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30 Drivers in Contention for Endurance Cup Crown

Ultra-competitive Barcelona finale in store with 30 drivers in contention for Endurance title…

Photo: Olivier Beroud/SRO

Almost thirty drivers could walk away from this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series finale in Barcelona as Endurance Cup champion following an exceptionally competitive season.

Raffaele Marciello leads the Endurance Cup standings with 48 points but almost 30 other drivers could usurp him at the head of the table after Sunday’s three-hour race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

No driver has scored more than one podium finish this season between the four Endurance races at Monza, Silverstone, Paul Ricard and Spa. 

Marciello leads the overall championship, combining both Endurance and Sprint Cup events, and won the Sprint Cup title earlier this month at the Nürburgring.

He has a healthy 18.5-point lead at the top of the overall standings, and could leave Barcelona as the only driver ever to claim all three titles in the top class of the Blancpain GT Series.

His main opposition in the overall championship comes from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s Alex Riberas and Christopher Mies, who were also his rivals in the Sprint Cup title hunt.

This means Riberas, Mies and Endurance co-driver Dries Vanthoor must finish second to have any chance of the title, although Marciello could wrap it up with just eight points.

He will be joined by defending Barcelona winners Tristan Vautier and Daniel Juncadella in the No. 88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3. 

WRT and AKKA ASP are separated by just one point in the overall teams’ standings while Emil Frey Racing has a four-point lead over AKKA ASP in the Endurance Cup teams’ championship.

Few major changes have been made to the 52-car entry list, apart from Jann Mardenborough and Colin Noble joining GT Sport Motul Team RJN.

Stephane Ortelli makes his return to the Emil Frey Lexus RC F GT3 after a heavy shunt at the Total 24 Hours of Spa ruled him out of the most recent two Sprint Cup rounds.

Track action gets underway with the Bronze Test on Friday afternoon while the three-hour race will kick off at 3 p.m. local time on Sunday.

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

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