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Michelin Pilot Challenge

News & Notes Roundup: 2.17

The latest news and notes from the world of sports car racing…

Photo: Honda

Photo: Honda

***Honda confirmed it will compete in the Super GT series with five of its NSX CONCEPT-GT cars. Oliver Turvey and Bertrand Baguette will be the only two non-Japanese drivers to race for Honda. Baguette will also race in the Japanese Super Formula Championship, where he will race against GP2 champion and fellow Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne.

***Gainer Racing took delivery of its new Mercedes AMG-GT3 earlier last week. Katsuyuki Hiranaka shook down the new car at Okayama International Circuit shortly after it arrived in Japan. The Japanese driver will share the car with Bjorn Wirdheim this season. Gainer will also enter a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.

***The No. 4 LRT Racing Honda Civic Si of Juan Carlos Leroux and Jorge Leroux has been excluded from last month’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season-opener at Daytona after it was found to have had an illegal engine modification. The team, which crossed the line third in the ST class, loses all points and prize money, has its engine confiscated and faces a $7500 fine.

***Strakka Racing has expanded its sportscar program by entering the Renault Sport Trophy this season. The British squad will enter one Renault R.S. 01 for Nick Leventis and Lewis Williamson, but could add a second car later on.

***Just a couple of months after withdrawing from racing on four wheels, Marc van der Straten has announced it will also compete in the Renault Sport Trophy. Monlau Competición will run the cars under the Team Marc VDS EG 0,0 banner.

***Anders and Thomas Fjordbach, who raced an Audi R8 LMS ultra in several Blancpain GT Series rounds last season, will move to the Renault Sport Trophy as well. The Danish drivers will race under their own High Class Racing banner.

***Walkenhorst Motorsport collected its new BMW M6 GT3s from BMW at the end of last week. The team is set to enter both cars in the VLN series, with at least one of the cars to run as a Dunlop Art Car. The chosen livery can be found here.

***Black Falcon confirmed it will enter two Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport in the VLN series. The Meuspath-based team will compete in the newly found Porsche Cayman GT4 Trophy, in which 15 cars are expected to race this season.

***JRM offered teams and drivers the chance to test the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya last week. Lucas Ordonez, Sean Walkinshaw, Craig Dolby and Anna Rathe were among the drivers driving the Always Evolving car in Spain.

***Rickard Rydell has announced his retirement from racing. While the Swedish ace is most known for his touring car titles, he also achieved success behind the wheel of GT machinery, most notably Prodrive-built Ferrari 550 Maranellos and Aston Martin DBR9s. Rydell claimed GT1 class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007 alongside Darren Turner and David Brabham in an Aston Martin.

***Testing continued at the Spanish track this week, with a number of Blancpain GT Series teams attending the session. GRT Grasser Racing Team, Barwell Motorsport and Attempto Racing are in Spain with their Lamborghini Huracán GT3s. Attempto Racing also brought its Porsche, while ISR is testing a brand new Audi R8 LMS.

***Porsche is offering a chance for lucky fans to have a driving training session with Patrick Long, with the factory driver lending his experience at the wheel of a new Porsche model. Click Here to apply, which includes a video submission. Act fast, as the deadline for applications is today.

John Dagys contributed to this report

Marcel ten Caat (@marceltencaat) is a contributor to Sportscar365 and other publications including

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