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Nürburgring Weekend Notebook

Sportscar365’s weekend notebook from Blancpain GT at Nürburgring…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Thirty-seven cars are taking part this weekend as the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup makes its Nürburgring debut. It isn’t the first Blancpain GT race at the circuit in Germany’s Rhineland, however. The Endurance Cup has raced on the track every year since 2012.

***The Blancpain GT Sprint Cup is actually supporting the Internationaler ADAC Truck-Grand-Prix, and is using the Sprint version of the Grand Prix circuit. This does include the Mercedes Arena but has a right hairpin afterwards, skipping out the Dunlop hairpin, and also makes use of the tighter of the two chicanes in the final sector.

***An impressive crowd turnout of 150,000 is expected this weekend for the various races.

***Only the GT3 cars have pit garages this weekend, but Blancpain GT teams don’t have space for haulers behind, because of the packed paddock.

***Following the Paul Ricard 1000km Endurance Cup round last weekend, two teams have picked up penalties. The Kessel Racing Ferrar F458 Italia GT3 which won in Am Cup has been awarded a 30-second time penalty for a harness infringement, while the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS of Rene Rast, Will Stevens and Antonio Garcia gets a similar punishment for not respecting Rast’s drive-time restrictions. Final positions remain unchanged.

***With Jeroen Bleekemolen competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen this weekend, there has been a reshuffle in the lineup of the No. 16 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3. 2012 GP2 Series champion Davide Valsecchi replaces the Dutchman alongside Stefan Rosina.

***DTM regular and BMW Motorsport factory driver Martin Tomczyk will join BMW Team Italia for the Total 24 Hours of Spa later this month, joining Max Koebolt, Stefano Colombo and Giorgio Roda. ROWE Racing has also confirmed its drivers for its pair of BMW M6 GT3s.

***There’s a new livery for the No. 90 Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 of AF Corse, with a red and white color scheme replacing the usual green and black.

***Marcus Haselgrove, competition director for the Pirelli World Challenge, is present at the Nürburgring this weekend. The two series share a similar Balance of Performance, with SRO and WC Vision increasingly partnering together.

***Registration for entries to next year’s Bathurst 12 Hour is now open, and until December 16. Following the announcement of a full-Pro subclass, the organizers are planning a new Pro category for the race which will be held on February 3-5, 2017.

***It is rumored that Bruno Senna will take part in this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa. It is currently unknown which team he will compete with, but is likely to be in a McLaren 650S GT3. The ex-Formula 1 driver currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship with LMP2 outfit RGR Sport.

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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