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Nürburgring Weekend Notebook

Sportscar365’s weekend notebook from the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup finale…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

***Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti have been disqualified from the meeting after Engelhart was found to have removed his harness and gloves and destroyed an SD card at the end of yesterday’s race. 

***It comes after the No. 63 Grasser Racing Team pair won the race on track, only to be given a 30-second time penalty for Engelhart wearing his frontal head restraint over the shoulder straps of his harness.

***This penalty promoted Alex Riberas and Christopher Mies to the overall victory, extending their championship lead to nine points over Raffaele Marciello and Michael Meadows ahead of this afternoon’s title-deciding race.

***With 16.5 points available for a win, the WRT drivers can wrap up the Sprint Cup title with a fourth-place finish even if their AKKA ASP rivals win, although Mies will start from 14th with Marciello second on the grid. 

***Marciello holds just a two-point lead over Mies and Riberas in the overall standings, which will be decided at the Endurance Cup finale in Barcelona at the end of the month. The Sprint Cup teams’ championship, meanwhile, has already been secured by WRT.

***Lamborghini took the wraps off its updated GT3 competitor, the Huracan GT3 Evo, at the Nürburgring on Saturday afternoon. The car will make its race debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, almost four years after the original Huracan GT3 first competed.

***Rinat Salikhov was given a behavior warning point and official reprimand after causing an incident with Piti Bhirombhakdi early in the race which brought out the safety car. According to the stewards’ report, the Rinaldi Racing driver admitted that an attempt to overtake was optimistic.

***Luca Stolz and Hubert Haupt lost their Silver Cup Race 1 win after being given a post-race penalty. Stolz was found to have taken both hands of the steering wheel while in the fast lane of the pits. He was given a 30-second time penalty and one behavior warning point.

***The penalty promotes Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s Adrien de Leener and Ricardo Feller to the class win. 

***Denis Dupont has replaced Andrew Watson at 3Y Technology this weekend, alongside Lukas Moraes. The young Belgian usually competes in the World Touring Car Cup with Audi Sport Team Comtoyou.

***Grasser Racing Team withdrew its No. 82 Lamborghini ahead of the weekend with Loris Hezemans instead focusing on the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series this weekend. 

***Wolfgang Land, Montaplast by Land Motorsport’s team principal, lent WRT a hand on Saturday morning while the Belgian team rebuilt Mies and Riberas’ car. It comes after WRT helped Land carry out a gearbox change at the Nürburgring 24.

***The Italian GT Championship will introduce a new GT4 series next year, using SRO technical regulations. A teams’ meeting was held at Vallelunga recently and was attended by Audi Sport Team Italia, BMW Italia Team Padova, Autorlando, Ebimotors, Antonelli Motorsport, Imperiale Racing, Scuderia Baldini 27 and Easy Race.

***Further information regarding the new German GT4 cup, named ADAC GT4 Germany, will be communicated to teams at the Hockenheimring next weekend during the ADAC GT Masters finale.

***StreetArt Racing has purchased two 2019-spec Aston Martin Vantage GT4s for a currently undecided European program next year.

***The Blancpain GT Sprint Cup finale will get underway at 4 p.m. local time this afternoon and will be streamed live on the GT World YouTube channel in most regions.

***Eurosport will show the race live with commentary provided by Mark Cole. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. BST.

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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