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Feller, Drudi to Defend Sprint Cup Title With Separate Teams

Sprint Cup champions Ricardo Feller and Mattia Drudi to face off against each other…

Photo: Jules Benichou/SRO

Ricardo Feller and Mattia Drudi will defend their Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup titles in separate teams as the Italian has moved to join the Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin squad.

Feller and Drudi beat the Akkodis ASP Team pairing of Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy to the title in last year’s finale at Zandvoort aboard a Tresor Orange 1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.

But while Feller will remain with Attempto Racing for his title defense, Drudi will instead race a Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo for the five-round series, which kicks off at Brands Hatch next weekend.

Confirmed on Friday as part of a 25-car grid for the season opener at the British circuit, Feller and Drudi will be part of an eleven-car Pro grid comprised of entries from Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren and Porsche.

Feller will be driving alongside Alex Aka aboard the No. 99 Audi, while Christopher Haase and Lorenzo Ferrari are set to pilot the sister No. 88 car.

Drudi, meanwhile, will team up with Nicolas Baert aboard the No. 12 Aston Martin.

BMW and Team WRT will field a two-car Pro effort at Brands Hatch, featuring a guest entry for Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin that also returns at Misano, while its stalwart pairing of Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor will kickstart their hunt for a fourth Sprint Cup title.

Mercedes-AMG is represented by previously confirmed efforts for Winward Racing and Boutsen VDS, while Emil Frey Racing again fields two Ferrari 296 GT3s.

The Pro class grid is rounded out by a single Rutronik Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R for Patrick Assenheimer and Julien Andlauer as well as a Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 Evo for Tom Gamble and Benjamin Goethe.

Notably, Proton Competition, which was shown with a single Pro-entered Ford Mustang GT3 on the full-season entry list in February, will not compete at Brands Hatch.

Mercedes-AMG squad Haupt Racing Team will not defend its Sprint Cup title. The German marque will instead be represented by Boutsen VDS, Winward Racing and Madpanda Motorsport.

The latter is yet to fully confirm its lineup with only team owner Ezequiel Perez Companc listed aboard the No. 90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, while Winward has recruited Magnus Gustavsen and Reece Barr to drive the No. 57 car

They’ll face competition from the No. 30 Team WRT BMW of Sam de Haan and Calan Williams, as well as a two-car AF Corse effort that features a pair of Ferrari Challenge graduates in Eliseo Donno and Thomas Fleming.

AF Corse will also operate the No. 51 Racing Team Turkey Ferrari for Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood in Gold Cup.

That class has seen a few notable changes compared to the full-season entry list, as the No. 31 Team WRT BMW is no longer listed. The Belgian powerhouse squad had not yet announced a driver lineup for the car previously.

Liqui-Moly Team Engstler, meanwhile, has switched manufacturers from Lamborghini to Audi and will field a single car for Luca Engstler and Max Hofer.

The German squad was originally set to compete with a GRT Grasser Racing Team-entered Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2.

Elsewhere in the class, former IndyCar driver James Jakes is set for his first racing outing in over two years with Comtoyou.

The British racer will drive the No. 21 Aston Martin alongside Matisse Lismont in his first sports car racing start since the 2022 Hankook 24H Dubai, where he drove a Ginetta G56 GT4.

Prior to that, he also took part in two FIA World Endurance Championship races at the wheel of a Manor Oreca 05 shortly after leaving IndyCar.

The Bronze Cup will not compete at Brands Hatch due to space limitations. Instead, the class will make its appearance of the season at the second round at Misano on May 17-19.

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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