The month of March is here which means the season is almost ready to go. As preparations are in full swing, it’s just a few more weeks until the first track action of the year.
➤ VLN has been given the go-ahead by the authorities to start the season as planned with the condition that no spectators are allowed. The outdoors pitlane, however, won’t be back for 2021 as teams return to their garages. Instead, the paddock is only accessible to personnel with proof of a negative COVID-19 test and masks (FFP2 or surgical masks) are mandatory — indoors as well as outdoors.
➤ Hankook FFF Racing Team is entering its first proper go at the Nürburgring with an all-Italian and full works drivers roster. The Italian-Chinese team run by Andrea Caldarelli sees the team-owner himself reunite with his 2017 Blancpain GT Endurance Cup co-champion Mirko Bortolotti. They are joined by experienced Nordschleife pilot Marco Mapelli — who competed the last two seasons with Konrad Motorsport — and rising star Giacomo Altoè. Click HERE for the full story and images of the #63 Hankook FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo.
➤ KCMG is scaling down for its 2021 attempt, bringing a single Porsche 991.2 GT3R to the Nordschleife. The Hong Kong-based squad had contracted its regular drivers Alexandre Imperatori, Edoardo Liberati and Josh Burdon, and adds Nordschleife expert Marco Holzer to the mix. KCMG will contest the NLS pre-season test and first three races, as well as the Nürburgring 24 Hours Qualifying Race before embarking on the 24-hour race itself. Click HERE for the full story.
➤ Another Porsche team that announced its driver line-up is Frikadelli Racing Team. The Barweiler crew returns with a two-car full-Pro assault on the Nürburgring 24 Hours and races leading up to it. With Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy, Fred Makowiecki, Dennis Olsen, Patrick Pilet and Maxime Martin all signed up and with Porsche providing support, Frikadelli Racing comes at the ‘N24’ stronger than ever before. Click HERE for the full story.
➤ Additionally, the Klaus Abbelen and Sabine Schmitz-owned squad will again prepare the #962 Frikadelli Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for customer racer ‘Jules’ and his long-time co-pilot and ADAC GT Masters driver Hendrik von Danwitz. The duo enters their second year with the current-spec Cayman looking to lay claim on the Pro-Am category of the Cayman Trophy by Manthey Racing, having won the class for older-spec Caymans in 2018.
➤ WS Racing — not to be confused with W&S Motorsport — is in for its busiest year yet. Main focus will again be the NLS where it enters a VW Golf VII GTI in the VT2 class and an Audi R8 LMS GT4, while adding two BMW BMW 330i F30s to be raced in the VT2 class. In the NLS, Niklas Kry and Nicolaj Kandborg together with Tobias Wolf, Andrei Sidorenko, Nils Steinberg, Ulrich Schmidt, Mario Handrick and Daniel Hassel are set to race the BMWs, with David Drinkwater and Wayne Moore joining for the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Sean Fuster and Sven Friesecke are scheduled to drive the Golf together with Axel Jahn. Friesecke and Jahn will also be part of the 24-hour line-up. The Girls Only project upgrades from a TCR class VW Golf to an Audi R8 LMS GT4 with Carrie Schreiner and Célia Martin returning. They are joined by two-time IMSA GTD champion Christina Nielsen and former Indycar pilot Pippa Mann.
➤ Nordschleife newcomer Rutronik Racing presented its livery for this year’s campaign. The team is debuting with a mix of drivers from Porsche and Nürburgring grown talent. You can read our interview with driver Tobias Müller HERE.
Images by Rutronik Racing.
➤ Argentinian media is reporting on a possible entry of Toyota Gazoo Racing Argentina in the Nürburgring 24 Hours with one of its Toyota Corolla Súper TC2000 cars in the SP3T or SPX class. Should the plan find traction, the team will travel to the Nürburgring with an all-TC2000 driver line-up consisting of current champion Matías Rossi, former F1 and Indycar driver Rubens Barrichello and TC2000 race winners Julián Santero and Franco Vivian. With time running out, TGR Argentina could move its participation to 2022.
➤ While the Argentinian department is looking to come to the Nordschleife, Köln-based Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe has elected skip the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the second year in succession. The ongoing pandemic has made the car manufacturer decide it is inappropriate to continue preparing for the 2021 event, again delaying the debut of the upgraded Lexus LC which was given a new twin-turbo V8 engine last year. While racing out of Germany, the Lexus LC project is largely carried by Japan-based mechanics and engineers who are subjected to German travel restrictions. German personnel is, however, expected to be onsite to provide support for the Toyota GR Supra GT4 entered by Ring Racing.
➤ Registration for the ADAC Total 24h-Rennen Nürburgring and the Qualifying Race opened on Thursday 25 February. Teams interested in taking party in a gruelling 24-hours of racing through the Green Hell can go over to 24h-information.de and sign up.
➤ As per tradition, White Viper Angel was the first to sent in its registration. The team run by Mintgen Motorsport enters its old-school Dodge Viper SRT 10 Competition Coupé GT3 after a year of absence and will be raced by team-owner Bernd Albrecht, Reinhard Schall and Dirk Riebensahm, while the search for a fourth driver is ongoing. The goal, as every year, is to collect money for non-profit organisation Fly & Help to build schools in developing countries.
➤ Having announced the driver line-up for the season two weeks ago, mcchip-dkr took delivery of its KTM X-Bow GTX on Thursday 25 February. Nicknamed ‘Katie M.’, the car will see action in the first races of the season including the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
➤ The 2021 season gets underway on 20 March with the pre-season test before the season-opening race on 27 March. FULL SCHEDULE.
➤ Keep track of the 2021 VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series entry list on our dedicated page listing all announced GT3 entries.
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