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Allied Porsche, Extra SPS Merc Contribute to 29-Car Misano Grid

Increased GTWC Europe Sprint Cup field for third round of season at Misano…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

New entries from Allied Racing and SPS Automotive Performance have contributed to an increased 29-car grid for this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup round at Misano.

Endurance Cup competitor Allied is making its Sprint debut in Italy with a Porsche 911 GT3 R to be driven by Julien Apotheloz and Klaus Bachler in the Pro category.

Apotheloz, who was a front-runner in ADAC GT4 Germany last year, represents the Allied squad in Pro-Am for GTWC Europe’s long-distance races, while Bachler normally drives for Dinamic Motorsport.

Dinamic was previously the only Porsche entrant in Sprint Cup with its Pro entry for Christian Engelhart and Adrien de Leener.

SPS Automotive Performance has added a Silver Cup Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to the grid for Misano, in addition to its Pro-Am car for Dominik Baumann and Valentin Pierberg who claimed a class win last time out at Zandvoort.

Jordan Love and Lance David Arnold will suit up for SPS for this weekend’s pair of 60-minute races.

JOTA will be at Misano with its McLaren 720S GT3 after skipping Zandvoort, leading to a 29-car field for the third round of the season.

It marks the largest Sprint Cup field since the 2017 campaign, which saw 30-plus entry lists at each meeting.

The Misano grid has fallen just short of 30 cars due to Attempto Racing only registering two Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos, after it expanded to three cars at the previous round.

Silver Cup duo Alex Aka and Dennis Marschall have switched from the No. 55 Audi to the No. 99, which was driven by Mattia Drudi and Tomasso Mosca in the Netherlands.

Drudi and Mosca are not signed up for Misano, while Christopher Mies will share the No. 66 Attempto car with an unconfirmed driving partner.

Arthur Rougier has joined Rinaldi Racing and will share the German team’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 with full-season driver Benjamin Hites.

Rougier, a former Sainteloc Racing full-timer, was drafted into Emil Frey Racing’s Silver Cup Lamborghini crew for the Magny-Cours season-opener at short notice, but did not drive at Zandvoort. The Frenchman has never previously raced a Ferrari in any series.

Hites teamed up with Patrick Kujala at round one and David Perel at round two.

Kelvin van der Linde is back in the No. 30 Team WRT Audi after missing Zandvoort due to his clashing DTM commitments with Abt Sportsline.

Emil Frey’s Ricardo Feller leads the GTWC Europe Sprint Cup overall drivers’ standings after his and Alex Fontana’s Race 1 victory and Race 2 podium at Zandvoort.

Fontana, meanwhile, leads the Silver Cup championship. The No. 14 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo drivers are on different scores in the overall and Silver Cup points because Feller was assigned to a Silver-class car at Magny-Cours.

Fontana is also second in the overall stakes, level on points with WRT’s Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts who have half a point to make up to Feller.

Vanthoor and Weerts won twice at Misano last year, while AKKA-ASP’s Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy also triumphed during what was a three-race event.

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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