55-car field for Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe opener @ Circuit Paul Ricard

55-car field for Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe opener @ Circuit Paul Ricard

Capacity grid for eagerly anticipated season launch in the south of France
Nine brands represented, each with at least one Pro entry 

 

Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS will launch its 2024 campaign next weekend (5–7 April) with a three-hour Endurance Cup race at Circuit Paul Ricard.

 

The French venue shifts from its traditional summer date to become the new season opener, hosting a capacity 55-car grid that features GT3 machinery from nine manufacturers. Each will be represented by at least one Pro car, while plenty more competition can be expected in the Gold Cup, Silver Cup and Bronze Cup classes. 

 

Pro field stronger than ever with nine brands and a wealth of driver talent
The entry list for the season opener is led by 20 Pro cars, the majority featuring factory drivers from the nine competing brands. Momentum lies with Mercedes-AMG, which could earn its third successive Endurance Cup crown this term after sweeping the overall teams' and drivers' titles in 2022 and 2023. The German marque can count on strong line-ups at HRT, Boutsen VDS, Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-Filter and Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed, the latter including reigning drivers' champion Jules Gounon.

 

BMW can also call upon four Pro cars. ROWE Racing will field a pair of entries, with its flagship #98 anchored by three-time CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa winner Philipp Eng. Newly signed BMW factory driver Raffaele Marciello joins Team WRT to share the #46 machine with Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin, while the sister #32 should also be a leading contender. 

 

Ferrari is represented by a pair of cars from AF Corse - Francorchamps Motors. The #51 boasts an impressive all-Italian crew led by returning two-time Endurance Cup champion Alessandro Pier Guidi. Fellow Italian marque Lamborghini also has a two-car programme split between Iron Lynx and Grasser Racing, both of which can call on the marque’s top factory drivers.

 

Porsche will have a trio of Pro cars on the grid at Circuit Paul Ricard. Rutronik Racing embarks on its second Endurance Cup campaign, while Schumacher CLRT and reigning Bronze Cup champion Pure Rxcing both move up to the top tier. Garage 59 will represent McLaren with an all-British line-up, while Audi can rely on Tresor Attempto Racing.

 

There is plenty of stability among the Pro squads, but the grid also has added variety thanks to new machinery from Aston Martin and Ford. The British brand will be represented by two Pro cars as Comtoyou Racing and Walkenhorst Motorsport both debut the Vantage AMR GT3 EVO. In the Ford camp, Proton Competition will unleash the Mustang with an impressive driver line-up led by Fanatec GT Europe veteran Chris Mies, who makes his 50th Endurance Cup appearance next weekend.

 

Action guaranteed with everything to fight for in Gold, Silver and Bronze
In addition to the Pro contingent, a further 35 cars will contest the opener across the Gold Cup, Silver Cup and Bronze Cup classes. The former will include a trio of Audi entries from Saintéloc Racing, CSA Racing and Tresor Attempto Racing. There will also be Mercedes-AMG crews from AlManar Racing by GetSpeed and 2 Seas Motorsport, the latter making its series debut following a title-winning campaign in British GT.  

 

The Silver Cup remains competitive for what will be its seventh season as part of the Fanatec GT Europe Endurance Cup. A nine-car field will tackle the opener, four of which come from Mercedes-AMG. Boutsen VDS is a new addition to the Affalterbach stable, while GetSpeed, Madpanda Motorsport and Winward Racing are all long-time AMG devotees. 

 

Aston Martin also has strong Silver Cup representation with two cars from Comtoyou Racing and another from Walkenhorst Motorsport. Dinamic GT adds a Porsche while Grasser Racing returns to defend its 2023 Endurance Cup title, albeit with an entirely new driver line-up sharing the #19 Lamborghini. 

 

Entering only its second season, the Bronze Cup boasts a remarkably strong grid of 20 cars, led by five entries from Ferrari. Kessel Racing has two while Rinaldi Racing and AF Corse have one each, the latter with an unchanged line-up of Louis Machiels, Andrea Bertolini and Jef Machiels. Sky Tempesta Racing returns to the Ferrari camp after clinching last year's class title with McLaren. 

 

Porsche can rely on four cars spread between Dinamic GT, Herberth Motorsport, Rutronik Racing and newcomer Lionspeed GP. There will be a trio of McLaren crews, two from Garage 59 and a third from Optimum Motorsport, while Barwell Motorsport has a pair of Lamborghini entries at its disposal. 

 

Century Motorsport makes its debut with a BMW crew that includes reigning British GT champion Darren Leung. OQ By Oman Racing will also field an M4 GT3, with further Bronze Cup competition from Aston Martin squads Comtoyou Racing and Walkenhorst Motorsport, as well as a pair of Tresor Attempto Racing Audi entries. 

 

Saintéloc Racing will add a 55th and final entry to the grid, fielding its #26 Audi in a to-be-determined class.

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TIMETABLE (CEST)
FRIDAY 5 APRIL
• Bronze Test – 16:10–17:10

SATURDAY 6 APRIL
• Free Practice – 09:00–11:00
• Pre-Qualifying – 15:05–16:05

SUNDAY 7 APRIL
• Qualifying – 09:45–10:45
• Main Race – 15:00–18:00

SUPPORT SERIES
• Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli (2x 50-minute races)
• GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club (2x 1-hour races)
• Mitjet International (4x 20-minute races)
       
 


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