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Paul Ricard Tuesday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Tuesday Notebook from Paul Ricard

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Pirelli has developed a new tire for this season, which should be more efficient and last longer. However, there has been a number of punctures over the two-day test, with the Lamborghini Huracan GT3s having been more prone than others.

***Paul Ricard is known to cause punctures, however, the issue also occurred on other tracks (Monza, Misano). A Pirelli spokesperson said it was mainly a teething issues. The new compound also had a considerable effect on the setup of most cars.

***SMP Racing has confirmed its Endurance Cup lineup. Viktor Shaytar and Davide Rigon were already announced via the official entry list, and now Miguel Molina has been added as the third name following the first test miles. The No. 54 Ferrari 488 GT3 will be run by AF Corse.

***Kaspersky Motorsport will add at least two more races alongside its Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup program. While the team has opted for a full Pro lineup in the SRO-run series, Alex Moiseev, the managing director for Kaspersky Lab Europe. will compete with Giancarlo Fisichella in the International GT Open rounds at Paul Ricard and Spa.

***Roock Racing has big ambitions for its return to top level GT racing. The German team has entered two Porsche 911 GT3 R in Endurance Cup Pro-Am class. It has set itself the goal competing in GTE one day and is using the GT3 to get up to speed. Furthermore, the team may enter a car in the Pro Cup for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

***Both Emil Frey Jaguars will be completely identical this year. The team introduced a second updated car at Spa last year, which featured several new developments. The Jaguar is still running under a national homologation.

***The team is currently building a brand new development center in Switzerland, 500 meters from its current workshop. This will help the team with the further development of the current car, a possible future Jaguar F-Type, and the fine-tuning of the latest evolution of the Lexus RC F GT3. The Swiss team is planning to move in by August.

***Grasser Racing Team and Herberth Motorsport will head straight to Mugello following the Paul Ricard test. Both teams will compete in the Creventic-organized 12 Hours of Mugello. GRT in particular is running a very busy week ahead, as the Austrian squad has a car entered in this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. 

***Paul Ricard was also the venue of the official Balance of Performance tests. All current GT3 and GT4 model were put through their paces in the South of France two weeks ago.

***IMSA Performance has not entered its Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this year, contrary to what was expected at the beginning of the year. The French team won the Pro-Am Cup in the Total 24 Hours of Spa last year and will instead focus on the national VdeV Endurance Series with Raymond Narac and Thierry Cornac.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this notebook

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

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