The 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS season launches today (25 March) with official testing at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Excellent weather conditions are expected for the two-day test, which will feature 35 cars representing nine brands. This does not reflect the full Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS grid, which is set to be revealed on Thursday. The test days entry list can be viewed here.
Mercedes-AMG will be the best-represented brand at the French circuit, with 11 of its AMG GT3 models set to take part. This includes four cars from AKKA ASP, two each from SPS automotive performance and Toksport WRT, and single entries for Madpanda Motorsport, RAM Racing and Winward Racing.
The Ferrari contingent will also be out in force, with six 488 GT3 machines at Circuit Paul Ricard this week. Series newcomer Iron Lynx will run with their two Endurance Cup crews, while AF Corse also has a pair of cars at the track. Rinaldi Racing and Sky Tempesta Racing have one car a piece.
Audi will be represented by two cars each from Team WRT and Saintéloc Racing, with a further entry coming from the Attempto Racing stable. Lamborghini has four cars at the test, where Emil Frey Racing and Barwell Motorsport will both deploy their full-season drivers. HP Racing International will also participate.
A trio of Porsche 911 GT3-R models will run this week, two from the Dinamic Motorsport squad and another from series newcomer Allied Racing. BMW will be represented by two of its M6 GT3s, with Walkenhorst Motorsport and Boutsen Ginion Racing both on-site to prepare for the season ahead.
The entry list for the test days is completed by single-car entries representing Aston Martin (Garage 59), Bentley (CMR) and Honda (JAS Motorsport). McLaren is unrepresented at the test but will contest the full 2021 season with British squad JOTA.
A number of drivers will make their official series debuts this week ahead of their maiden race at Monza. They include Callum Ilott, who will drive the #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari, and fellow single-seater graduate Jack Aitken in the #114 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini. Alexandre Cougnaud will get his maiden run with Saintéloc Racing, while SPS automotive performance is fielding a trio of series newcomers.
There will also be a chance to see Jules Gounon at the wheel of an AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG following the Frenchman's switch from Bentley. Thomas Neubauer will drive the Walkenhorst BMW having piloted Lexus machinery last term, while James Pull gets his first taste of the Team WRT Audi. Testing runs from 09.00-12.00 CET and then 13.00-17.00, with the same format repeated on Friday.