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Zandvoort Weekend Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ pre-race notebook for the Blancpain Sprint Series…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***Maxi Götz confirmed to Sportscar365 that he is close to a deal to defend his Spa 24 title later this month. The German is confident he will make it to the grid and hopes to confirm his participation in the blue riband event of the Blancpain Endurance Series in the course of next week.

***Götz won last year’s Spa 24 in a HTP Motorsport Motorsport Mercedes he shared with Bernd Schneider and Maxi Buhk, he would once again team up with the latter one, while Schneider is already confirmed on the No. 84 Mercedes of Harold Primat and Nico Verdonck.

***While Blancpain Racing and Marc Hayek were the first confirm their entry for the Blancpain Sprint Series, the No. 24 Lamborghini has since only showed up at the season opener in Nogaro. “I think he underestimated the workload he’d be under, he should be back for the last four races of the season,” said Hans Reiter.

***However, Reiter Engineering fielded a car for Stefan Rosina since the second round, but the team owner confirmed that it was only for a three-race program, ending after the Slovakiaring round in August.

***One of the two new additions to the field is the Herberth Motorsport Porsche of Jaap Van Lagen and Robert Renauer. While their presence is only confirmed for this weekend’s round, the team is not ruling out a return, but hopes changes will be made to the BoP to make Porsche more competitive. Fellow ADAC GT Masters team Farnbacher Racing represented Porsche at Brands Hatch but packed up early after a crash in practice.

***Despite being announced as a two car entry, Fortec Motorsport is once again only fielding one Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 for Miguel Toril and Armaan Ebrahim. A heavy crash at Nogaro of the latter meant the No. 62 car wasn’t present at Brands Hatch, but the car has since been repaired and is now in the Zandvoort paddock, though without any drivers to drive them.

***Both Bhaitech McLarens are sporting a new livery this weekend. The Italian cars now each carry a distinct color next to the black and white undertone, with the No. 60 of Fabio Onidi and Giorgio Pantano featuring red highlights and the No. 61 of Sten Pentus and Daniel Lloyd with a green accent.

***The No. 28 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini of Jeroen Bleekemolen on the other hand has an orange rear wing to show its support for the Dutch national soccer team, while WRT added a soccer graphics to its No. 1 Audi with the slogan “Go, Belgium, Go!”.

***Be sure to download the official SRO Spotter Guide, which features all 20 starters. Click here to download.

***Scuderia Villorba Corse driver Filip Salaquarda will race for his father’s team in the Blancpain GT Series next year. The Czech driver will be part of ISR’s first ever race with a GT car in the Spa 24, and affirmed the team will most likely participate in the season ending Nürburgring 1000 BES race.

***The Blancpain Sprint Series is part of the Zandvoort Masters weekend, which is organized by Circuit Park Zandvoort. The Formula 3 race, which in theory should be the main act, features only 11 entries, while the other series also barely make it into the double digits and some even count only six or seven cars.

***Jeroen Bleekemolen’s fastest lap during qualifying was 1.3 seconds faster than last year’s pole from Alvaro Parente in a Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren. “Unbelievable, if you look at the past we’ve never been this quick with GT3 cars,” he said. “I think that 10 years ago we did these times in a DTM car, so it shows how GT3 is developing and they’re just so nice to drive, especially around this track.”

***The No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes of Sergei Afanasiev and Stef Dusseldorp will not return to action this weekend. The car had an off in the downpour during the final minutes of the Qualifying Race, and sustained chassis damage. HTP Motorsport will replace the chassis by a new one for the Spa 24.

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


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