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Paul Ricard Thursday Morning Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Thursday Blancpain notebook from Paul Ricard…

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

***GT Russian Team and BMW Team Brasil, two non-European teams that gave some international flavor to the Blancpain GT Series, have not returned after the winter break. Unfavorable currency exchange rates played a part in both teams’ cases, as the budget required for those programs increased considerably.

***SRO’s GT Sports Club should have 20 cars on the grid for the season opener at Misano. The series, aimed at amateur drivers, will also welcome a second GTE car, as Selleslagh Racing Team will field a Corvette C6.R GTE. The Belgian squad used to field Corvette GT1s in the FIA GT Series several years ago.

***A new constructor is about to enter the GT3 scene, as Honda/Acura has started the development of a GT3-spec NSX. JAS Motorsport is currently working on the car in their new premises in Italy. A formal announcement of the project could be made at the New York Auto Show later this month.

***Even though no less than 11 manufacturers are represented on this year’s starting grids, there are no Dodge Viper GT3-R, Corvette C7 GT3-R or Cadillac ATS-V.R competing in the series.

***Grasser Racing Team has experienced rapid growth following its deal to run the Lamborghini factory program. Not only will the Austrian team run its own Lamborghini Huracán GT3s in Europe, it will also support customer teams around the world with at least one mechanic and one engineer. This adds up to no less than 70 race weekends, across eight championships. 35 Huracáns have been sold so far.

***While Reiter Engineering is testing at Paul Ricard, there are no concrete plans to run the Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series. Hans Reiter told Sportscar365 there was decent interest from drivers to enter the car in the GT Sports Club, though he himself doesn’t want to (co)fund an competitive car for the Blancpain GT Series.

***Reiter admitted it getting harder for his company to survive in GT3. While the R-EX program a gradually diminishing, the company is shifting its focus on other things. Sales of the in-house developed KTM X-BOW GT4 are going well and there should be eight cars in the Reiter Young Stars cup, which will be part of the European GT4 Series.

***Nick Catsburg has been testing with the ROWE Racing team for the past two days. The Dutchman was already confirmed to race one of the team’s cars in the Nürburgring 24, and will most likely join ROWE Racing for a couple of Blancpain races this season.

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


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