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Nürburgring Pre-Race Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Blancpain GT pre-race notebook from Nürburgring…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***With just two rounds remaining in the 2016 Blancpain GT Series, one man and one team are already certain of a championship crown this season. Michal Broniszewski and Kessel Racing will be handed the trophies for the overall Pro-Am champions at the end-of-year prize giving ceremony. The Polish driver won the opening three rounds of the season and added two more wins to his tally at Paul Ricard and the Nürburgring Sprint meeting.

***As reported yesterday, M-Sport Bentley had to revert to a new chassis and engine for the No. 7 entry. Their test car (2015 chassis) arrived yesterday evening and was allowed to take part in qualifying this morning, with Guy Smith posting the 23rd quickest time.

***However, because of the change the No. 7 Continental GT3 will have to start from the pitlane and must serve a stop-&-go penalty within the first 30 minutes of the race.

***The level of interest in the McLaren 650S GT3 is increasing worldwide following the car’s recent successes. One of the teams on the grid this weekend is understood to be evaluating a switch to McLaren’s GT3.

***The same can be said of the McLaren 570S GT4, which recently got its first win in the British GT Championship. The car is currently in its final phase of homologation. At the moment the limiting factor seems to be availability of the car, rather than demand. A one-make cup is also under consideration.

***One of the teams currently competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship could potentially move to the Blancpain GT Series next year.

***WRT will not head to Spa for its ELMS LMP2 debut unprepared. The Belgian squad is scheduled to test the Ligier JS P2 Judd on Tuesday at Magny-Cours, where Onroak Automotive has a second base at.

***2017 should mark the fourth year of competition for the Bentley Continental GT3, which is expected to be replaced by 2018. This should be the same for McLaren and Nissan. Meanwhile, the Lexus RC F GT3 is expected to finally start its career in Europe next season.

***Team AKKA-ASP is considering adding additional races to its schedule at the end of the year. The Sepang 12 Hours is a possibility, but nothing is confirmed yet. An entry list for the Malaysian round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge is expected shortly.

***No decision has been made yet on whether the Blancpain GT Series will head to the Red Bull Ring for the first time or will return to the Hungaroring for the penultimate round of the Sprint Cup in August next year.

***The No. 84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Maxi Buhk, Dominik Baumann and Jazeman Jaafar that is currently fourth in the standings is the only car still entered under the “AMG Team” banner this weekend

***Be sure to download the official SRO Spotter Guide, which features all 54 starters for today’s races, including all the liveries and lineups. Click here to download the latest version.

***Click Here to download the final grid order for the three-hour race.

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

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