The Paul Ricard circuit will host this weekend’s grand finale of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, with the traditional 1000 km race which had initially been scheduled for May. The fiftieth race in the history of the Endurance Cup will award the remaining titles, with forty cars competing on the 5791-metre French track, including six Ferraris.
Pro. The Pro class is finely balanced and very uncertain. Alessandro Pier Guidi will try to make up the six-point gap from the top at the wheel of the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 no. 51 of AF Corse. Given the concurrence with the FIA WEC race, the Italian driver will be joined by Côme Ledogar and Tom Blomqvist in place of Sam Bird. Blomqvist competed in the recent 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in the colours of HubAuto. The Ferrari no. 72 of SMP Racing, with the Russian team fully in contention for the team title just nine points behind the leaders, will deploy a new line-up with Sergey Sirotkin flanked by Toni Vilander and the new Italian GT Championship endurance champion, Antonio Fuoco.
Pro-Am. The Pro Am class champions of the GT World Challenge Europe and Sprint Cup, Chris Froggatt and Eddie Cheever III, joined by Jonathan Hui, will also try to win the Endurance Cup title in the 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Sky Tempesta Racing. The trio will have to defend their seven-point lead from their rivals’ attacks. The Ferrari no. 52 of AF Corse is still mathematically in with a shout for the title. However, Louis Machiels’ task will be made even harder by the absence of his usual crewmates, Niek Hommerson and Andrea Bertolini. The former opted out for personal reasons and will be replaced by Maurizio Mediani, while the Italian tested positive for Covid-19 in the PCR test performed ahead of the French race. Completely asymptomatic, Bertolini is currently in quarantine at home and will be replaced by Lorenzo Bontempelli. Finally, Rinaldi Racing will be fielding two Ferraris. The no. 488 of Pierre Ehret, Rino Mastronardi and Daniel Keilwitz, a habitual competitor in the series, will be flanked by the no. 95 with Christian Hook, Manuel Lauck and David Perel.
Schedule. On Saturday, at 8 am, the cars will fire up their engines for the first ninety minutes of free practice, followed by pre-qualifying at 1:15 pm. The three official practice sessions will take place from 5:20 pm to 6:20 pm and will decide the starting grid for the race which will set off on Sunday at 11:45 am and conclude six hours later.