GT3 Europe and Blancpain Endurance Series Update
With the start of the Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA GT3 European Championship coming closer several teams announced their line-ups this week. Here’s a run-down of the confirmed cars and drivers from the last couple of days.
Former FIA GT2 champions AF Corse will return to FIA GT racing. Amato Ferrari’s team will enter two Ferrari 458’s for Daniel Brown-Glynn Gleddie and Federico Leo-Francesco Castellaci in the 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship.
AF Corse won the GT2 category of the FIA GT Championship between 20066 and 2009, but with the disappearance of the GT2 class in 2010 the Italian squad moved to the Le Mans Series. This season they will return to the SRO managed series.
Meanwhile Graff Racing confirmed its drivers for the new FIA GT3 European Champion season. The French squad, which finished fourth in the Teams Championship and third in the Drivers Championship, will return to the championship with a pair of Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
Mike Parisy and Joakim Labotte will return to the team, but will race in separate cars. Parisy will race one of the cars with Philippe Giague, while Lambotte will race together with Gary Hirsch.
W Racing Team (WRT) confirmed its plans for the Blancpain Endurance Series and FIA GT3 European Championship in a press launch in Belgium earlier this week. WRT will run two Audi R8 LMS in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Bert Longin, Filipe Albuquerque and Stéphane Ortelli will drive one of the cars for the entire season. The line-up for the second Audi R8 LMS could change per weekend, for the opening round at Monza it will consist of Greg Franchi, Andrea Piccini and Marcel Fässler. For the Total 24 Hours of Spa Franchi will be joined by Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider. The team will also run an Audi R8 LMS in the FIA GT3 European Championship for Enzo Ide and Greg Franchi.
Phoenix Racing confirmed it will return to the Total 24 Hours of Spa with a pair of Audi R8 LMS. Nominated to drive the two cars are Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase, Frank Stippler as well as Marcel Fässler, Andrea Piccini and Mike Rockenfeller.
GPR Aston Martin Racing will also run two cars in the new Blancpain Endurance Series. At Monza the Belgian team will enter one Aston Martin DBRS9 in Gulf colours as well as an Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Ludovic Sougnez and Eddy Renard will be racing in the DBRS9 and will be joined by a yet to be announced third driver, while Italian drivers Raffaele Sangiulo and Giuseppe De Pasquale as well as Swiss driver Léonard Vernet will race in the Vantage GT4.
Level Racing also confirmed its plans for the Blancpain Endurance Series. The team will run a Porsche for Philippe “Brody” Broodcoren and Cyril Calmon. For the Total 24 Hours of Spa the team has already signed Christoff Corten, who hopes to do more than just the 24 Hours of Spa.