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GT World Challenge Europe

Sprint Cup Field to Reach Series-Record 40 Cars This Year

Record entry for GTWC Europe Sprint Cup with 40 cars set for events with Bronze Cup…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

The Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup will reach a record 40 entries this year with the car count increasing significantly compared to last season.

Series organizer SRO Motorsports Group on Wednesday revealed the season entry lists for both GTWC Europe championships, with the Endurance Cup attracting a 56-car field.

Last year’s Sprint series grid had 25 cars but that number will be improved upon this season with 14 cars competing in the top Pro category alone.

However, due to space restrictions at Brands Hatch and Zandvoort, the new Bronze Cup class — which replaces Pro-Am — will only run at Misano, Hockenheim and Valencia.

That will reduce the overall car count to 30 entries for the first and last rounds of the campaign.

Several teams are joining Sprint with multiple cars including Haupt Racing Team, Comtoyou Racing, Boutsen VDS, Vincenzo Sospiri Racing and Emil Frey Racing, which is bringing Ferrari back to Pro for the first time since 2016.

In the top category, Comtoyou and Sainteloc Junior Team will each field two Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs, while the Attempto-run Tresor Orange 1 squad has a single Pro Audi.

Former Audi squad and defending champion Team WRT is running three BMW M4 GT3s in Pro as part of a wider overall stable is bringing BMW back to Sprint after four seasons.

Lamborghini is returning to the Pro class of Sprint on a full-time basis courtesy of VSR, which won the International GT Open title in 2021.

There is also the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo from Akkodis ASP and McLaren 720S GT3 Evos for JP Motorsport and Garage 59.

Akkodis ASP will seek to defend its Endurance Cup title and CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa victory with an increased two-car effort in Pro.

There will be 17 cars in the Pro class of the long-distance series, which like Sprint comprises of five rounds.

The champion of the Bronze Cup class in Endurance will receive an automatic invitation to compete in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans when GT3 replaces the GTE category.

Bronze will be contested by 18 cars, with driver lineups requiring one Bronze and one Silver-rated driver.

A total of 29 entries have signed up for the combined GTWC Europe championship which accumulates points from the Endurance and Sprint series in each class.

“I am delighted to present our 2023 entry lists, which are highlighted by an exceptional Fanatec GT Sprint Cup grid,” said SRO founder and CEO Stephane Ratel.

“That we have 40 cars committed to the series for the first time ever is something very special and I must thank all the teams that have placed their trust in us this season.

“The Fanatec GT Endurance Cup field retains the same extremely high standard that we have come to expect and I know that we can look forward to a particularly impressive grid at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.

“Though we are very pleased with what has been achieved over the winter, the hard work does not stop here.

“Now we must remain humble and deliver the season that our competitors, partners and fans deserve. Thank you to all who have helped to make these grids a reality.”

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

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