Dundee racing driver Finlay Hutchison will make a little piece of motorsport history just days from now when he becomes the first competitor in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS Endurance Cup to race the brand-new Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II car – during the season finale.
In an outstanding and incredibly high-profile development for his sporting career, the 21-year-old will join the official Audi factory squad at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, 9th/10th October, where he will partner professional drivers Markus Winkelhock and Dennis Lind.
As the car, which will feature full Audi Sport livery, isn’t entered for the full championship the trio won’t be eligible to score points in the three-hour race. Clearly, though, the intention will be to make a significant impact on the official competitive GTWCE debut of the EVO II.
Scotland’s Hutchison, of course, has a strong association with Audi having raced the brand’s cars at GT3 level since 2019 when he debuted in GT World Challenge Europe – then known as the Blancpain GT Series. Prior to that, Hutchison was a podium finisher in the one-make Audi Sport TT Cup.
German team-mate Winkelhock has raced alongside Hutchison all year in GT World Challenge Europe Endurance, with additional outings in the sister Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup and in the 24H Series at the beginning of 2021 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Danish racer Lind competed with Audi in this year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, finishing fourth overall. He has additionally been racing with another manufacturer in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship, which he currently leads with one race remaining.
“This really is an unbelievable opportunity for me, it goes without saying I am so grateful to Audi and Audi Sport”, said an elated Hutchison, “Being the first driver to race the new Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II in GT World Challenge Europe is a very special moment in my career, and it’s obviously a hugely important race for Audi too. I am massively honoured and excited.
“Markus [Winkelhock] and I know each other well having been racing as team-mates all year, he’s an outstanding Pro, and Dennis [Lind] is a fantastic driver as well. Having the chance to compete with, and continue to learn from, two incredible drivers is amazing for my career development. I can’t wait to get started in Barcelona, it’s going to be an incredible weekend.”
Audi Sport’s latest version of its R8 LMS GT3 sees improvements and upgrades across a number of areas, including the aerodynamics – with more downforce generated from a new rear wing – the engine, traction control, suspension and air conditioning.
As one of the most successful manufacturers in GT3 racing across the globe, Audi has won an incredible 83 drivers’ titles worldwide and has taken 106 other championship victories. In terms of some of the world’s true blue riband events, the brand has won 24 Hour races on 13 occasions and has also emerged victorious eight times in 12 Hour races.
Testing ahead of the season finale of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup will take place on Friday, 8th October, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with further free practice and pre-qualifying scheduled for Saturday, 9th October.
Final qualifying will get underway at 09.00 (local time) on Sunday, 10th October, with the three-hour race beginning at 15.00 (local time). Live coverage of the action will be available to watch HERE
Source. Marc Orme/Photo Audi