Sprint Cup field expands to 36 cars as season shifts up a gear at Misano

Sprint Cup field expands to 36 cars as season shifts up a gear at Misano

• Italian track to stage Fanatec GT Europe for 10th year in succession
• Grid at full strength with addition of Bronze Cup runners 
• Unique schedule culminates on Saturday with first Sprint night race since 2021 
• Provisional entry list: Misano

The Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS season will shift up a gear next weekend (17–19 May) when a 36-car field tackles a pair of Sprint Cup races at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

The Italian venue will host the series for a 10th consecutive year and follows two weeks after Brands Hatch staged the opening short-format event of the 2024 campaign. While the British round featured three classes, the full complement will be on-track at Misano thanks to the addition of a highly competitive Bronze Cup field, bringing a further 11 cars to the Adriatic track. 

They will tackle a unique weekend format, with Free Practice, Pre-Qualifying and Qualifying scheduled for Friday and both races taking place on Saturday. With the second contest getting underway after the sun has set on the Adriatic, drivers will undertake the only Sprint Cup night race of the season and the first since 2021. 

Auer and Engel out front after stellar opening weekend

Brands Hatch could hardly have gone any better for Winward Racing Team MANN-FILTER. Decked out in the fan-favourite 'Mamba' livery, its #48 Mercedes-AMG secured a podium in the first contest before winning the second from pole. As such, Maro Engel and Lucas Auer top the overall Sprint Cup standings ahead of the trip to Italy. 

Winward Racing leads a trio of Pro entries representing Mercedes-AMG. Boutsen VDS earned a maiden overall podium at Brands Hatch and will hope for a repeat performance with its #9 crew of Jules Gounon and Maximilian Götz, while Madpanda Motorsport continues in the premier class with Ezequiel Perez Companc and a to-be-confirmed driver sharing the #90 machine. 

Team WRT should also be a leading contender with its #32 BMW of Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, who opened the Sprint Cup season with a win in Great Britain. The Belgian crew has a truly outstanding record at Misano, amassing seven victories and taking clean sweeps in 2021 and 2022. They are joined by the #46 entry of Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin, who scored a famous win at this circuit one year ago. 

Ferrari squad Emil Frey Racing made an impressive start to the season by collecting two runner-up finishes at Brands Hatch. The trophies were shared between its cars – the #14 of Ben Green and Konsta Lappalainen, and the #69 of Thierry Vermeulen and Giacomo Altoè – both of which should be competitive again this weekend. 

Reigning series champion Tresor Attempto Racing opened its title defence with a pair of fourth place finishes for Ricardo Feller and Alex Aka in the #99 Audi, though the sister #88 machine of Christopher Haase and Lorenzo Ferrari failed to score at Brands Hatch. Garage 59 took P5 and P6 on home soil, giving the #159 McLaren pairing of Tom Gamble and Benjamin Goethe a strong foundation for the campaign. 

Brands Hatch proved to be a challenging weekend for Rutronik Racing, which was outside the points in Race 1 and battled to an eighth-place finish in Race 2. Porsche factory drivers Patric Niederhauser and Sven Müller will aim for more at Misano. The opener was tougher still for Comtoyou Racing, which showed plenty of pace but left Brands Hatch without points. Mattia Drudi grew up just a few kilometres from the Misano circuit and will hope to convert his local knowledge into strong results alongside Nicolas Baert.  

No clear favourite among highly competitive Bronze Cup field

Misano will see the Bronze Cup make its first appearance this season at a Sprint event, adding a further 11 cars to the grid. This is the most difficult class to predict; there are some seriously strong line-ups, but only one will be celebrating when the Sprint Cup campaign concludes at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. 

As ever, we can expect Garage 59 to bring a competitive package. Its #188 McLaren will be shared by Miguel Ramos – a two-time Sprint Cup Pro-Am champion – and Louis Prette, who showed an impressive turn of speed at last month's opening Endurance Cup round. 

Century Motorsport is running the full Fanatec GT Europe campaign with Darren Leung, who helped the team to secure last year's British GT drivers' crown. For his Sprint Cup assault, Leung will reprise his title-winning partnership with BMW factory ace Dan Harper at the wheel of the German marque's M4 model.

