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Nogaro Friday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Friday Blancpain Sprint notebook from Nogaro…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

***A photo call was organized this morning in the local bullfighting arena. All 19 cars were escorted by the police to the historic site were they lined up for a photo shoot.

***After an absence of four years, Christophe Bouchut will return to an SRO-organized series this year. The Frenchman will share one of the GT Russian Team Mercedes SLS AMG GT3s with Alexei Vasiliev in the Pro-Am Cup, who was originally scheduled to compete with Marko Asmer. Bouchut already tested for the team at Paul Ricard a couple of weeks ago.

***Yoshiharu Mori and Philipp Wlazik will race the second Attempto Racing McLaren 650S GT3 in the Pro-Am Cup this weekend, bringing the total number of entrants in the class up to four. 28-years-old Wlazik already has several VLN podium finishes (SP9) behind his name and recently finished third in A6-AM class of the Dubai 24 Hours. Mori did one place better in January and came in second in class.

***The second Reiter Engineering Lamborghini will not be racing this weekend, the team opting to focus its effort on the No. 88 that will be driven by Nick Catsburg and Albert von Thurn und Taxis. With the withdrawal of the No. 25 car, the total number of entrants stands at 19. The full entry list can be found here

***Sébastien Loeb will compete at Nogaro this weekend, though not in the main act but in the local Mitjet Supertourisme Series. The nine-time world rally champion always draws a crowd wherever he goes in France and will probably have a positive effect on the attendance figures this weekend.

***Loeb is using the track time to further sharpen his wheel-to-wheel racing skills, something he has been struggling with in the World Touring Car Championship. The Mitjet Supertourisme Series uses a tubular space frame and features 330 horsepower for 880 kg.

***The traditional “Coupes de Pâques” (Easter Cup) meeting features an unusual timing, with two 80-minute practice sessions on Saturday, followed by Qualifying and the Qualifying Race the next day, culminating in the Main Race on Easter Monday. The full timing of the weekend can be found here, all times are CEST.

***The European continent will enjoy live coverage of all seven Blancpain Sprint Series Main Races on Eurosport this year, starting with Monday’s Main Race, presented by Mark Cole and Martin Haven. U.S viewers will be able to tune in to CBS Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. ET for same-day coverage. Live streaming can be found here.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.


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