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Weekly Racing Roundup (4.11.22)

Report from GT Masters testing plus news including season entry lists and more…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Rutronik Quickest in GT Masters Testing

Dennis Marschall put Rutronik Racing’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II on top of the overall times at the end of six sessions and two days of ADAC GT Masters pre-season testing at Oschersleben last week.

The Audi Sport factory driver, who is teamed up with Kim Luis Schramm this season, posted a time of 1:22.893 and was the only member of the field to duck underneath the 1m 23s barrier.

The opening day of the test on Tuesday was marked by wet weather conditions that soon gave way to dry running on Wednesday.

Christian Engelhart went second-fastest in the Team Joos Sportwagentechnik Porsche 911 GT3 R that he shares with Ayhancan Guven, 0.132 seconds off the pace.

Sven Mueller was third overall in the Porsche run by Allied-Racing, with all three of those front-running times occurring in the final track outing of the test.

The fastest lap on Tuesday was a 1:24.136 from Mann-Filter Team Landgraf Mercedes-AMG driver Jonathan Aberdein, set during the day’s middle session.

RESULTS: Session 1 / Session 2 / Session 3 / Session 4 / Session 5 / Session 6

Image: SRO

News and Notes

***Daire McCormack won the opening round of the newly-renamed Mobileye GT World Challenge Europe Esports Championship held at Misano on Assetto Corsa Competizione. Munster Rugby Gaming’s McCormack, driving a Bentley Continental GT3, beat Ferrari official driver David Tonizza by five seconds to take the first leg of a five-round season. Results

***To coincide with its Oschersleben test, ADAC GT Masters published its full entry list for the 2022 season last week. A total of 23 entries are set to compete for the German GT Championship title this year after 27 raced full-time in 2021. New teams include Emil Frey Racing, Madpanda Motorsport, Drago Racing and Eastalent-Racing. Withdrawals since last season include Team WRT, Phoenix Racing, SSR Performance, KÜS Team Bernhard and Grasser Racing Team, the latter three of which have gone to the DTM.

***British GT has also published its 2022 season entry list, headlined by a 17-car entry in the top GT3 class along with 15 cars in GT4. The number is a third larger than last season and also represents the SRO-run series’ best grid since the coronavirus pandemic.

***Recently announced British GT programs include the series debut of Taiwanese racer Betty Chen aboard a Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, and 2014 GT4 champion joining Valluga Racing for its first entry with a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport.

***39 out of the 42 announced full-season entries will take part in this weekend’s Michelin Le Mans Cup season-opener at Paul Ricard. The hydrogen-powered Mission H24 will join for the practice sessions only, with Norman Nato and Stephane Richelmi driving.

***A field of 19 cars is set for the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS curtain-raiser at Sonoma, supported by a 29-car grid for Pirelli GT4 America.

Photo: Italian GT

***GT Open champion Vincenzo Sospiri Racing will run three Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos in the Italian GT Championship. Michele Beretta, Yuki Nemoto and Edoardo Liberati will share the No. 19 car. Reigning Lamborghini Super Trofeo world champions Karol Basz and Mattia Michelotto are joined by Benjamin Hites in the No. 63. Andrea Cola and Baptiste Moulin complete the lineup in the No. 66 machine.

***AF Corse has confirmed its return to the full-season International GT Open grid courtesy of a Pro-Am Ferrari entry for Jamie Stanley and Laurent de Meeus.

*** Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and Seven will broadcast the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in its entirety to Australian audiences next month. The full race is also set to be available live to global audiences on the GT World YouTube channel.

***The Audi Sport Asia Trophy is back for a third season. All FIA Bronze-rated Audi drivers in the Asia-Pacific region are automatically eligible for the competition, which gathers points based on results in GT3, GT2 and GT4 machinery. The top three drivers will share spare parts vouchers worth €100,000 ($108,737 US).

***Jorge Lorenzo has become the latest motorcycle racing star to launch a GT racing program this year, after Valentino Rossi in GT3 and Dani Pedrosa in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe. The three-time MotoGP world champion, who contested the Gulf 12 Hours in 2014, will compete in Porsche Carrera Cup Italy starting at the Imola season-opener on April 24.

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

***Toyota Gazoo Racing returned to the track between the first two FIA World Endurance Championship rounds with a test for its Toyota GR010 Hybrid at Portimao, where all six full-season drivers and reserve Nyck de Vries shared the wheel. Wet conditions were experienced during the session, which took place with the manufacturer’s No. 7 car only.

***ByKolles also tested its in-development LMH car at Most last week, following on from its recent initial rollout on an airfield in Germany. It marked the first running on a sanctioned race track for the Vanwall-badged, V8-powered non-hybrid prototype.

***Several sports car racing stars were at Goodwood last weekend for the 79th GRRC Members’ Meeting. Benoit Treluyer, Alex Brundle, Guy Smith, Andy Priaulx, Nicolas Minassian, Andrew Watson, Emanuele Pirro, Darren Turner and Marino Franchitti were among the notable names competing in the Gerry Marshall Trophy for Group 1 saloon cars. Elsewhere, GPX Racing team principal Pierre-Brice Mena drove a Renault 4CV in the Sopwith Cup.

***European Le Mans Series teams are on track at Paul Ricard today and tomorrow for an official pre-season test, ahead of Sunday’s four-hour race which features a grid of 42 cars.

***Johnny Reid and Neil Foster won the New Zealand Endurance Championship for Audi customer squad Team ISM by taking victory in the three-hour race at Hampton Downs. Audi GT3s also won both legs of the German GTC series opener at Oschersleben, where Land-Motorsport’s Jusuf Owega and Aust Motorsport’s Max Hofer claimed top honors.

On this weekend: European Le Mans Series (Paul Ricard), Super GT (Okayama), Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS (Sonoma), British GT (Oulton Park)

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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