News of the night...
- Before the 24 Hours of Nürburgring which will take place at the end of the month on the Nordschleife, the competitors will be able to take the temperature of the Eifel with a qualifying meeting at the end of the week where nearly 100 cars will be on track. The entry list is here - Nick Foster returns to competition in GT World Challenge Asia. The 2018 runner-up will drive with Prince Jefri Ibrahim for the entire season in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Triple Eight Race Engineering. The initial programme was only an appearance at Sepang, but in the end a full programme awaits the pair. The Australian team will run a pair of Mercedes as Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim, Jefri's brother, was already confirmed to drive with Jazeman Jaafar.
- TF Sport will be present on two races this week with the WEC in Spa and the Nürburgring 24 Hours qualifying on the Nordschleife.
- Jean-Marc Finot, the boss of Stellantis Motorsport, will drive an Opel Astra OPC on the Nordschleife this weekend. François Wales, Director of Peugeot Sport, and Jean-Philippe Imparato, the boss of Alfa Romeo, will also be on track in an Opel Astra.
- Vortex starts its European season in the best possible way with a second place in the 12 Hours of Spa (GTX) in the Creventic championship with Philippe Bonnel, Sébastien Lajoux and Lionel Amrouche. Then came the first Ultimate Cup Series meeting at Paul Ricard with three cars on track, one in Sprint and two in Endurance. Solenn Amrouche and Alex de Bernardini were on their way to a podium in the Sprint before a problem during the pit stop. In Endurance, the Vortex #703 in the hands of Cyril Calmon, Lionel Amrouche and Sébastien Lajoux, took the lead in the UGT3b category from the start to the finish.
The N°701 Vortex had an eventful start, with Philippe Bonnel being pushed around on the second lap at the Mistral chicane, followed a few corners later by a broken drive shaft. After a repair carried out in 15', the three drivers pushed hard until they reached the 2nd step of the podium of the UGT3b category, taking advantage of the bad luck encountered by the other competitors of the category. Miguel Moiola and Lucas Sugliano put in an excellent performance on the track, setting a lap record in the race.
- Rather than pairing up in the same car, 2021 Bathurst winners Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth will compete against each other this May 13-15 within a strong attack entered by Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia for Bathurst 12H. The Melbourne-based team has confirmed the driving squads for three of their six contenders entered in Australia’s International Enduro, with each car in the team expected to be an outright contender. The #9 car will be driven by experienced GT and Porsche racer Marc Cini, Lee Holdsworth and Dean Fiore. Canberra brothers James and Theo Koundouris will draw on the Bathurst experience of David Russell aboard their #47 Audi R8, the latter having finished on the podium of the 2021 Bathurst 1000 with Erebus Motorsport. Triple Australian Drivers’ Champion Paul Stokell will also drive the Supabarn entry. Finally, the CoinSpot Audi driven by Liam Talbot and Fraser Ross will draw on the experience of Chaz Mostert as their ‘Pro’ driver. The remaining three combinations from the Audi Sport team will be announced later this week.
- HRT lines up with two Mercedes-AMG GT3s at the 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers. Both cars will receive extended works support from Affalterbach and appear in the SP-9 class under the entry “Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein by HRT”. At the wheel of the #12 Mercedes-AMG GT3, sporting the iconic blue and yellow livery of technology partner Bilstein, will be Raffaele Marciello (SUI), Manuel Metzger and Luca Stolz (both GER). In the #6 car, Nico Bastian (GER), Philip Ellis (SUI) and team owner Hubert Haupt (GER) will share the driving duties. HRT and Bilstein have come up with something special for the design of their Mercedes-AMG GT3: The Bilstein camouflage livery, developed specially for the 24h Qualifiers, is a real eye-catcher and set to cause a stir both on and off the track. For the 50th anniversary edition of the 24-hour race, a unique HRT Bilstein Art Car will be unveiled.