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GPX Aligns with ART Grand Prix

ART Grand Prix returns to GT3 racing as technical backer of GPX program…

Photo: Antoine Truchet

GPX Racing has aligned with French team ART Grand Prix for its Porsche GT3 program headlined by Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup.

The Dubai-based squad has adjusted its management structure for the coming season, with prominent open-wheel competitor ART effectively replacing Monlau Competicion as the technical partner for the Dubai-based GP Extreme operation.

The switch is set to involve GPX moving its Porsche 911 GT3 R race program from Monlau’s headquarters near Barcelona to ART Grand Prix’s facility southeast of Paris. 

GPX won the Total 24 Hours of Spa in 2019 and added an outright victory in the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai earlier this year.

The team also finished second in the Asian Le Mans Series held in February and earned an automatic entry into the 24 Hours fo Le Mans, but did not take up the invitation.

Its new partner ART is returning to SRO Motorsports Group’s GTWC Europe series after seven years away.

The team ran McLaren MP4-12Cs in 2013 and 2014 and won the Monza Endurance Cup round in the latter season with Alvaro Parente, Alexandre Premat and Gregoire Demoustier.

More recently in sports cars, ART provided technical support to the SMP Racing LMP1 program in the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship and took a 24 Hours of Le Mans podium in 2019 with Stoffel Vandoorne, Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov.

Sebastien Philippe’s organization currently runs cars in the FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 series. Last year it competed in the DTM with a privateer BMW for Robert Kubica.

“To start with I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Monlau Competicion, which has looked after the technical side of GP Extreme since the 2016 Gulf 12 Hours up to our recent victories in the Asian Le Mans Series,” said team principal Pierre-Brice Mena.

“We’ve shared some wonderful moments together. It should not be forgotten that this team is connected to a school in Barcelona, which trains mechanics and engineers specialized in car and motorbike racing.

“They’ve done an incredible job alongside us. We’ve evolved and grown up together in five years.

“Today, everybody at GPX Racing feels a twinge of sadness, but our paths are going to separate from now on. This decision follows on from our strategy and the opportunities created by the current changes in motorsport and in endurance.

“We’ve got new avenues to explore so we had to resort to the services of a squad more familiar with the highest levels of Motorsport.

“Beginning this new collaboration with ART Grand Prix is a very positive move for GPX Racing. Their immense experience will be very precious for us, in particular if we should decide to take up other endurance programs in the near future.”

Bamber Joins GTWC Europe Lineup

Double Le Mans overall winner Earl Bamber is set for his first full season of GTWC Europe Endurance Cup driving GPX Racing’s sole Pro-class Porsche 911 GT3 R.

The New Zealander will team up with returning Porsche factory drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell for the five-round season which includes the 24 Hours of Spa.

Bamber won Spa last year driving a ROWE Racing Porsche and has made several appearances in the Belgian enduro, but has never completed a full Endurance Cup season.

GPX Racing ran two Porsches last year while Campbell, Jaminet and Patrick Pilet finished second in the drivers’ championship as the outfit’s highest-placed crew.

Bamber is also sharing a Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche with Campbell and Jaminet in the Nürburgring 24, in addition to his full-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD drive with the Team Hardpoint EBM squad that he co-manages.

The Endurance Cup season finale at Barcelona currently falls on the same date as the rescheduled IMSA round at VIR, while NLS round two clashes with the 3 Hours of Monza.

The team’s striking program announcement livery for its No. 22 Porsche will be updated with a new design for the season at a later date.

In addition to its scaled back single-car 2021 entry, the team is set to enter the Coppa Florio 12-hour race at Enna-Pergusa, which it won last year, and the 24 Hours of Sebring.

GPX is also evaluating a maiden appearance in the FIA GT World Cup at Macau.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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