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Paul Ricard Pre-Test Notebook, Part 2

Part 2 of Laurent Mercier’s notebook from Blancpain GT Series official test…

Photo: Laurent Mercier

Photo: Laurent Mercier

***The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in Bilstein colors will make an appearance at Paul Ricard test for the purposes of Balance of Performance, however, Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke are not on the entry list. AMR driver Jonny Adam will take the wheel, as well as Paul Wilson and Stuart Leonard .

***Boutsen Ginion Racing is present with its two McLaren MP4-12Cs with previously announced drivers Karim Ojjeh , Martin Van Hove, Olivier Grotz , Shahan Sarkissian and Alex Dermichian. Other names that will test for the Belgian team over the two days are Michael Albert, Phil Quaife and Jody Fannin .

***Olivier Beretta will be seen at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 aligned under the Ferrari Corse Clienti banner. His name also appears on the AF Corse Ferrari No. 49 together with Andrew Danyliw. Duncan Cameron , Matt Griffin, Filipe Barreiros and Peter Mann are the other drivers on the three AF Corse cars.

***Besides the two Mercedes SLS AMG GT3s of Black Falcon, another SLS to hit the track is that of HWA AG, which will be piloted by Jan Seyffarth. HTP Motorsport, however, is not present. At Black Falcon, Lunkin Vladimir, Yuri Loroda, Mikhail Loroda, Abdulaziz Al Faisal , Hubert Haupt and Andreas Simonsen will be sharing the driving duties over the two days.

***Only one Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is present at Le Castellet, with the GT-R of GT Academy Team RJN entrusted to laureates Florian Strauss, Miguel Faisca, Stanislav Aksenov and American Nick McMillen.

***Although Phoenix Racing has not yet arrived at Paul Ricard, two Audi R8 LMS ultras of the team of Ernst Moser are scheduled to be on track. Markus Winkelhock and Nikki Mayr-Melnhof will share the wheel of one of Audi, the other being assigned to Alessandro Latif and Edward Sandström .

***Team Parker Racing is another team that has chosen to compete with Audi, the British team debuts this season in the Blancpain Endurance Series with an Audi R8 LMS ultra. The lineup will consist of Ian Loggie, Chris Jones and Julian Westwood.

***Last year Oman Racing Performance raced with a Porsche 911 GT3-R in British GT, during the off-season the team has opted to switch to the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3. Ahmad Al Harthy returns to the team, with Michael Caine and Stephen Jelley as his teammates.

***BhaiTech was the only team to score a major title with McLaren last year in the International GT Open, the Italian team will now make its debut in the Blancpain GT Series. Giorgio Pantano and Chris van der Drift are the lead drivers on the two cars, with Daniel Lloyd and Estonian Sten Pantus as their teammates.

***After a toe in the water experience during the Blancpain 1000 last year, GT Corse by Rinaldi hopes to do the full season this year with two Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. International GT Open champion Andrea Montermini will drive for the German team, as well as Pierre Ehret , Vadim Kogay, Rinat Salikhov , Alexander Mattschull and Philipp Eng.

Laurent Mercier (@LaurentMercier2) is the Editor-in-Chief of, the leading French-language source for the latest sports car racing news from around the world.


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