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Nürburgring Saturday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Saturday Notebook from Nürburgring…

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

***The three-hour Endurance Cup race marks the second visit of the Blancpain GT Series to the Nürburgring, following the Sprint Cup round that was held on the shorter version of the track. The exclusion of the Dunlop Kehre section in July meant the track was classified as a Category D track, while the full GP layout falls under the Category C Balance of Performance, the same as Hungaroring.

***Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, M-Sport Bentley and AF Corse all tested at Barcelona on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the Blancpain Sprint Cup finale that will take place in two weeks’ time. Private testing on any circuit which will host an event is forbidden within 14 days of each event.

***WRT’s decision to run Ben Barnicoat in the No. 4 Audi this weekend was taken only late this week. Working together with the Racing Steps Foundation, the Belgian squad tested both Barnicoat and Jake Dennis at Barcelona. “Both did a great job and we really had to toss the coin to make a choice. We will follow them carefully in the near future and look forward to cooperate with both,” WRT boss Vincent Vosse told Sportscar365.

***The drivers of the No. 8 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3, which currently sits second in the drivers’ standing, is coming off a busy week. Maxime Soulet, Wolfgang Reip and Andy Soucek took part in a hiking/team building expedition in England, followed by the test in Barcelona.

***The No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS of Laurens Vanthoor, Dries Vanthoor and Frédéric Vervisch is sporting a new livery this weekend. Team sponsor GrafiWrap organized a design competition to promote its self adhesive products, as it does every year.

***Grasser Racing will split its resources across Barcelona and Hockenheim during the first weekend of October. Two of the usual three cars are expected to finish off the Blancpain season, while a single Italian bull will be entered in the GT Masters finale in Germany.

***Stefano Comandini, who participated in the 2013 and 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series, makes his comeback at the wheel of the No. 15 ROAL-run BMW Team Italia M6 GT3 this weekend. He will share the car with season regulars Max Koebolt and Stefano Colombo.

***While the entry list still mentions Giancarlo Fisichella in the No. 53 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Pro-Am), it is in fact Olivier Beretta who will be the third driver alongside Lorenzo Bontempelli and Ishikawa Motoaki. Franz Konrad was entered on his own Lamborghini Huracán GT3, but the team boss will not take the wheel this weekend, as is often the case. Click here to view the latest version of the entry list.

***For the third year in a row, there will be a sim racing expo parallel to the Blancpain event at Nürburgring. “Virtuality meets reality” is the motto of the expo that exhibits racing simulators and race games. Across an area of more than 8,000 square meters numerous race simulator manufacturers show the most recent sim racing technologies.

***The Sim Racing expo also features the ADAC SimRacing Trophy. The finale of the competition will be staged in front of Europe’s largest video wall and commented by motorsport commentators.

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

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