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2 Seas Targeting Endurance Cup Program With Mercedes-AMG

Two-time Gulf 12H winner plotting two-car GTWC Europe Endurance Cup entry for 2023…

Photo: JEP/SRO

2 Seas Motorsport is targeting a two-car program in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup next year, according to team co-owner Nick Cristofaro.

The Bahrain-owned, United Kingdom-based outfit competed in British GT this year but is looking to expand onto the continental stage with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

2 Seas is a two-time winner of the Gulf 12 Hours and has also entered select International GT Open rounds, however its international forays have been limited since its debut two years ago.

“We’re looking at two Endurance cars and two British cars, and then back into the Middle East stuff again” Cristofaro told Sportscar365.

He went on to explain that the expansion to GTWC Europe likely wouldn’t require 2 Seas to increase its stable of Mercedes-AMGs because its program discussions have been with customers who already own a car.

“Even if they didn’t bring their cars it’s manageable with them both being SRO championships,” said Cristofaro.

“We could use the same cars if we needed to, but the preferred option would be if the people we’re speaking to now would bring their own cars. Logistically, it helps a lot.

“I think in the car in general is very amateur [driver] friendly. It’s not one that you’re trying to run for a customer and they’re afraid of it when they jump in.

“When any Am jumps in, they’re happy with it. From our side, that’s a lot easier. And the support from their side is great.”

It appears that 2 Seas Motorsport will be concentrating its GTWC Europe Endurance Cup efforts in categories outside the headlining Pro division.

Team co-owner Isa Al Khalifa, who is expected to drive one of the Mercedes-AMGs, is FIA Silver-rated.

Asked if a Pro entry could be on the cards, Cristofaro said: “Probably not because Isa is categorized as a Silver, and in some championships it wouldn’t be fair to chuck him in the deep end in a professional category.

“Our other car will be a customer car. I’ve heard loads of stories of how they want to work at the moment. It would probably be around him, maybe Gold Cup… whatever category they come up with.

“But I don’t think it will be a Pro car with Isa in it, because we’ve got to think of our goals with him. GT3 is about getting him ready for Le Mans in GT3.

“We don’t really want to chuck him in at the deep end. The results need to be there with sponsors as well. It’s about making it right for him and the team.

“And then hopefully go to Le Mans and, if we’re quick enough, go for a category win.”

2 Seas Motorsport has yet to race full-time on the European mainland despite formulating ideas for programs in previous years.

It announced a GTWC Europe Sprint Cup lineup for 2020 and a DTM program for the following year, but neither of those proposed McLaren entries materialized.

The team, which recently moved to a new base at Silverstone, then switched to Mercedes-AMG before the 2021 British GT season. That year also saw 2 Seas tackle a pair of GT Open rounds at Monza and Barcelona that resulted in two race wins.

“It was generally the COVID situation,” Cristofaro said regarding 2 Seas’ primary focus on domestic racing.

“The main priority of the team is Isa and we put him down to do European championships.

“Being from Bahrain there were certain restrictions on travel into the U.K. Everything was sound and we were doing it, but we were then limited on travel and that held us back.

“But being a customer team as well, we showed we weren’t just going to sit still. We can still run with people in the U.K. It’s good to have the professional aspect and then the customer base.”

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

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