***Marc VDS Racing Team revealed the livery of the Renault R.S.01 it will campaign in the 2016 Renault Sport Trophy season. Marc van der Straten has teamed up with Monlau Competición to race the car this season. Markus Palttala and Fabian Schiller will share the wheel of the car.
***No fewer than 18 FIA World Endurance Championship and/or European Le Mans Series teams are in action this week at Motorland Aragon for a four-day Dunlop tire test. It marks the first opportunities for the majority of the teams to work with new co-drivers and/or cars. The test wraps up on Thursday.
***Ford Chip Ganassi Racing had its first official European test with its new Ford GTs last week at Motorland Aragon, which saw Marino Franchitti, Stefan Muecke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx share testing duties. Season-long driver combinations have still yet to be announced. The team, meanwhile, has announced a new partner in IHG.
***Team Schütz Motorsport will feature a new name, look, car and driver lineup for this year’s ADAC GT Masters. The German squad will race under the BigFM Racing Team Schütz Motorsport banner and has signed reigning German F4 champion Marvin Dienst and Lukas Schreier to drive the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R.
***HB Racing signed former WTCC driver Jaap van Lagen and fast Austrian Norbert Siedler for their GT Masters campaign. The Dutch-Austrian duo will race a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in the German championship. Van Lagen’s last full season in ADAC GT resulted in him taking second place in the championship. Their teammates will be Elia Erhart and Kelvin Snoeks, who raced in the Super Trofeo Europe last season.
***Former GT Masters, Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA GT3 European Champion Christopher Haase will return to the German championship this season, having agreed to race for Car Collection. Haase will share the Audi R8 LMS with Christiaan Frankenhout, with whom he raced together during the final round of the 2010 ADAC GT Masters season.
***Michael Johnson will not make his Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge debut until the third round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in April. The paralyzed racer will pilot a specially adapted BMW 228i run by JDC-Miller Motorsports with co-driver Stephen Simpson. There was a chance seeing the effort debut next weekend at Sebring.
***Teo Martin Motorsport has announced Fernando Monje as its second driver for this year’s International GT Open series. The 22-year-old Spanish driver is the second driver announced by the team, following the announcement of Gustavo Yacaman. Two other drivers and the driver combinations for the team’s BMW M6 GT3s will be announced later.
***GT Sport announced a change in the International GT Open calendar. The final round of the championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been moved to Nov. 5-6, a week later than initially planned. Operational reasons were cited as the reason for the date change.
***Former BMW Sauber F1 and Renault F1 team driver Robert Kubica will make his 24H Series debut at Mugello later this month. The 31-year-old Polish driver will join fellow rally driver Martin Prokop in the No. 777 MP Sports Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in Italy.
***Philippe Salini will race Boutsen Ginion’s Renault R.S. 01 at Mugello. Salini was part of the lineup that raced the WR LMP 2008 in the European Le Mans Series in 2008 and 2009, plus Le Mans in 2010. Salini crashed heavily into the wall exiting Blanchimont during the 24 Hours of Spa in 2012.
***Ecurie Ecosse will race a McLaren 650S GT3 in the British GT Championship this season. The Scottish team, which raced a BMW Z4 GT3 in recent years, confirmed McLaren works driver Rob Bell and Alasdair McCaig as its drivers. Whiskey brand Black Bull has been announced as title sponsor, which means the team will enter the series as Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse.
***A revised driver categorization list from the FIA came out last week with more driver additions and changes, but nothing major. Asian Le Mans Series champion Niki Leutwiler has been downgraded to Bronze, while David Brabham was one of the drivers downgraded (Platinum to Gold) because of his age. The updated list can be found here.
John Dagys contributed to this report