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Paul Ricard Pre-Race Notebook

Laurent Mercier’s final notebook prior to Blancpain Endurance Series 1000…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

***A group photo was organized Friday evening for cars in the Blancpain Endurance Series and GT Sports Trophy, totaling 83 cars between the two championships. This weekend is believed to be the single-largest gathering of GT3 cars in the platform’s history.

****The Marc VDS Racing BMW Z4 GT3 of Maxime Martin, Markus Palttala and Lucas Luhr will start from the pit lane after undergoing an engine change prior to qualifying this morning.

***While having qualified third, the No. 84 HTP Team Bentley entry has been forced to start from the rear of the 61-car grid due to a computer being connected to the car after Q1.

***There are two further grid penalties, as the No. 23 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 and No. 5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra have both lost five positions due to separate pit lane infractions.

***The final grid can be found here.

***A final ruling on GRT Grasser Racing Team’s appeal from its exclusion in the season-opening round at Monza has still yet to be made. A hearing is expected to be made by the FIA later this summer.

***John Watson has become a race advisor in the Blancpain Endurance Series. The former F1 driver is also serving as a TV commentator in the championship.

***Be sure to download the official SRO Spotter Guide for the Blancpain Endurance Series 1000. With 63 starters, it’s a must-have for those following today’s 1,000km enduro.

***Watch live coverage of the race on the official Blancpain Endurance Series site beginning at 5 p.m. local (11 a.m. ET). U.S. viewers can watch next-day highlights on CBS Sports Network Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

Laurent Mercier (@LaurentMercier2) is the Editor-in-Chief of, the leading French-language source for the latest sports car racing news from around the world.

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