With a trophy cabinet that includes multiple British GT titles and CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa class wins, Barwell Motorsport has significant pedigree. The Lamborghini squad will field a pair of entries at Misano, with Gabriel Rindone and Patrick Kujala aboard the #72 and 2020 British GT champions Rob Collard and Sandy Mitchell sharing the #78. Imperiale Racing will also represent the Sant'Agata Bolognese marque at its home event, with Dmitry Gvazava and Ugo De Wilde sharing the #85 entry. 
A class front-runner last term, Tresor Attempto Racing returns with its #66 Audi. Andrey Mukovoz remains for a second season with the team, joined by his regular Endurance Cup partner Dylan Pereira. Sky Tempesta Racing will bid for yet more Fanatec GT Europe silverware with stalwart drivers Jonathan Hui and Chris Froggatt sharing its unmistakable #93 Ferrari.

A trio of Porsches complete the Bronze Cup field. Schumacher CLRT is a new collaboration between automotive entrepreneur Edouard Schumacher and Côme Ledogar's squad. There are no changes to the line-up that represented CLRT last term, with Stephane Denoual partnering Steven Palette in the #44 entry. Dinamic GT will field Philipp Sager and Marvin Dienst, while Rutronik Racing can count on Dustin Blattner and Dennis Marschall, the latter moving across from Tresor Attempto Racing after producing some highly impressive showings in 2023. 

Class honours up for grabs in Gold Cup and Silver Cup 

A further 13 cars from the Gold Cup and Silver Cup classes make up the Misano entry list. Both were closely contested at Brands Hatch, with the Gold class proving to be a particularly happy hunting group for Audi. Liqui Moly Team Engstler by OneGroup (Luca Engstler & Max Hofer) took Race 1 honours ahead of CSA Racing (Lucas Légeret & Simon Gachet), with Saintéloc Racing (Paul Evrard & Gilles Magnus) coming home third. In the second contest, Saintéloc held off the Engstler-run entry to clinch the win, with CSA completing the podium. 

Racing Team Turkey will also have high hopes for Misano after Charlie Eastwood set the overall fastest race lap at Brands Hatch. He will once again share the #51 Ferrari with Salih Yoluç. The #21 Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin of Matisse Lismont and James Jakes completes the Gold Cup field and will aim to rebound from a difficult opening weekend.

If Brands Hatch is anything to go by, the Silver Cup is set for a highly competitive season. Boutsen VDS leads the standings with its #10 Mercedes-AMG crew of Aurélien Panis and César Gazeau, who secured class honours and an excellent P5 overall in the opening race. The second contest went to the #71 AF Corse Ferrari of Eliseo Donno and Thomas Fleming, who showed impressive speed throughout their debut weekend. 

If there is to be a new winner, the #30 Team WRT BMW is the leading contender. Sam De Haan and Calan Williams secured a brace of podiums at Brands Hatch and can draw on Team WRT's past success at Misano. The #52 AF Corse entry of Sean Hudspeth and Jef Machiels came home fourth in both races at the opener, so a podium is the logical objective for Misano. Winward Racing also secured good points with the young pairing of Reece Barr and Magnus Gustavsen sharing its #57 Mercedes-AMG. 

There is a change at Comtoyou Racing, with 17-year-old Lorens Lecertua joining Dante Rappange in the #12 Aston Martin. Saintéloc Racing will once again run its #26 Audi for Ivan Klymenko, whose team-mate is yet to be confirmed. Eurodent GSM Team endured a challenging opening weekend after James Kell withdraw due to illness, requiring Marcus Påverud to run both races alone. Drivers are yet to be confirmed at the Monegasque outfit, which completes the 36-car entry list for Misano.



14.00–17.00: Paid Test Session

09.00–10.40: Free Practice
15.50–16.50: Pre-Qualifying
21.10-21.40: Qualifying

14.00–15:00: Race 1
21.00–22.00: Race 2


• Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli (2x 50-minute races)
• GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club (2x 60-minute races)
• McLaren Trophy Europe (2x 50-minute races)
• Clio Cup Series (2x 25-minute +1 lap races)


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.