This year’s GT4 European Series season is set to be the biggest ever, with a record-breaking 50 cars confirmed for the full championship.
SRO Motorsports Group revealed both the full-season GT4 European Series entry list, and the entry list for the opening round of the championship at Imola on April 1-3. It marks an impressive increase on last year’s record entry of 46, which started the opening round at Monza.
The mammoth entry is comprised of cars from nine world-leading manufacturers, run by 24 different teams across the championship’s three classes.
The headline Silver Cup class has attracted a healthy 19 full-season entries, while Pro-Am continues to show its strength as the core of GT racing by matching that number. There are also double-figure entries for the Am category, proving that the GT4 European Series still provides a level playing field for drivers of all abilities and experience.
All GT4 European Series rounds will continue to run on the undercard of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS events, ensuring the series continues to be a part of the world’s biggest GT weekends.
Onwards to Imola…
With a total of 49 cars on the entry list for the opening double-header of the year at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, the GT4 European Series is set to start with a flourish in Italy.
The competition for Silver Cup honours is wide open this year, with several crews who showed well last season aiming to ascend to the top spot this campaign. Perhaps the favourite is the CMR team, which will return with a duo of Toyota GR Supras and last year’s Silver Cup runner-up Antoine Potty leading the line-up in the #66. Last year’s third-place driver, Thijmen Nabuurs, switches from the V8 Racing Camaro to share Team Spirit Racing’s #5 Aston Martin Vantage with American Kenton Koch.
Spaniard Lluc Ibañez (fourth last year) is back, too, as part of the NM Racing team. He will share his #15 Mercedes-AMG with Enzo Joulié. Italian Luca Bosco, who impressed on his run to third place overall in Pro-Am last year, joins the Silver Cup ranks, alongside American Alexandre Papadopulos in a Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG.
The champion team in 2020, AGS Events will have twin Aston Martins out in the Silver Cup, with Hugo Condé/Noah Andy confirmed alongside Ruben del Sarte and Thomas Verdier, while Saintéloc Racing will run one of its three Audi R8 LMS GT4s in the Silver Cup, with Erwan Bastard and Roee Meyuhas driving.
Briton Tom Canning and Indian Akhil Rabindra will lead Racing Spirit of Léman’s charge in its Vantage GT4, with Gus Bowers (fifth in last year’s Silver Cup) returning to share the team’s second car with Konstantin Lachenauer. V8 Racing’s popular Chevrolet Camaro will also be back, with the youngest member of the Rappange racing family, Dante, set to share with Kenny Herremans. BMW will be represented by Borusan Otomotiv, and its Silver entry of 2021 British GT4 champion Will Burns and Berkay Besler should be a potent one aboard its M4.
It’s near-impossible to predict a winner from the packed Pro-Am entry, but one thing is for certain and that is both Saintéloc and AKKA-ASP being somewhere near the front. Saintéloc’s reigning Pro-Am champions Fabien Michal and Gregory Guilvert return to defend their crown, while last year’s runners-up AKKA-ASP’s Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla also return to try and steal the crown for themselves this year. And AKKA-ASP’s second car cannot be discounted either, with Eric Debard and the super-experienced Simon Gachet on the other side of the garage. Likewise, Saintéloc’s second Pro-Am entry could well make some waves, with Oliver Esteves sharing with multiple French GT and Porsche Carrera Cup champion Anthony Beltoise.
Ivan Jacoma (fourth in the points last year) returns as part of the Centri Porsche Ticino team and has the rapid Alex Fontana by his side. The all-Swiss squad will be one to watch. Alpine is a popular brand for the class, with five cars taking part in the Pro-Am field. Perhaps most notable will be the #36 Code Racing car of Loïc Villiger and Antoine Leclerc.
There will also be a fleet of Aston Martins, with crews such as Christian Gisy/Ralf Kelleners (Hella Pagid-Racing One) and Rodrigue Gillion/Nico Verdonck (ProSport Racing) all hungry for success. Add in the wildcard of British squad Greystone GT’s McLaren 570S for Tim Whale and former A1GP champion Adam Carroll, plus a one-off entry for Alpine squad Bodemer Auto with Jean-Charles Rédélé and Grégoire Demoustier and you have a truly tight field.
Last but certainly not least, the Am class enjoys a healthy entry, with no drop in quality when it comes to the teams and drivers. Leading the line will be defending champions Michael Blanchemain and Christophe Hamon in their Team Fullmotorsport Audi R8 LMS. They will be chased again by last season’s runners-up Massimiliano Tresoldi and Paulo Meloni in their W&D Motorsport BMW M4 GT4.
Wilfried Cazalbon (third last year) also returns as part on the AGS Events team, this time with Julien Lambert as his team-mate in the #89 Vantage GT4. Father and son Mauro and Benjamin Ricci (sixth in 2021) are back as part of a two-car effort from AKKA-ASP, with Christophe Bourret/Pascal Gibon in the team’s second Am Mercedes-AMG.
Team Spirit Racing has an Aston Martin for Henrik-Lyngbye Pedersen/Markus Lungstrass, while Mirage Racing will field an all-French Alpine effort for Frédéric de Brabant/Alban Lagrange. Johan Vannerum/Jean-Luc Behets share the Selleslagh Racing Team’s Am Mercedes-AMG, NM Racing has Aleksandr Vaintrub/Stanislav Safronov in its Mercedes-AMG and W&S Motorsport’s Porsche 718 Cayman will be shared by Andrey Solukvtsev/Mikhail Loboda.
SRO Motorsports Group Founder & CEO Stéphane Ratel: “I’m very proud to finally reveal the entry list for the GT4 European Series, and to have 50 cars signed up for the full season is a huge achievement. Since SRO created the GT4 formula back in 2007 it has gone from strength to strength, and it has certainly never been healthier than it is today. This year we have nine world-class manufacturers represented on the grid, being run by some of the sport’s best racing teams. GT4 still represents true value-for-money GT racing, and that counts for drivers of all abilities; from those looking to use it as a stepping-stone to GT3, to amateurs who want to share with and learn from a professional, and even the gentlemen drivers who wish to race alongside their friends and colleagues. The GT4 European Series is the pinnacle of this formula, and I’m certain we’re set for a fantastic and hard-fought season.”
Source. SRO Motorsports Group