44-car grid for Monza opener
Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS will start on 16/18 April at Monza with a 44-car gridfeaturing nine brands .
The hotly anticipated event represents a welcome return to the calendar for the Italian 3-hour race following a one-year hiatus. This will be especially significant weekend, as it marks 10 years since the Endurance Cup staged its maiden race at Monza in 2011.
Ferrari captured last year’s Endurance Cup titles thanks to victory in a dramatic decider at Circuit Paul Ricard. Series newcomer Iron Lynx will carry the Italian marque’s hopes of overall honours in 2021, with Alessandro Pier Guididefending his drivers’ crown alongside Nicklas Nielsen and Côme Ledogar. A sister car will be fielded for Davide Rigon, who is joined by rapid youngsters Antonio Fuoco and Callum Ilott.
Audi will be the best represented top-tier brand at Monza, where its contingent will feature two strong crews fromSaintéloc Racing. French duo Alexandre Cougnaud and Adrien Tambay will be alongside Christopher Haase while the experienced pairing of Frédéric Vervisch and Markus Winkelhock are joined by youngster Finlay Hutchison. Team WRT will entrust its machine to Dries Vanthoor, Kelvin van der Linde and Charles Weerts, while the vastly experienced Chris Mies switches camp to join Mattia Drudi and Kim Luis Schramm at Attempto Racing.
BMW has returned to the fight for overall honours and will hope to give its long-serving M6 GT3 a fitting farewell ahead of the M4 model arriving next year. A two-car Walkenhorst Motorsport effort will see Marco Wittman, Sheldon van der Linde and David Pittard in the #34 machine, while Timo Glock, Martin Tomczyk and Thomas Neubauer share the #35.
A pair of impressive Mercedes-AMG crews will compete for overall glory this season. In the AKKA ASP entry established team leader Raffaele Marciello is joined by returnees Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella to form a formidable trio. HRT has named an unchanged line-up, with Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Vincent Abril also sure to feature at the front.
Orange1 FFF Racing will look to recapture the Endurance Cup title with the Lamborghini and the full Italian trioMirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli. Swiss outfit Emil Frey Racing will field established stars Giacomo Altoè, Albert Costa and Norbert Siedler, while another car will be shared by young talents Jack Aitken, Konsta Lappalainen and Arthur Rougier.
Porsche has earned a clutch of silverware during recent seasons, including a pair of overall wins at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, but is still searching for its maiden Endurance Cup title. GPX Racing will field an ace crew of Earl Bamber, Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet, while Dinamic Motorsport has two 911 GT3-R entries. One for Christian Engelhart, Klaus Bachler and Matteo Cairoli, while Romain Dumas, Andrea Rizzoli and Mikkel Pedersen will drive the other car.
McLaren will also be firmly in the hunt thanks to series newcomer JOTA, which will mount a single-car assault for factory drivers Rob Bell, Ben Barnicoat and Oliver Wilkinson. They complete a Pro contingent that ranks among the strongest ever seen in the series and promises to put on a spectacular show at Monza.
The battle for overall victory is by no means the only source of interest. The Silver Cup will feature 13 cars, six of which represent Mercedes-AMG. They include last year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa class winner HRT, which is joined by fellow German squads Toksport WRT and SPS automotive performance.
AKKA ASP has been a regular contender for Silver Cup glory and should be a force once again this term. Ezequiel Perez Companc’s Madpanda Motorsport took the combined series title in 2021 and will have high hopes of adding an Endurance crown this year, while American outfit Winward Racing is preparing for its maiden campaign.
Last year’s runner-up Garage 59 is sure to be a strong Silver Cup contender and has added reigning class champion Alex MacDowall to its Aston Martin. Ferrari squad Rinaldi Racing has proven winner Patrick Kujala alongside Chilean Benjamin Hítes, who makes the switch to the 488 GT3 for his second season in the series.
There will be a trio of Audi entries, two from Team WRT and another from Attempto Racing. GRT Grasser Racing Team returns with a Lamborghini that includes Squadra Corsa juniors Kikko Galbiati and Tim Zimmermann, while Emil Frey Racing completes the Silver Cup grid with another Huracán for an all-Swiss crew.
The Pro-Am class has also maintained an excellent level, with 14 cars set to tackle the season opener. Garage 59 will defend its 2020 title with an unchanged crew of Alexander West, Chris Goodwin and Jonny Adam, making the Aston Martin squad pre-season favourite to retain its crown.
The competition is led by a quartet of Ferrari entries. AF Corse will field past series champions Duncan Cameron andMatt Griffin in the #53, while two-time title-winner Louis Machiels pilots the #52. Sky Tempesta Racing narrowly missed out on the Endurance crown last term and will start 2021 among the favourites, while Kessel Racing makes a welcome return to the series in 2021.
Known for its excellence at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, Barwell Motorsport will look to capture a maiden Pro-Am title with its #78 Lamborghini, while Orange1 FFF Racing has also put its faith in the Italian machine. French outfit CMRswitches to the Pro-Am ranks this season with its Bentley Continental GT3, while Boutsen Ginion Racing will continue with its BMW M6 GT3.
