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GT World Challenge Europe

27 Entries Set for Sprint Cup Opener at Magny-Cours

GTWC Europe Sprint season to kick off at Magny-Cours this weekend with 27 cars…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

A total of 27 cars are on the provisional entry list for this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup season-opener at Magny-Cours.

The field includes 13 entries in the top Pro category, along with 10 Silver Cup class competitors and four runners in Pro-Am.

Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts are back to defend their 2020 title for Team WRT, in one of three Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos run by the defending Sprint Cup teams’ champion.

WRT is also running Audi factory driver Kelvin van der Linde alongside Pro-category debutant Benjamin Goethe, as well as a Silver Cup entry.

Most of last season’s top teams including AKKA-ASP, Emil Frey Racing and Sainteloc Racing have returned for the new season of Sprint Cup, while the notable absentee is Haupt Racing Team which is focusing on Endurance Cup, the DTM and NLS this year.

HRT’s drivers from last season, Maro Engel and Luca Stolz, have been picked up by Toksport WRT which also runs the Mercedes-AMG factory pair in ADAC GT Masters.

Toksport WRT is new to the Pro ranks of Sprint Cup after fielding two Silver entries last year. The German squad is continuing to run Oscar Tunjo and Juuso Puhakka in Silver.

Reigning GTWC Europe combined overall drivers’ champion Timur Boguslavskiy is back in Sprint Cup sharing the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with Raffaele Marciello.

Boguslavskiy is only competing in the short-format GTWC Europe series in 2021.

New arrivals include the Sprint Cup debut of the McLaren 720S GT3, which will be campaigned by JOTA and the factory duo of Ben Barnicoat and Ollie Wilkinson in Pro.

3 Hours of Monza winner Dinamic Motorsport is also making its first season-long Sprint Cup appearance with a Pro-registered Porsche 911 GT3 R for GT Masters champion Christian Engelhart and Adrien de Leener.

Another new team is reigning Total 24 Hours of Spa Pro-Am winner Barwell Motorsport, which is operating a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo for International GT Open champions Miguel Ramos and Henrique Chaves who are switching from McLaren machinery.

The addition of two Aston Martin Vantage GT3s from series returnee Garage 59 and additional Silver Cup entries for AKKA-ASP and Emil Frey Racing contribute to a field that has grown by four cars since the opening round of the 2020 season at Misano.

In addition to HRT, the other teams that have dropped out since last year are ERC Sport and Tech 1 Racing, the latter following the end of the Lexus GT3 program in Europe.

Magny-Cours was originally due to host round two of the 2021 Sprint Cup but became the season-opener when the championship’s planned visit to Brands Hatch was postponed to late August.

This weekend’s races at the former French Grand Prix venue will take place on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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