Sprint Cup contenders prepare for fast-paced opening weekend at Brands Hatch

Sprint Cup contenders prepare for fast-paced opening weekend at Brands Hatch

• Sprint campaign to launch four weeks after Endurance opener at Circuit Paul Ricard
• Two-day event culminates on Sunday with both 60-minute races 
• Grid features 25 cars from Pro, Gold Cup and Silver Cup classes 
• Provisional entry list: Brands Hatch

Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS makes its annual trip across the English Channel next weekend (5/6 May) to launch the new Sprint Cup campaign at Brands Hatch.  

It promises to be a typically fast-paced opener at the Kent venue. The event maintains its traditional two-day format, with Free Practice (09:00), Pre-Qualifying (11:55) and Qualifying (16:10) all taking place on Saturday, followed by Race 1 (11:00) and Race 2 (16:00) on Sunday. 

Fanatec GT Europe drivers will face one of the sternest challenges of the season when they tackle the 3.9km Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout. This may be the shortest lap on the calendar, but the track leaves no margin for error and rewards commitment behind the wheel. Recent visits have seen plenty of close racing and the same can be expected in 2024.

Tresor Attempto Racing out to defend Sprint Cup crown against competitive field

A 25-car field comprising the Pro, Gold Cup and Silver Cup classes will tackle the first Sprint Cup meeting of the season. As was the case last year, the Bronze Cup runners will not compete at Brands Hatch due to space limitations, instead making their first appearance next time out at Misano (17–19 May).  

The Pro line-up is led by reigning series champion Tresor Attempto Racing, which returns with a pair of strong Audi crews. Ricardo Feller will defend his crown alongside Alex Aka in the #99, while the vastly experienced Christopher Haase partners Lorenzo Ferrari in the #88 machine.

In the Mercedes-AMG camp, Boutsen VDS has a fantastic opportunity to secure a maiden overall victory with the #9 pairing of Jules Gounon and Maxi Götz. There's another all-factory line-up in the #48 Winward Racing Team MANN-FILTER entry, which pairs Maro Engel with Lucas Auer. 

Aston Martin returns to Sprint Cup competition with the new Vantage AMR GT3 EVO, which is sure to be popular among the local fans in its British racing green livery. Comtoyou Racing will field the #7 machine for Nicolas Baert and Mattia Drudi, the latter having switched to the marque after securing last year's Sprint Cup crown with Tresor Attempto Racing. 

As was the case last term, Ferrari is represented by a pair of Pro cars from Emil Frey Racing. Ben Green is the only new addition to the line-up, joining Konsta Lappalainen in the #14 entry, while the #69 combines Giacomo Altoè and Thierry Vermeulen in what could be a dark horse for the series title. Porsche has a definite contender thanks to the Rutronik Racing pairing of Patric Niederhauser and Sven Müller, while Garage 59 will field Benji Goethe and Tom Gamble in the #159 McLaren.

Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts lost their crown last year after clinching three straight Sprint Cup titles between 2020 and 2022. Now fully acquainted with BMW machinery, the Team WRT pair are ready to reclaim the prize this season. The sister #46 BMW of Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin will also race at Brands Hatch. Rossi secured his maiden series podium at this venue last year and will hope to go one better when the new season gets underway. 

Competitive grids promise more action in Gold Cup and Silver Cup

With 11 Pro crews on the entry list, the remaining 14 cars will compete across the Gold Cup and Silver Cup categories. In the former, James Jakes makes his GT3 debut in the #21 Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin, though as an IndyCar Series podium finisher the Brit is no stranger to top-level competition. He is joined by Matisse Lismont, who made his first Fanatec GT Europe appearance last time out at Circuit Paul Ricard. 

Racing Team Turkey should be a serious contender for class honours this term. Running with support from Ferrari specialist AF Corse, the new entrant has experience and speed in its line-up thanks to Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood. 

Having taken Gold Cup honours in the Endurance opener at Circuit Paul Ricard, Saintéloc Racing will hope to maintain its form with Paul Evrard and Gilles Magnus sharing the #25 Audi. CSA Racing will also field an R8 and can call upon a pair of proven winners in Simon Gachet and Lucas Légeret. LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler by One Group completes the Gold Cup field, with Luca Engstler and Max Hofer set to share its Audi. 

The Silver Cup will comprise nine cars at Brands Hatch, ensuring a competitive battle for the podium positions. Boutsen VDS should be a strong contender with Aurélien Panis and César Gazeau sharing its #10 Mercedes-AMG. The German marque will also be represented by first-time Sprint Cup entrant Winward Racing, which pairs Magnus Gustavsen with Reece Barr in the #57, while series regular Madpanda Motorsport will field Ezequiel Perez Companc and a to-be-confirmed teammate aboard the #90.

Ferrari has a pair of entries from AF Corse, which will aim to win back the Silver Cup title that it won in dominant fashion two seasons ago. The #52 pairs the returning Sean Hudspeth with Jef Machiels, who adds a Sprint programme alongside his Endurance effort. The sister #71 should be one to watch, with top Ferrari Challenge graduates Eliseo Donno and Thomas Fleming sharing driving duties. 

No matter the class, Team WRT is always a threat in the Sprint Cup and should be a front-runner with Sam De Haan and Calan Williams in its #30 BMW. Saintéloc Racing has Ivan Klymenko and a to-be-announced teammate in its #26 Audi. Final driver line-ups are also pending in the #18 Eurodent GSM Team Lamborghini and the #12 Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin.



Free Practice – 09:00–10:00
Pre-Qualifying – 11:55–12:55
Qualifying – 16:10–16:40

Race 1 – 11:00–12:00
Race 2 – 16:00–17:00


• ROWE Britcar Trophy Championship (2x 50-minute races)
• Miata Trophy (2x 20-minute races)
• Equipe Classic Racing (2x 40-minute races)
• Classic & Modern Motorsport Saloons & Tin Tops (2x 15-minute races)
• CSCC New Millennium & Turbo Tin Tops (1x 40-minute race)


Extensive live coverage will be available on the GT World YouTube channel. This is free to view around the globe and includes start-to-finish action from every Fanatec GT Europe race. Click here for more information.