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Brands Hatch Saturday Notebook

Jake Kilshaw’s Blancpain GT notebook from Saturday at Brands Hatch…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***At 1:22.891, Mirko Bortolotti’s pole-setting lap time was 0.369 seconds quicker than last year’s pole time and the previous lap record, set by Franck Perera in the No. 74 ISR Audi R8 LMS. It came despite a weight increase and smaller restrictor size compared to Misano, where Lamborghini also got pole.

***The Reiter Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX of Caitlin Wood and Marko Helistekangas has been withdrawn from the event after a heavy shunt during Free Practice 2 this afternoon. The car has picked up severe chassis damage and so is unrepairable on site.

***Loris Hezemans crashed the No. 44 Strakka Racing McLaren 650S GT3 in the first Qualifying session, taking he and co-driver Jonny Kane out of the session as the team faces a race against time to prepare the car for tomorrow’s Qualifying Race. 

***Kornely Motorsport is the only no-show on the entry list, now reduced to 32 cars. Yoshi Mori and Kenneth Heyer were set to drive the No. 70 Mercedes-AMG GT3.

***The only other change to the provisional entry list is at Attempto Racing, where Nicolas Pohler steps in to replace Adrian Zaugg in the team’s No. 67 Lamborghini Huracan GT3. He joins Max van Splunteren in the Silver Cup-entered car, who told Sportscar365 he expects this to be a long-term switch, while speaking very highly of his new co-driver.

***International GT Open regular Teo Martin Motorsport is closing in on a two-race Blancpain GT program with a BMW M6 GT3. “We have the opportunity and the desire to compete in the 24 Hours of Spa as well as the Paul Ricard round to prepare the classic Ardennes,” said Teo Martin. “BMW is pushing in this direction and if the project is going to [be green-lighted], the idea is to have the support of factory drivers.”

***He might be one of the most experienced drivers in the paddock, but Jonny Kane is excited to be back at Brands Hatch after a 20-year absence. “My last time racing here was 1997 in the British F3 Championship,” he told Sportscar365. “It’s one of the best circuits in the UK, it’s just a shame [the full Grand Prix layout] doesn’t get used more often.” Kane won British F3 that year, racing against the likes of Mark Webber, Guy Smith, Darren Turner and Nicolas Minassian.

***Team WRT has cars competing in three series this weekend, with five Audi R8 LMS at Brands Hatch, as well as at the Audi R8 LMS Cup season-opener at Sepang. It also has a pair of Volkswagen Golf GTi TCRs in the TCR International Series supporting the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps.

***The GT4 European Series Northern Cup is supporting Blancpain GT this weekend, and the No. 100 Ginetta Cars Ginetta G55 GT4 of Charlie Robertson and Tom Hibbert has claimed pole for both of tomorrow’s two races.

***While tomorrow’s Blancpain GT races won’t be shown live on television in the UK, Mark Cole is set to present delayed coverage of the event on Eurosport, at 6:45 p.m. BST. An international livestream is available on the GT World YouTube channel during all sessions, meanwhile.

***The Qualifying Race is set for 12 p.m. BST, followed by the Main Race at 4:15 p.m.

John Dagys & Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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