MOTORSPORT NEWS WORLD ENDURANCE RACING

Plenty of Changes to Blancpain GT Entry at Paul Ricard

The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup returns for Round 3 this weekend, with the six-hour Circuit Paul Ricard 1000km serving as a practice run for next month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.There have been plenty of changes to the entry list since Silverstone, making what is now a 57-strong grid.

David Perel Kessel Ferrari
David Perel Kessel Ferrari

Black Falcon has elected to bring a third Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Paul Ricard, with Bernd Schneider, Yelmer Buurman and Abdulaziz al Faisal joining the grid in the No. 00 car.

There is also a new Mercedes for SPS Automotive Performance, to be driven by Valentin Plerburg, Lance-David Arnold and Alex Mueller, while HTP Motorsport has a third Mercedes with No. 86 for Jules Szymkowiak, Thomas Jaeger and a third, to-be-confirmed driver.

AKKA ASP has the final extra Mercedes, as it brings the No. 88 car with drivers Tristan Vautier, Renger van der Zande and Morgan Moullin-Traffort.

Belgian Audi Club WRT continues with its five-car entry in the Endurance Cup, but with some switch-arounds in the lineups.

Jan Magnussen replaces Sergio Jimenez in the No. 3 WRT Audi R8 LMS alongside Filipe Albuquerque and Rodrigo Baptista, and Nico Mueller’s place in the No. 28 car has been taken by Rene Rast, to join Will Stevens and Antonio Garcia.

Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr replace Nicky Catsburg and Jens Klingmann in the No. 98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 along with Stef Dusseldorp, while Dirk Werner is in for Maxime Martin in the No. 99 ROWE BMW teaming up with Phillipp Eng and Alexander Sims.

HTP Motorsport’s Maximilian Buhk and Dominik Baumann lead the Blancpain GT Series standings by 13 points over Rob Bell.

In the Pro-Am Cup, Christian Kelders will replace Gilles Lallemant in Sainteloc Racing’s No. 25 Pro-Am Audi, while Olivier Beretta is in for Giancarlo Fisichella in the No. 53 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia GT3.

Dominik Schwager takes over from Daniel Keilwitz in the No. 66 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari, and there is also a new F458 Italia GT3 from AF Corse for Davide Rizzo, Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin.

CMR with Sport Garage brings another new Ferrari for Theo Filler and two TBC drivers, while Antonelli Motorsport has a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Michela Cerruti and Raffaele Giannoni with a to-be-confirmed third spot.

Michal Broniszewski has a 29-point lead in his No. 11 Kessel Racing Ferrari, and so will leave Paul Ricard as Pro-Am championship leader no matter what.

There are fewer changes in the Am class. CMR with Sport Garage’s Am Ferrari has a new lineup but only Thomas Nicolle has been confirmed so far. Meanwhile, the No. 49 Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari sees Stephane Lemeret join Alex Moiseev.

Rinat Salikhov joins Rinaldi Racing, as the No. 488 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Pierre Ehret and Stef Vancampenhoudt becomes the No. 333 car.