Connect with us

GT World Challenge Europe

Paul Ricard Wednesday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Wednesday Blancpain notebook from Paul Ricard…

Photo: VSA/SRO

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***HTP hasn’t confirmed its driver lineups yet, but Maxi Buhk has been spotted in the team’s garage and is set to be among the drivers in the team’s squad. As HTP switched back from Bentley to Mercedes during the off-season, the defending Blancpain Sprint Cup Champion will do the same.

***As a result of Buhk’s departure, Bentley is currently evaluating several drivers to take his place a board one of the factory entered Continental GT3s. One of the drivers to try out the car will be reigning Blancpain Endurance Cup champion Wolfgang Reip, who was dropped by Nissan.

***Though Bentley hasn’t confirmed its lineups for the Blancpain GT Series. it is expected that Vincent Abril will defend his title in the five-round Sprint Cup.

***Several teams already started their testing program at Misano and Monza last week, including WRT, Grasser Racing Team, Attempto Racing, ISR, AKKA ASP and Saintéloc.

***WRT and Grasser Racing team even managed to simulate several start procedures on the track, practicing with up to ten cars at once.

***Former Manor Formula One driver Will Stevens, who was confirmed in a sixth Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS today, is testing with the team this week. It marks the Englishman’s second time in an Audi after testing with the team last week at Misano.

***Click Here to check out an updated version of entry list for the test (including drivers).

***Attempto Racing is turning the first laps with its new Porsche 991 GT3 R at Paul Ricard. The team received the car just now and will give Nicolas Armindo and Jürgen Häring the chance to drive it. Both drivers are also expected to race it in the Blancpain Endurance Cup, alongside the team’s two Lamborghini Huracáns.

***Usually the official Blancpain GT Series test days are preceded by SRO’s Balance of Performance tests, though these already took place two weeks ago at the French track, in order to provide 2016 BoP for series such as Pirelli World Challenge, which has already started its season.

***Maxime Martin is at Paul Ricard to help Boutsen Ginion establish a base setup for the new BMW M6 GT3. The Belgian team ran the car for the first time at Zolder last week. Karim Ojjeh, Olivier Grotz and Julien Darras are set to drive M6 GT3 in the Pro-Am Cup.

***While Team AKKA ASP has brought a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 alongside its new Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Paul Ricard for the test, it is not expected to see the French team enter the car into competition this season.

***Following the loss of his drive at Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Stéphane Ortelli will take the wheel of the Emil Frey Racing in-house developed Jaguar G3 on Wednesday and Thursday.

***Oddly enough, there are no Ferrari 488 GT3s in the Paul Ricard paddock. The teams that will run the new car in the Blancpain GT Series are running their old 458 Italia GT3s during the two-day test. The car’s global competition debut will take place in two weeks, as it will compete in both the Australian GT Championship round at Melbourne and the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

***The sole Aston Martin present at the test is the V12 Vantage GT3 of Oman Racing Team. Factory driver Jonny Adam and Ahmad Al Harthy and Devon Moddel will crew the car, which is expected to compete in the Pro Cup.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

1 Comment

More in GT World Challenge Europe