Connect with us

Racing Roundup

Weekly Racing Roundup (1.30.23)

News and notes including ELMS driver lineups, Madpanda’s plans and more…

Photo: MPS Agency

News & Notes

***TF Sport has signed BMW specialist Ben Tuck to its European Le Mans Series GTE driver lineup. The 25-year-old Brit, who has represented Walkenhorst Motorsport at the Nürburgring 24, will share an Aston Martin Vantage GTE with factory driver Jonny Adam and Bronze-rated John Hartshorne. Tuck replaces Henrique Chaves, who has been upgraded from Silver to Gold status.

***Commenting on his ELMS and GTE debut, Tuck said: “On the whole, this is going to be a very different experience for me; new car with the Aston Martin GTE, new tracks, a new championship and I really cannot wait to get started. I’m seriously looking forward to the 2023 season.”

***LMP2 debutant Proton Competition has also confirmed its ELMS driving squad. As reported by Sportscar365, Gianmaria Bruni will lead the lineup. The Porsche factory ace will share the wheel with Jonas Ried, the 18-year-old son of team owner Christian Ried, and Giorgio Roda.

***Nissan last week confirmed an unchanged GT500 lineup for its Super GT title defense. Reigning champions Bertrand Baguette and Kazuki Hiramine continue with Team Impul, while the other pairings of Katsumasa Chiyo and Mitsunori Takaboshi (NDDP Racing), Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli (NISMO) and Daiki Sasaki and Kohei Hirate (Kondo Racing) are also unaltered.

***Additionally, three teams will run Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3s in the second-tier GT300 class. The co-driver of defending champion Joao Paulo de Oliveira at Kondo Racing is yet to be confirmed. Hironobu Yasuda and Riki Okusa will share one of the GAINER cars, with the trio of Ryuichiro Tomita, Keishi Ishikawa and Yusuke Shiotsu rotating in the other.

***Madpanda Motorsport is returning to Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup on a full-time basis this year. The Spanish squad only contested the Valencia finale last season as it focused on ADAC GT Masters. It will continue to compete in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup, with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo racing in the Silver Cup category.

***Sean Balfe has joined Barwell Motorsport in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship, switching from his family’s Balfe Motorsport team. He will share a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 with 2020 champion Sandy Mitchell, who partnered with Adam Balon the last two seasons.

***DTO Motorsport has committed to a British GT program with the new McLaren Artura GT4. The two most recent Ginetta Junior champions, Josh Rowledge and Aston Millar, will drive for the team which is led by ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok.

***The ADAC has revealed the schedule for the second season of the Prototype Cup Germany series for LMP3 cars. The campaign is due to start at Hockenheim on April 28-30 before heading to Oschersleben (May 26-28), Zandvoort (June 23-25), Norisring (July 7-9), Assen (Sep. 1-3) and Nürburgring (Oct. 13-15). Rounds two to four are DTM support slots.

***GetSpeed Performance has added a second Mercedes-AMG to its International GT Open program. Steve Jans and Axel Blom will team up in Pro-Am. “Steve has been a GetSpeed ​​man from the very beginning and has been with us since 2013,” said team boss Adam Osieka. “Axel is the complete opposite. He’s only contested two races with GetSpeed ​​- but we bonded very quickly, so we decided together to contest a full season.”

***Haupt Racing Team’s driver lineup for the Asian Le Mans Series is set. Mercedes-AMG factory driver Luca Stolz will share the No. 7 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with Al Faisal Al Zubair and Martin Konrad. The No. 6 car will be driven by Arjun Maini, Frank Bird and Michael Blanchemain.

On this weekend: Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli (Bathurst)

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.

Click to comment

More in Racing Roundup