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Nogaro Pre-Race Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ pre-race BSS notebook from Nogaro…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***Frank Stippler posted the fastest time in this morning’s 20-minute warm-up session. The No. 4 WRT Audi was half a second quicker than the No. 83 HTP Bentley of Jules Szymkowiak, followed by the No. 2 WRT Audi and No. 84 HTP Bentley. Times can be found here.

***All cars that were involved in the pile-up at the start of yesterday’s Qualifying Race got repaired in time to take part in the warm-up. The MRS GT Racing Nissan GT-R of Craig Dolby and Sean Walkinshaw was badly hit and parts had to be flown in overnight. Despite the long hours of the mechanics, the No. 73 Nissan wasn’t able to complete its out lap this morning and was parked on the back straight.

***After assessing the chassis damage on the No. 1 Audi, Belgian Audi Club Team considered bringing a spare chassis to the track. However, the move was blocked by two other teams, who didn’t want to grant an exception to the rules. Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns will thus leave Nogaro with zero points to their names.

***Fortec Motorsports has put an end to its GT program. The British team was hoping to start a third season with the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, but decided to call it a day as it couldn’t find the required funded drivers.

***Marco Seefried will not be replaced on the No. 333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari in Monza next weekend. Norbert Siedler and Rinat Salikhov will be sharing the driving duties on the green Ferrari, resulting in a switch from the Pro to Pro Am Cup for Monza. Seefried will instead compete in the FIA WEC at Silverstone. The team already has its second chassis present in the Nogaro paddock, ready for the trip to Italy.

***Despite working on putting together a program in Blancpain Sprint, Miguel Toril will not return to the series this year. Instead, the Spaniard will switch to the Endurance Series, again with a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.

***The BMW Z4 GT3 got an extra 15kg added to its weight compared to last year. Despite the ballast both Team Brasil cars are very much on the pace this weekend, giving WRT a run for its money on what is traditionally an Audi track.

***The European continent will enjoy live coverage of all seven Blancpain Sprint Series Main Races on Eurosport this year, starting with today’s Main Race, presented by Mark Cole and Martin Haven. U.S viewers will be able to tune in to CBS Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. ET for same-day coverage. Live streaming can be found here, but will be geo-blocked in the U.S.

***Learn everything you need about the teams and drivers in the 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series in this 7-minute video.

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

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