving the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R. Mueller made his debut appearance with the German team in last year’s N24 while Siedler will embark on his third season with the outfit.

***Racing Team Nederland won the FEBO Final 4 at Zandvoort on Saturday, with Jan Lammers and Giedo van der Garde driving a Ligier JS P3 Nissan in the four-hour finale of the Winter Endurance Championship. The team went straight to Motorland Aragon afterwards to carry out testing with its Dallara P217 Gibson.

***Academy Motorsport is set to expand to a two-car Aston Martin Vantage GT4 entry in the British GT Championship this year, bringing the GT4 class’ total number of manufacturers up to seven. Jan Jonck has made the move from Macmillan AMR to partner 16-year-old Tom Wood in one car while team owner Matt Nicoll-Jones will partner an as yet unconfirmed co-driver in the second Aston Martin.

***Equipe Verschuur will join British GT with a single McLaren 570S GT4 driven by Finlay Hutchinson and Dan McKay. The former adds the entry to his previously-announced GT4 European Series program with the team and driving alongside Ricardo van der Ende. Equipe Verschuur has also announced that it will field a car in the European series for Liesette Braams who will return to racing after a battle with cancer.

***Both the British GT Championship and GT4 European Series will hold their pre-season tests on Thursday, at Donington Park and Zolder, respectively. Both series are expected to release their full-season entry lists during the event. The British GT season gets underway at Oulton Park on March 31 – April 2 while the GT4 European Series starts one week later as part of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup weekend at Zolder on April 6-8.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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