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Weekly Racing Roundup (3.28.22)

News including record-breaking GT4 Europe entry, program announcements and more…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

News & Notes

***The GT4 European Series has topped 50 cars for its 2022 season entry, marking a record grid for the championship which launches its new season at Imola this weekend. A total of 18 cars are in the Silver Cup class, along with 21 entries in Pro-Am and 11 in Am.

***SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel has hailed the 50-car entry as a “huge achievement” for the GT4 platform: “Since SRO created the GT4 formula back in 2007 it has gone from strength to strength, and it has certainly never been healthier than it is today. This year we have nine world-class manufacturers represented on the grid, being run by some of the sport’s best racing teams.”

***One of the teams to announce its GT4 Europe stable last week was Sainteloc Racing, which confirmed the retention of reigning Pro-Am champions Fabien Michal and Gregory Guilvert. The French squad’s other Audi R8 LMS GT4s will be driven by Olivier Esteves/Anthony Beltoise (Pro-Am) and Roee Meyuhas/Erwan Bastard (Silver).

***Last year’s British GT4 champion Will Burns is racing in GT4 Europe this year, after signing with Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport. Burns won the British domestic title in a Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 and will drive the same type of car on the continental stage. He will team up with Berkay Besler in Silver Cup.

***Team Rocket RJN is making its full-time return to the GT3 class of British GT with a McLaren entry for the Silver-Am pairing of James Kell and Simon Watts. Kell is stepping up to the 720S GT3 after racing a Rocket RJN-operated McLaren 570S GT4 last season, while Watts comes from the MSVR Ford Focus series.

***Jack Mitchell and Tom Edgar will line up for Toyota Gazoo Racing UK in British GT4. Mitchell won the 2018 class title with Century and Edgar graduates from Ginetta Juniors. The Gazoo Racing Toyota GR Supra GT4 is again being run by Speedworks Motorsport.

***Former DTM and Formula 1 driver Timo Glock will compete in the 2022 Italian GT Championship. Glock is due to share a BMW M4 GT3 with fellow BMW M Motorsport factory driver Jens Klingmann, representing Roberto Ravaglia’s Ceccato Racing team.

Image: Mann-Filter Team Landgraf

***FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 driver Jonathan Aberdein will partner Mercedes-AMG factory ace Raffaele Marciello in the Mann-Filter Team Landgraf lineup for ADAC GT Masters. Marciello raced alongside Maximilian Buhk last season, finishing fourth in the standings aboard the ‘mamba’ liveried Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. Elsewhere on the grid, Robert Renauer and Klaus Bachler have been confirmed in the Herberth-run ID Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. 

***Newly formed Austrian GT3 squad Eastalent-Racing has joined GT Masters with an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. Austrians Norbert Siedler and Simon Reicher will share the wheel. “Unfortunately we can’t test the new Audi yet. Due to delivery delays, it will only be available to us for the official test in Oschersleben,” Siedler explained. “But we have a good team with experienced engineers and mechanics. In our first season in the ADAC GT Masters, we won’t be fighting for the title, but we want to finish in the points and in the top ten.”

***WEC and European Le Mans Series outfit Inter Europol Competition has joined the new Prototype Cup Germany series for LMP3 cars. The Polish squad will run a Ligier JS P320 Nissan in the four-race series for James Winslow and Damian Ciosek.

***Kessel Racing has now announced three-quarters of its driving roster for the International GT Open season. Erwin Zanotti and septuagenarian U.S racer Stephen Earle will team up in one of the Swiss team’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 20202s. Axcil Jefferies/Roman Ziemian and Charlie Hollings/Omar Jackson are the other confirmed partnerships.

***The Ultimate Cup Series has redesigned its closed-top sprint racing platform with the creation of separate championships to replace the GT-Touring Sprint division. The most powerful cars such as GT3s and the Renault RS.01 will be placed in the GT Hyper Sprint Auto Parts Cup, which consists of two 20-minute races and one 50-minute race at each event. The GT Sprint Cup has less powerful vehicles, including touring cars, that are also eligible for the Hyper Sprint. It will feature two 60-minute races per round.

***BimmerWorld Racing faced a major setback ahead of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season after its new BMW M4 GT3 was destroyed in an accident during pre-season testing. Driver Chandler Hull walked away after a heavy impact with the tire wall at the exit of VIR’s Turn 10. With no replacement M4 GT3 immediately available, BimmerWorld’s planned GTWC America campaign is currently up in the air.

On this weekend: Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup, GT4 European Series, Fanatec GT2 European Series, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe (Imola)

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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