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Brands Hatch Weekend Notebook

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

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

***Christian Engelhart has been moved to the back of the grid for Race 1 after initially qualifying his No. 63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in fifth. All of the German driver’s lap times were deleted as the car was pushed back into the garage between Q1 and Q2. Mirko Bortolotti will start fourth in Race 2.

***Several changes were made to the entry list ahead of this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup event at Brands Hatch, with the grid falling to 20 cars.

***Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is running three Audi R8 LMS GT3s after withdrawing its No. 3 car. Alessio Picariellio and Gilles Magnus drove the the Silver Cup entry at Zolder in what was a one-off deal, although Vincent Vosse did plan to field the car for the remainder of the Sprint Cup season.

***Kessel Racing is down to one car after pulling its No. 11 entry as a result of Michael Broniszewski’s injuries sustained at Monza two weeks ago. Toni Vilander was originally set to sub for Giacomo Piccini as Broniszewski’s co-driver before the entry was withdrawn.

***Callum Macleod has completed the No. 32 Team Parker Racing lineup, joining Ian Loggie in the team’s second Bentley Continental GT3. The pair drive together in the British GT Championship and both ran in the pre-season test at Circuit Paul Ricard in March.

***Loggie and Macleod are competing here purely as practice for Ian Loggie ahead of August’s British GT Championship round at the Kent circuit. The Scot told Sportscar365 he is also considering entering the three-hour race at Silverstone in two weeks, again as preparation for the British GT round.

***Frederic Vervisch is filling in for Robin Frijns in the No. 17 WRT Audi with the Dutchman focusing on his DTM duties at Hockenheimring this weekend.

***The 20-car field has no Am Cup entries while the 13 Pro cars are joined by three in Pro-Am and four in the Silver Cup.

***AKKA ASP’s SMP Racing-backed Mercedes-AMG GT3 is still present despite initially being run as a one-off entry at Zolder. Vladimir Atoev and Alexey Korneev are third in the Silver Cup standings after a strong showing in Belgium.

***A heavy collision for Korneev during FP1 put doubt over the car’s entry for the rest of the weekend but it made it out in qualifying after heavy repairs had been carried out. It will start 19th and 20th for the two races.

***3Y Technology could enter its BMW M6 GT3 at Paul Ricard and the Total 24 Hours of Spa in addition to its Sprint Cup program. Team manager Bas Leinders told Sportscar365 the new outfit is evaluating entering both Endurance races in either the Pro-Am or Silver Cup. 

***The former McLaren GT Sporting Director is confident about his team’s chances in the Sprint Cup this season. “The program came together quite late but we now have good engineering staff, good mechanics and good drivers. The aim is to be on the podium as soon as possible,” he said.

***Dries Vanthoor heads the overall Blancpain GT drivers’ championship following his win in the Endurance round at Monza while Kelvin van der Linde and Steijn Schothorst are on top in the Sprint Cup rankings.

***Markus Winkelhock has received his trophy for winning last year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge. The completely hand-made trophy is designed like a globe. “This is probably the coolest trophy I have ever received. All other trophies look more or less the same, but thanks to its unique design this one is completely different. It’s hand-made and the detail on the globe is wonderful. It’s really nice to finally get my hands on it,” Winkelhock said.

***Race 1 will get underway at 12 p.m. local time with Race 2 at 4:30 p.m. Both will be streamed live on the series’ website and GT World YouTube channel. 

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

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