A total of 14 GT3 cars are set to take part in this weekend’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, representing a further decline in entries since the start of the season.
The entry list, released late last week, maintains the six full-season GT3 Pro entries from K-PAX Racing (Bentley Continental GT3), Alegra Motorsports and Wright Motorsports (Porsche 911 GT3 R), and R. Ferri Motorsport (Ferrari 488 GT3) although several Pro-Am and Am teams have elected not to make the trip North of the Border.
Among the the highest-profile absentee is Squadra Corse Garage Italia, which currently leads the GT3 Am standings with defending class champion Martin Fuentes and Caesar Bacarella.
Both of the One11 Competition Ferraris are also absent, as well as the No. 87 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M6 GT3.
The grid, however, will still feature a BMW in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport entry for the Bronze-rated pairing of Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shairasaka, who are set for a four-event campaign.
Seventeen cars took part at Virginia International Raceway, down from the 23 that were on the grid at the season-opener at Circuit of The Americas in March.
SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel told Sportscar365 at VIR they should have “18 or more” at the remainder of the races this season.
The withdrawals also have implications on SRO’s World Challenge, with Fuentes and One11 drivers Christopher Cagnazzi and Matt Plumb all having been nominated by Ferrari to score points in the global competition, which also encompasses drivers from Blancpain GT Europe and Asia.
Dead Heat for Championship Lead
Following their victory in Race 2 at VIR, K-PAX’s Rodrigo Baptista and Maxime Soulet are now tied for the GT3 Pro championship lead with the R. Ferri pairing of Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina.
They hold a slim one-point lead over the sister K-PAX Bentley duo of Alvaro Parente and Andy Soucek.
Pro-Am sees the Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo pairing of Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli holding a 15-point margin over Till Bechtolsheimer, who will be joined by Marc Miller at the wheel of the Gradient Racing Acura for the first time this year.
Ryan Eversley subbed for Miller in the first two rounds of the season due to conflicting races for Miller.
Despite missing the opening weekend at COTA, VIR Race 2 winners Bret Curtis and Dane Cameron sit fifth in the Pro-Am title race entering the weekend in their RealTime Racing Acura.
The No. 91 Wright Porsche, which featured Matt Campbell at VIR, meanwhile, will see fellow Porsche Young Professional Dennis Olsen return to the wheel this weekend in support of Anthony Imperato’s title chase.
The class is rounded out by the pair of DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3s.
On-track action begins on Thursday at 5 p.m. EDT with the first practice session of the weekend. Round 5’s 90-minute contest is scheduled to go green at 2:10 p.m. on Saturday, while Round 6 is scheduled to start at 9:55 a.m. on Sunday.
Both races and qualifying will be streamed live on gt-world-challenge-america.com, with Sunday’s race airing same-day on CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m. EDT.