Mercedes-AMG is represented by RAM Racing, GetSpeed and SPS automotive performance, while inception racing will field a McLaren for series newcomers Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy. The grid is completed by Allied-Racing, which will campaign a Porsche 911 GT3-R this term. The German squad clinched last season’s GT4 European Series title in the Pro-Am class and will now look to earn more success in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS.
FANATEC GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE POWERED BY AWS
Monza, 16/18 April 2021. ENTRY LIST
4 Vincent Abril-Maro Engel-Luca Stolz (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / HRT)
22 Earl Bamber-Matt Campbell-Mathieu Jaminet (Porsche 911 GT3 R / GPX Racing)
25 Alexandre Cougnaud-Christopher Haase-Adrien Tambay (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Sainteloc Racing)
26 Finlay Hutchinson-Frederic Vervisch-Markus Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Sainteloc Racing)
32 Kelvin van der Linde-Dries Vanthoor-Charles Weerts (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Team WRT)
34 David Pittard-Sheldon van der Linde-Marco Wittmann (BMW M6 GT3 / Walkenhorst Motorsport)
35 Timo Glock-Thomas Neubauer-Martin Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3 / Walkenhorst Motorsport)
38 Ben Barnicoat-Rob Bell-Oliver Wilkinson (McLaren 720 S GT3 / Jota Motorsport)
51 Come Ledogar-Nicklas Nielsen-Alessandro Pier Guidi (Ferrari 488 GT3 / Iron Lynx)
54 Klaus Bachler-Matteo Cairoli-Christian Engelhart (Porsche 911 GT3 R / Dinamic Motorsport)
56 Romain Dumas-Mikkel Overgaard Pedersen-Andrea Rizzoli (Porsche 911 GT3 R / Dinamic Motorsport)
63 Mirko Bortolotti-Andrea Caldarelli-Marco Mapelli (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Orange1 FFF Racing Team)
66 Mattia Drudi-Christopher Mies-Kim Luis Schramm (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Attempto Racing)
71 Antonio Fuoco-Callum Ilot-Davide Rigon (Ferrari 488 GT3 / Iron Lynx)
88 Jules Gounon-Daniel Juncadella-Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes AMG-GT3 / AKKA ASP)
114 Jack Aitken-Konsta Lappalainen-Arthur Rougier (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Emil Frey Racing)
163 Giacomo Altoè-Albert Costa-Norbert Siedler (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Emil Frey Racing)
2 Nico Bastian-Olivier Grotz-Florian Scholze (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / GetSpeed Performance)
10 Jens Klingmann-Jens Liebhauser-Karim Ojjeh (BMW M6 GT3 / Boutsen Ginion)
11 Tom Kohmann-Giorgio Roda-Francesco Zollo (Ferrari 488 GT3 / Kessel Racing)
19 Hiroshi Hamaguchi-Phil Keen (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Orange1 FFF Racing Team)
20 Dominik Baumann-Valentin Pierburg (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / SPS automotive performance)
52 Andrea Bertolini-Lorenzo Bontempelli-Louis Machiels (Ferrari 488 GT3 / AF Corse)
53 Duncan Cameron-Matt Griffin (Ferrari 488 GT3 / AF Corse)
69 Robert Collard-Sam De Haan-Callum MacLeod (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Ram Racing)
70 Brendan Iribe-Oliver Millroy (McLaren 720 S GT3 / Inception Racing)
77 Adrian Amstutz-Henrique Chaves-Miguel Ramos (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Barwell Motorsport)
93 Eddie Cheever III-Chris Froggatt-Jonathan Hui (Ferrari 488 GT3 / Sky-Tempesta Racing)
107 Nelson Panciatici-Gilles Vannelet-Stuart White (Bentley Continental GT3 / CMR)
188 Jonny Adam-Chris Goodwin-Alex West (Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 / Garage 59)
222 Julien Apotheloz-Jan Kasperlik-Nicolas Schöll (Porsche 911 GT3 R / Allied-Racing)
5 Patrick Assenheimer-Hubert Haupt-Ricardo Sanchez (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / HRT)
7 Marvin Dienst-Paul Petit-Oscar Tunjo (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / TokSport)
14 Alex Fontana-Ricardo Feller-Rolf Ineichen (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Emil Frey Racing)
16 Kikko Galbiati-Clemens Schmid-Tim Zimmermann (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / GRT Grasser Racing Team)
30 Benjamin Goethe-Stuart Hall-James Pull (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Team WRT)
31 Franck Bird-Ryuichiro Tomita (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Team WRT)
33 Benjamin Hites-Patrick Kujala (Ferrari 488 GT3 / Rinaldi Racing)
40 Miklas Born-Jordan Love-Yannick Mettler (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / SPS automotive performance)
57 Ricky Collard-Philip Ellis-Russell Ward (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Winward Racing)
87 Thomas Drouet-Simon Gachet-Konstantin Tereschenko (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / AKKA ASP)
90 Rik Breukers-Ezequiel Perez Companc (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Madpanda Motorsport)
99 Alex Aka-Dennis Marschall-Tommaso Mosca (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Attempto Racing)
159 Valentine Hasse Clot-Nicolai Kjaergaard-Alex MacDowall (Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 / Garage 59)