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Baku Friday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Friday notebook from Baku…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***The 30-car strong grid participated in a parade on the streets of Baku on Friday afternoon. The drive through the town centre ended at the landmark Heydar Aliyev Center, where the cars were showcased to the public and a press conference was held (Gallery). On track action starts tomorrow with FP1 at 9 a.m. local time, followed by another second 60-minute practice session and Qualifying at the end of the day.

***The No. 27 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Gallardo of Stefan Landmann and Tomas Pivoda overheated during the parade, as cars remained stationary for several minutes while exiting the circuit.

***The curtain-raiser for next year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa will be a European Carrera Cup. Teams competing in various national Porsche Carrera Cup championships will be able to race in the event, which will be a non-championship round.

***Next to continuing its engagement in the Blancpain Endurance Series, Boutsen Ginion Racing is aiming to expand its efforts into Sprint Series next season with one or two McLaren MP4-12C GT3. In BES the Belgian team will field a BMW Z4 GT3 for Karim Ojjeh, while it is considering a new brand for its second entry.

***It is still not clear whether or not the 2015 BSS calendar will be announced this weekend. SRO Motorsports Group is still finalizing the details on some rounds, though it is possible a provisional calendar will be made public in the coming days.

***BMW Team Brasil will most likely return to the Blancpain Sprint Series in 2015, racing in Europe and an SRO organized series for a third year in a row. The Antonio Hermann-led squad came close to scoring its first win in the series this year and is determined to make the next step next year. As was the case last year, BMW Team Brasil is looking to add the Endurance Series to its 2015 program.

***While a Brazilian BSS round won’t happen in 2015, the plan is not completely off the table for 2016. The main hurdle is finding a promotor and the money for the logistical costs.

***The German ADAC GT Masters will switch from Yokohama to Pirelli rubber for the 2015 season, making it easier for teams combining a program in both the Blancpain and national German series. Six ADAC GT Masters teams are participating in the Baku World Challenge this weekend.

***After winning the ADAC GT Masters in his debut season, 18-year-old talent Kelvin van der Linde is aiming to land a factory Audi GT contract. The South African is competing behind the wheel of a Prosperia C. Abt Racing Audi together with Christopher Mies this weekend.





Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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