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GT World Challenge Europe

Nürburgring Saturday Notebook

News and notes from the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup paddock at the Nürburgring…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

***ROWE Racing is set to contest the 6 Hours of the Nürburgring with a single Porsche 911 GT3 R after its No. 99 car crashed and heavily at the end of qualifying with Dirk Werner driving. Werner emerged from the accident unscathed and was taken to the medical center as a precaution.

***GPX Racing’s pole marked the first for the team in Endurance Cup, as well as Porsche’s third. The last time a brand locked out the front row of the grid was at the 2016 Paul Ricard 1000km when two Ferrari 488 GT3s started from first and second. 

***WRT’s Silver Cup Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo that crashed into the Turn 1 tire barriers during Free Practice was repaired in less than three hours to be ready for Pre-Qualifying. The driver involved, Stuart Hall, was taken to a local hospital for back and neck observations but returned to drive in the second official session of the weekend.

***Hall told Sportscar365 that his brake pedal “went to the floor” at the end of the front straight, while the team reckoned it was an issue with the master cylinder. Hall spun the Audi around to avoid a front-end impact that would have likely resulted in chassis damage. “It was just two corners and bodywork,” he said. “We got off really lightly.”

***Several drivers were fined and given single behavior warning points for speeding in the pit lane during Free Practice and Qualifying. The fines ranged from €100 to €400.

***Silverstone is being considered for the TBA slot on next year’s Endurance Cup calendar, according to SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel. However, this plan could change if the various support series need to pull out due to logistical complications under a no-deal Brexit.

“We promote the event and rent the track, and we need to fill the whole package,” Ratel told Sportscar365. “If it ends up with us just having one support race then it becomes very costly.”

***Ratel added that he is targeting a race outside of Europe for the 2021 Sprint Cup finale, which is also TBA on the provisional calendar. “The idea is that it shouldn’t cost the teams more to race abroad than to race in Europe,” he said. “If you give them free transport and so on, they will be happy.”

***Further clarification on the 2021 schedules is expected to come during the 24 Hours of Spa event next month.

***The Pro-class No. 63 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo is set for its second consecutive six-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring in as many weekends, albeit on different configurations. The team borrowed space in a Hankook facility near the circuit to prepare the car for GTWC Europe action, after making its NLS debut on the Nordschleife last Saturday.

***FFF team principal Andrea Caldarelli told Sportscar365 that U.S-based driver Taylor Proto is set to join the team’s Silver Cup crew for Spa, marking his first race of the season. Proto was unable to be at Imola and the Nürburgring because of transatlantic travel difficulties. “He will travel a few weeks before [Spa] just in case,” said Caldarelli.

***Dinamic Motorsport is planning to run its two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in Pro and Silver Cup at the Total 24 Hours of Spa and the Paul Ricard 1000km. The team’s Pro-Am car that did Imola won’t return to GTWC Europe this year but is set to contest the Creventic 12-hour race at Enna with two of the Imola drivers, according to sporting director Alessandro Antonelli.

***Antonelli told Sportscar365 that Dinamic’s participation in the Kyalami 9 Hour, which it entered last year with Laurens Vanthoor, Matt Campbell and Earl Bamber, has yet to be determined. “It’s up to Porsche,” he said. “Last year they informed us in September, but I’m not sure what they are planning to do in the COVID situation.”

***Marco Seefried is set to join Herberth Motorsport at Spa, partnering Juergen Haering and Dimitrios Konstantinou in the team’s No. 991 Porsche. The No. 992 lineup, which is also Pro-Am, has yet to be decided.

***The No. 991 Porsche this weekend is the car that Herberth usually runs in the 24H Series, while its No. 992 is the No. 7 car from ADAC GT Masters. Robert Renauer explained why the team chose to enter the Nürburgring: “In the last couple of years we always only did Spa [in SRO racing] and for the rest of the season did Creventic on Hankook tires,” he told Sportscar365. “It’s important for the team to get used to the Pirelli and the traffic because it’s a completely different type of racing.”

***Renauer added that Herberth is also looking to contest the Endurance Cup finale at Paul Ricard on Nov. 15, which would mean skipping the Creventic 12H Zandvoort race.

***Two drivers from Lamborghini Super Trofeo are staying on at the Nürburgring to compete in GTWC Europe after contesting their two single-make races today. Dorian Boccolacci, who took a Super Trofeo podium for Oregon Team, is driving the No. 25 Sainteloc Racing Audi while Jonathan Cecotto is behind the wheel of Lamborghinis in both series.

***Round two of GTWC Europe Endurance Cup is set to get underway tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. local time (5:45 a.m. EST). Live streaming can be found on the GT World YouTube channel while live timing can be found here.

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

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