The 2023 season of the GT World Challenge Europe is approaching the beginning and in just over a month it will be the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza that will kick off the dance.
In recent days, however, the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet has been the scene of collective tests in preparation for the Sprint and Endurance Cup commitments of the SRO Motorsports Group championship, with teams and drivers who have begun to ‘warm up’.
Beyond the lap times obtained, which are always very relative when it comes to tests to understand how to complete the crews and work for the first time on cars that in some cases are completely new, the two-day event revealed the entry lists 2023.
The record number of cars present in the Sprint Cup has been reached, reaching 40 units after a flood of requests received in SRO which forced the organizers to evaluate and make choices as there was no room for everyone, while the large turnout for the Endurance Cup was confirmed , with 56 cars. Of the two lists, 29 cars will be present in all 10 events of the year, with Brands Hatch, Zandvoort, Misano, Hockenheim and Valencia the Sprint stages, and Monza, Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps, Nürburgring and Barcelona the Endurance ones.
A total of 8 brands have joined, so let’s go and see specifically who they are and which teams will be representing them.
#51 AF Corse, Ferrari 296 GT3
Photo by: Ferrari
Starting from our home, Ferrari and Lamborghini could not be missing, both with important innovations. In Maranello they have the 296 GT3 on the launch pad, a car which has already made its début in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and which will be prepared by AF Corse with official support, while Emil Frey Racing passes from the Sant’Agata Bolognese Bull to the Prancing Horse for a adventure to be discovered. AF Corse will also have an ‘old’ 488 on the track, as will ST Racing by Rinaldi, which therefore compares the past and the future of the Modena-based manufacturer in an unprecedented challenge.
At Daytona we also saw for the first time the Lamborghini Huracán in the updated EVO2 version in the hands of the new reference team, Iron Lynx, which lines up its cars in the Endurance Cup, also confirming that of the Iron Dames. The other teams ready for the challenge are the returning Grasser Racing, the winners of GTWC America K-Pax Racing, Vincenzo Sospiri Racing ready to grow its youngsters and the privateers of AGS Events, Barwell Motorsport and GSM AB1 GT3 Team.
Always remaining in Italy, but moving to the Varese area, the Nova Race is ready for its debut with the Honda NSX GT3 Evo built by JAS Motorsport of Arluno. The team led by Christian Pescatori aims for the green line by making the Champions of the Italian GT Sprint, Leonardo Moncini/Jacoo Guidetti, make a leap in category, to which he adds the second car for Di Fabio/Zanotti.
Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2
Photo by: GRT Racing Team
Another great expectation cannot be missed for Valentino Rossi, in his second year in the series, but for the first time as BMW M Motorsport standard bearer, moreover as official driver. After his debut in 2022, the ‘Doctor’ chose to stay with Team WRT and face the challenge with the new M4 GT3, which he has already gotten to know in the good outings in Dubai and Bathurst.
For the Bavarian company, the Belgian team is the first reference since it will take part in all 10 seasonal events, as well as Walkenhorst Motorsport, while Rowe Racing will join for the Endurance Cup.
The departure from WRT did not however stop Audi Sport, which relaunched its challenge with 11 R8 LMS GT3 EvoII entered in both series. New are Boutsen VDS and Comtoyou Racing, Tresor has instead entered into a new partnership with Orange1 and Attempto, and the Saintéloc Junior Team is clearly one to keep an eye on. Finally there is also CSA Racing for the Endurance Cup.
Still speaking of novelties, McLaren is eagerly awaited to see how the 720S GT3 EVO will go, recently presented with the updates that Garage 59, JP Motorsport, Optimum Motorsport and the 7TSIX and Sky Tempesta Racing novelties will have to make money between Sprint commitments and Endurance.
Valentino Rossi, TEAM WRT, BMW M4 GT3
Photo by: WRT Team
The same goes for Porsche, at the start with the brand new 911 GT3-R in the 992 version, which we have already had the opportunity to see at Daytona in 2023. Even for the Weissach-based company, the greatest commitment will be especially in the Endurance Cup and to defend its colors we will see Dinamic GT Huber Racing, Pure Rxcing, CLRT, Car Collection Motorsport, Herberth Motorsport, Rutronik Racing and Team Parker Racing at work.
Finally here is Mercedes, ready to defend its overall GTWC title with the now certainties of Akkodis-ASP and Haupt Racing Team to which GetSpeed Performance (also with AlManar Racing), Theeba Motorsport, Madpanda Motorsport and Winward Racing are added.
Action on the track
Photo by: SRO
“I am delighted to present our entry lists for 2023 which are highlighted by an outstanding Sprint Cup grid. To have 40 cars entering the series for the first time ever is something very special and I have to thank everyone. the teams that have placed their trust this season,” stressed Stéphane Ratel, head of SRO Motorsports Group.
“The Endurance Cup line-up maintains the same extremely high standard that we have come to expect and I know we can look forward to a particularly impressive grid at the Spa 24 Hours. Whilst we are very pleased with the results achieved over the winter, the hard work doesn’t stop there. Now we must remain humble and ensure that the season our competitors, collaborators and fans are hoping for is the one they deserve. Thank you to everyone who helped make these grids a reality.”
GTWC Europe: 2023 Season Entry List
GTWC Europe: Endurance Cup Entry List
GTWC Europe: Sprint Cup entry list
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