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Hungaroring Weekend Notebook

Jake Kilshaw’s weekend notebook from Blancpain GT at Hungaroring…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***The Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup field made its way along the highway (pictured) to the centre of Budapest on Thursday evening, for an event in the Hungarian capital in which fans could get up close to the cars.

***At 29 cars, this weekend’s Main Race features the smallest grid of the season so far, with several cars withdrawing from the race over the past few days.

***The No. 99 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 and No. 43 Strakka Racing McLaren 650S GT3 were all previously announced as no-shows while Kessel Racing has pulled its No. 11 Ferrari 488 GT3 with Michael Broniszewski ill. Come Ledogar is suffering from appendicitis meanwhile, leading to the driver reshuffle at Strakka.

***Furthermore, ISR has withdrawn its No. 75 Audi R8 LMS of Clemens Schmid and Filip Salaquarda after a technical issue in the Qualifying Race.

***Kessel’s No. 888 Ferrari is on the entry list however, despite not appearing on the provisional release. Stephen Earle and David Perel are the only Am Cup entrants in the race. The latter wrapped up the Sprint Cup Am Cup drivers’ title after the Qualifying Race.

***Qualifying Race winners Dries Vanthoor and Marcel Fassler have topped every session so far this weekend, with the Belgian going fastest in Free Practice 1, Free Practice 2, Qualifying while Fassler was quickest in Sunday morning’s warm-up session.

***It was the first series win for both drivers, who came to Hungaroring eighth in the Sprint Cup standings and yet to score a podium finish together. The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner had previously finished on the podium several seasons ago in the series while Vanthoor, who made his series debut last season, had two Endurance Cup podiums to his name but none in the Sprint Cup. 

***Attempto Racing team owner Arkin Aka says KÜS Team75 Bernhard’s fourth-place finish at the Total 24 Hours of Spa was the inspiration for switching his team’s No. 67 entry from the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to Porsche 911 RSR this weekend. “I was very impressed with the Porsche’s performance at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, where they nearly went on to finish on the podium,” he said.

“It crossed my mind that I had two Porsches, so I asked Frank Walliser if I could have one of their factory drivers and that’s how the deal was made. I already knew Kevin [Estre] very well. We had a good time together in 2011 when he raced for us and then Attempto had its best year in 2013, winning the Teams and Drivers’ titles in that year’s Porsche Supercup. Kevin was a major factor in bringing the team to the position where it could fight for both championships.

***Eurosport’s broadcast of the Main Race will start at 1:15 p.m. BST / 2:15 p.m. CEST with commentary from Mark Cole and Martin Haven, while the race will also be aired on the GT World YouTube channel. Click here for the official spotter guide for the race which will take the green flag at 2:20 p.m. local time.

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

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