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GT World Challenge Europe

CMR Poised for GT3 Return; Barcelona Debut Possible

French GT4 standout CMR set for GT3 program in 2020 after possible debut next month…

Photo: SRO

CMR is set to return to GT3 racing with a sizable two-car effort in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe next year, although its debut race could come as soon as next month.

The French outfit, which currently runs Alpine A110 GT4s and Ginetta G55 GT4s in French and European GT4 competition, is plotting to build upon its success in the lower class to make a full-time GT3 return.

It would likely involve a two-car program in GT World Challenge Europe next year, running cars in both the Sprint and Endurance rounds, according to team owner Charly Bourachot.

“Ideally, we’ll start on an Endurance and Sprint program with two cars because it’s a working pattern,” Bourachot told Endurance-Info.

“The goal is to have a car that fights for the win and another one in Pro-Am or Am. The teams that shine in Endurance [also compete in] Sprint. The Sprint [races] require you to be good.”

Bourachot wouldn’t comment on which manufacturer the team will go with, although multiple sources have indicated that the Honda NSX GT3 Evo is the most likely package.

A Honda spokesperson recently confirmed to Sportscar365 that the manufacturer has been in discussions with CMR, although nothing is understood to have been finalized yet.

Honda’s only full-time Blancpain GT Europe representation this year has been a single Silver Cup entry from Jenson Team Rocket RJN, only running in the Endurance rounds.

Ahead of its likely full-season program, CMR is also set to enter the series finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sept. 27-29 in preparation for 2020.

It would most likely bring a single Pro car to the Spanish event, although Bourachot stressed that the team’s current priority remains the FFSA GT4 France championship battle.

“We remain focused on the main goal of winning the FFSA GT title with Alpine,” he said. “All means are implemented for this with a parallel GT3 program that could begin in Barcelona.

“People want [this] and are behind me. We are able to repeat good results like in GT4. The GT4 category legitimizes our action in GT3.

“Now, people know who we are. I want to sell to a manufacturer a repeat of what we did with Alpine.”

CMR has already had considerable success as the primary team running the Alpine GT4 package, mainly competing in GT4 European Series and FFSA GT4 France.

It also took an Alpine to victory in the GT4 International Cup late last year, the SRO’s end of season GT4 race held in support of the FIA GT Nations Cup in Bahrain.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

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

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