- Traditional pre-season gathering brings 2022 hopefuls to Circuit Paul Ricard
- Competitors prepare for crucial two-day test less than one month ahead of opening race
- Track activity scheduled to run throughout Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 March
Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS will officially launch its 2022 campaign at Circuit Paul Ricard (7/8 March) with two days of testing laying the foundations for the year ahead.
Staged less than one month before the competitive action begins at Imola (1-3 April), the traditional pre-season gathering will bring together the teams and drivers hoping to fight for championship glory in 2022. A total of nine brands will be represented at the test days, with all of the teams competing in the Sprint Cup and Endurance Cup on-site at the French venue.
They will aim to maximise the 14 hours of available track time, with the schedule on both days running from 09:00 until 13:00 and again from 14:00 to 17:00. Circuit Paul Ricard represents the perfect location at which to prepare for the season ahead thanks to a layout comprising both fast and technical sections, while ideal weather conditions are forecast for Monday and Tuesday.
As ever, the test days will see plenty of drivers getting to grips with new machinery. They include motorcycle racing legend Valentino Rossi, who will drive an Audi as he prepares for his maiden season of GT racing with Team WRT. Vincent Abril and Dennis Lind will get acquainted with their McLaren after joining JP Motorsport, while reigning Endurance Cup drivers' champion Côme Ledogar has swapped an Iron Lynx Ferrari for a Dinamic Motorsport Porsche.
Indeed, the test represents an important learning experience for all contenders, from the most accomplished veterans on the grid to 16-year-old newcomer Lorenzo Patrese, who is preparing for his maiden season of GT racing with Team Tresor by Car Collection. The full Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS entry list is set to be revealed on the second day of the Circuit Paul Ricard event, providing a complete picture of who will be on-track in 2022.
The test days will serve as the prelude to a 10-round Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS campaign, which is split equally between the Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup formats. In the long-distance series, the opening round at Imola is followed by a six-hour contest at Circuit Paul Ricard (3-5 June) the marquee TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (28-31 July) and three-hour events at Hockenheim (2-4 September) and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (30 September–2 October).
The Sprint Cup will once again feature a pair of 60-minute races at each meeting, beginning at Brands Hatch (30 April/1 May) before tackling Magny-Cours (13-15 May), Zandvoort (17-19 June), Misano (1-3 July) and finally Valencia (16-18 September). Before the competition action gets underway, however, full focus is on Circuit Paul Ricard and two crucial days of running. The battle to be crowned 2022 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS champion begins here.