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Brands Hatch Sunday Notebook

Jake Kilshaw’s Sunday notebook from Blancpain GT at Brands Hatch…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti will start this afternoon’s Main Race at Brands Hatch from pole, having secured victory in the Qualifying Race earlier today. The No. 63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 will line up alongside the No. 98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 of Jesse Krohn and Markus Palttala.

***The No. 44 Strakka Racing McLaren 650S GT3 which sustained heavy damage during yesterday’s Qualifying session was withdrawn from the event last night. Jonny Kane and Loris Hezemans are yet to finish a Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race this season, having been taken out of the Misano weekend in a first-lap crash during the Qualifying Race.

***This brought the entry list down to 31 for today’s pair of 60-minute races, following the retirement of the Reiter Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX after a similar incident to the McLaren during Free Practice 2. 

***The No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 suffered a ten-place grid penalty for the Qualifying Race for being in breach of Article 159 of the Sporting Regulations, as Jules Szymkowiak took part in both Qualifying 1 and 2 yesterday.

***Reigning Blancpain GT Sprint Cup champion Enzo Ide and co-driver Christopher Mies got a puncture during the Qualifying Race, and then were forced to retire their No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT-run Audi R8 LMS with a suspected driveshaft issue, raising questions over whether the car can make the Main Race. 

***The No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 which collided with the No. 89 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 bringing out the safety car in the Qualifying Race was initially given a stop-go penalty, which was then changed into a 40-second time penalty to be added to the car’s time post-race. Andy Soucek was also given two behaviour warning points. He and Maxime Soulet are now classified 24th in the updated classification. 

***ROWE’s Blancpain GT Endurance Cup driver lineups are yet to be announced, after the German team elected to miss the Monza season-opener while competing in the Nürburgring 24 Qualifying Race. Krohn, the fastest ROWE driver of the weekend so far, told Sportscar365 he still doesn’t know whether or not he will be in one of the two BMW M6 GT3s for the Endurance rounds, the next of which is at Silverstone next weekend.

“I’m actually not sure if I will be doing all of them because there might be some clashes,” Krohn said. “In Sprint, I will most likely do everything, but in Endurance I don’t know yet.”

***Charlie Robertson and Tom Hibbert won both of the day’s GT4 European Series Northern Cup races, leading the way in their No. 100 Ginetta G55 GT4. 

***This afternoon’s Main Race is set to get underway at 4:15 p.m. BST, and can be streamed live on the GT World YouTube channel.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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