Updated: Aug 12
Text: Rick Kiewiet
Images: SRO Media
After the start of the Endurance Cup at Imola two weeks ago and British GT last week at Oulton, a large share of the competitors sets up camp near the Adriatic coast. Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Misano is the venue for three 1-hour races as the GT World Challenge Europe kicks off its Sprint Cup. Driver line-ups are a bit different than in the Endurance cup as teams consist of only two instead of three drivers, so here's everything you need to know.
Endurance Cup winners of the Imola round Audi Team WRT are present with three cars. Kelvin van der Linde, star of that Imola race, now shares the #31 with Ryuichiro Tomita, instead of Mirko Bortolotti and Mattieu Vaxivière. Tomita is a Japanese Super GT300 regular where he drives an R8 for Audi Team Hitotsuyama. The other WRT pro entry is the #32 driven by Belgians Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor.
Audi's other pro-teams Attempto Racing and Sainteloc Racing are also present. For Attempto, Frederick Vervisch and Mattia Drudi, who share the #66 in the Endurance cup, are now spread over two cars. Drudi shares the #55 with Tommaso Mosca while Vervisch is on the #66 with Nicolas Schöll. For Sainteloc, Arthur Rougier and Christopher Haase are now joined in the #25. Steven Palette and Simon Gachet drive the #26 in the Sprint Cup, they're not racing in the endurance cup.
Two Mercedes teams enter an AMG-GT3 in the Pro-cup. For AKKA ASP Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy share the #88. In Imola, where the duo was joined by Felipe Fraga, they were able to climb the podium. Newcomer Haupt Racing Team fields the #4 in which 2019 championship runner-ups Luco Stolz and Maro Engel chase a better result than the disappointing 15th place in Imola.
Emil Frey Racing represents Lamborghini with two cars in the Pro cup. Siedler and Grenier share the #14 just as in the Endurance Cup, and Giacomo Altoe and Albert Costa drive the #163.
CMR fields a pro-Bentley Continental but with quite another line-up than in the Endurance Cup. Jules Gounon comes over from the K-Pax team and is joined by Nelson Panciatici.
The Tech 1 team with their Lexus RC F GT3 and drivers Aurelien Panis and Thomas Neubauer are also competing again in the Silver Cup in Misano. They were able to bring the fight to the Pro cars in Imola.
Race 1 starts Saturday at 17.15 GMT and can be followed live on youtube.