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GT World Challenge Europe

Zandvoort Weekend Notebook

News and notes from round two of GTWC Europe Sprint Cup at Zandvoort…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

***JOTA has withdrawn its McLaren 720S GT3 from the Zandvoort weekend due to “COVID protocols”, as described by the British team in a brief statement on social media. This has left a 27-car entry for the second round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season.

***The addition of a third Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo from Attempto Racing – the No. 55 entry for Alex Aka and Dennis Marschall – has balanced the field out to the same number of cars that contested the season-opener at Magny-Cours in early May.

***Aka drove the No. 66 Attempto Audi at round one, while his switch to a different vehicle within the Attempto stable has resulted in the German team recruiting former WRT Silver Cup driver Jusuf Owega to partner Christopher Mies in Pro. Mattia Drudi and Tommaso Mosca remain in the No. 99.

***The reason for JOTA’s absence is not immediately clear, but it’s understood that coronavirus travel measures from the United Kingdom to continental Europe played a part in JOTA’s decision to skip Zandvoort. The Netherlands introduced a new ‘high-risk’ quarantine on Tuesday, albeit with an exemption for top-level sports, while France and Germany also have isolation periods in place. JOTA is set to run its McLaren at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa official test next week.

***The No. 26 Sainteloc Racing Audi will be demoted three positions from its qualifying result due to an infringement in Free Practice. Aurelien Panis was adjudged to have overtaken the No. 20 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo under yellow flags.

***Parts of the Zandvoort paddock were in ankle-deep water on Friday after heavy afternoon rain. Both GTWC Europe sessions went ahead as planned, however the GT4 European Series was forced to postpone a Free Practice session due to the waterlogging.

***The supporting GT4 series, which has a grid of 39 cars, deferred its first practice session to 8:10 a.m. due to the poor weather. The first session was due to last an hour, but has been scaled back to 55 minutes to ensure Sprint Cup qualifying remains in place.

***Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe, TCR Europe and the Formula Regional Championship by Alpine are also in action this weekend.

***The minimum pit stop time for the GTWC Europe Sprint Cup Pro-Am category has been set at 62 seconds.

***Porsche reaffirmed its commitment to the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli on Friday. The German brand is seeking a third consecutive manufacturers’ title in the condensed three-round 2021 season starting next month at Spa.

***Porsche 911 GT3 R project manager Sebastian Golz commented: “Last year, we defended the crown. We are working hard to make it three in a row. Our teams will prepare the Porsche 911 GT3 R during the upcoming official test at Spa. We will head into the 2021 season with a strong car and experienced driver lineups.”

***Only one Porsche is on the grid in Sprint Cup this year, courtesy of Dinamic Motorsport whose lead driver Christian Engelhart finished 13th in both practice sessions.

***Romain Dumas is set to miss next week’s official test for the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa with Dinamic due to his participation in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb next weekend.

***Endurance-info reports that Grasser Racing Team is set to retract its plan to run a Pro-class Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo at Spa. The Austrian team is engaged full-time in Silver Cup, but had intentions to return to the top class. Fellow Lamborghini outfit Vincenzo Sospiri Racing is rumored to be a candidate for the Belgian enduro.

***AF Corse is splitting its commitments between Zandvoort and Monza, where the Italian team is engaged in the first round of the DTM’s new era with GT3 cars. Fortunately, there is little crossover between the DTM and Sprint Cup. The main impact of the date clash is Kelvin van der Linde’s absence from the No. 30 WRT Audi.

***The first race of the weekend – and the third of the season – is due to get underway at 1:30 p.m. CEST (7:30 a.m. EST). Race two is on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. EST). 

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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