GT World Challenge Europe - Another series about to race into the unknown

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Whilst waiting for the Series pre-season test to take place over the last two days from the Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France, we thought that the biggest problem would be not to refer to the SRO's new GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Series under its former guise of the Blancpain GT Series - but hay-ho, if only it was that simple?

Over the course of last Thursday and Friday, over thirty cars did manage to congregate at the circuit for the two days of official testing that should have launched this GT Endurance and Sprint series into its new season of ten rounds across some of the best race tracks that Europe has to offer but instead (and soley because of the COVID-19 pandemic) we are again looking at another delayed start to another series of motor racing with teams also withdrawing form the proceedings.

What we did find out however was the identity and format of Swiss based R-Motorsport's racing commitments within the series as three of their Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3 cars are now confirmed as entered into the Endurance side of racing with the same number also being entered into the shorter Sprint races making for an additional car per discipline!

With the team abandoning their DTM programme at the end of last year as well as news of Aston Martin and their technical partners ceasing development of their much anticipated WEC Hypercar, this looks to have forced the team to have a rethink as to where their racing resources are placed this year and fortunately for us it continues to be GT racing with AMR.

For the endurance rounds we can look forward to car line ups of the calibre of #62 - Marvin Kirchhofer/Tom Blomqvist/Luca Ghiotto, #76 - Jake Dennis/Daniel Juncadella/Ricky Collard and #762 (Silver Cup) - Hugo de Sadeleer/James Pull/Max Hofer whilst the Sprint entries of #62 - Tom Blomqvist/Luca Ghiotto, #76 - Ricky Collard/James Pull and #762 - Marvin Kirchhofer/Hugo de Sadeleer.

Out with the old and in with the new as they say also comes a striking new livery aboard each of the three cars as the grey and blue liveries of last year is cast into the teams record books.

Also at the test was a single AMR Vantage GT3 from the Garage 59 team with at least Come Ledogar at the circuit.

With this team, it has been confirmed that there should be at least one entry into the Endurance Series with a running in the Silver Cup Class so that, we believe, should include someone like Andrew Watson amongst the driver line up. Their other #188 Pro-Am car is of course a full season Intercontinental GT Challenge runner for team co-owner Alex West alongside drivers Come Ledogar and Chris Goodwin so that car will probably not feature in the full GT World Challenge Europe Season but will race at the Spa 24 as that is also a round of the ICGTC series.

Last but certainly no means least, was that the Beechdean AMR team were also due to be there for the two day test (having been originally entered into that series by team boss Andrew Howard before reverting back to the British GT Championship) but we understand that decision was reversed at the eleventh hour citing the COVID-19 issues.

Team member and AMR factory driver Ross Gunn was at the circuit on Wednesday only to be involved with the Series annual Balance of Performance test - which he appears to have done with an AMR Vantage GT3 in factory green and yellow colours before he had to leave ahead of his scheduled and now ill-fated date at Sebring with the WEC test and fifth round the week after.

With the mood in the paddock being described as sombre but matter of fact, we will wait to see what the SRO comes up with to maintain a ten event season with early rounds probably being cancelled until early June!

Lets see where this one goes as well..............?

Photo credits - R-Motorsport / Garage 59

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