The Grasser Racing Team is looking forward to an extensive program in the 2023 season. In addition to competing in the legendary DTM, the Lamborghini team from Austria will also be involved in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup this year. On their return to the prestigious endurance series, the squad around team boss Gottfried Grasser will field two brand new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2. With Clemens Schmid, Glenn van Berlo and Benjamin Hites, the driver pairing for car number 85 is already set. The sister car with the starting number 58 will be driven by Ricky Capo, Sam Neary and Gerhard Tweraser during the official tests in France this week. A decision on the final line-up has not yet been made.
GRT last competed in the GT World Challenge in the 2021 season and looks back on an extremely successful history in the championship organized by the SRO Motorsports Group. Starting in 2014, the Lamborghini Squadra Corse-backed team celebrated some of their greatest successes in what was then established as the Blancpain GT Series. In 2017, they clinched the title by winning both the drivers’ and team championships. The overall tally shows 13 wins, 16 pole positions and 37 podium finishes.
This season GRT field their two cars in the Silver Cup of the GT World Challenge Europe. With Clemens Schmid a familiar face gets behind the wheel of the #85 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2. The 32-year-old Austrian has been racing the Italian GT3 machines in Grasser Racing colors since 2020. He looks back on a wealth of experience in the GT World Challenge. So far, he has completed four seasons in the Endurance Cup, including setting the best qualifying time for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in 2016.
Alongside him, Dutchman Glenn van Berlo and Chilean Benjamin Hites provide an international lineup. For van Berlo, it will be his debut in the GTWC. The 21-year-old switched from formula racing to GT racing in 2021, where he initially competed in the Lamborghini Supertrofeo. This was followed last year by a switch to GT3 cars. In the Pro category of the International GT Open, he and his teammate finished third overall in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO with three wins.
Hites already draws on a wealth of experience with three full seasons in GT World Challenge Europe. The 23-year-old ventured from North America to Europe in 2020. There he established himself as a versatile sports car driver with victories in the Italian GT Championship and the International GT Open. He concluded the latter as champion driving the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO in the 2022 season.
The 2023 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup calendar includes five stops. The season kicks off on April 22-23 at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, a venue well familiar from Formula 1. The highlight of the calendar traditionally is the world-famous 24h race at Spa-Francorchamps in summer. The roar of the engines will return already this week in Le Castellet, France. The official preseason test will be held at the Circuit Paul Ricard on March 7 and 8. GRT will participate with both Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2.
Clemens Schmid: “I’m very pleased to be returning to the GT World Challenge with GRT. The team and I have grown close over the past few years. It feels good to further intensify the partnership with this commitment. We definitely have a score to settle in the Endurance Cup after the 2021 season. The preparations went promising and we are optimistic that we will be able to have a say with the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2.”
Glenn van Berlo: “I am very happy to have the opportunity to compete with GRT in GTWC this year. It feels fantastic to work with such an experienced team that has always shown strong performances over the past years. This fact gives me a lot of confidence. In addition, I’m looking forward to driving my first full season in GT World Challenge after switching to GT3 racing last year. We have a very strong line-up for the season and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve done the best possible preparation over the winter and I feel ready.”
Benjamin Hites: “It’s fantastic to be on the grid with GRT this year. The team has a huge amount of experience and has celebrated great successes. I am optimistic that with our driver pairing and this background we will be able to achieve good results in the Silver Cup. I’m very excited and 100 percent motivated to start the season.”
Gottfried Grasser, Team Principal of GRT: “After the long winter break, we are looking forward to the start of the new racing season with great anticipation. The return to the GT World Challenge Europe is a fantastic opportunity for us to compete in another top-class GT3 series alongside the DTM. The two championships complement each other perfectly for the team with the sprint and endurance formats respectively and offer us a challenging program. The new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO2 is a strong package that, combined with our line-up, should be competitive in every respect. Clemens brings together speed with experience and we are proud to work with him again this year. In addition, with Benjamin and Glenn we have two hungry young talents on board from whom we expect a lot. After the final decision on the second driver pairing is made, we’re confident that we’ll have a strong trio in the sister car as well. The new season can come.”
Source. GRT Grasser Racing/Photo. Paola Depalmas
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