Impressive 56-car entry list
All three classes well contested, with Silver counting a huge 24-car grid
6 teams with 8 cars from GT4 Scandinavia join the action
Can the BMW M4 GT4 confirm its impressive pace shown at Monza, will Alpine shine on home turf, or does one of seven other brands claim fame in France?
Silver: BMW crews in everybody's sights
With a simply spectacular 24 cars to battle for Silver points at Circuit Paul Ricard, all eyes will be on the crews in the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport #2 BMW M4 GT4 and the #12 BMW from Borusan Otomotiv.
After Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana's dominant display of speed at Monza, securing an impressive third place and an outright win in the opening races in Italy, they will be looking to confirm their superiority once the lights go green in France. Berkay Besler and Tom Edgar in the #12 BMW will attempt to do just the same, following closely in the rankings after a solid double podium finish, once 2nd and once 3rd overall, last month at Monza.
But what to think of Benjamin Lariche and Robert Consani in Team Speedcar's Audi R8 LMS GT4? Their adrenaline rush after a truly nail-biting close win by a mere 0.5 seconds in the season's first race, was followed by a deflating and unfortunate DNF in Race 2. Surely they will want to see that striking #3 Audi right up there battling for another win.
The first event's result boards also featured a whole range of close outsiders who will be looking to take that extra step closer to fame at Circuit Paul Ricard. V8 Racing's Chevrolet Camaro flexed muscle once again, allowing the Herremans/Rappange duo to finish a strong second in the last race of the opening weekend. Meanwhile, Castelli/Cougnaud in the CSA Racing #111 Audi, Hartvig/Schaap in the Allied Racing #22 Porsche and Joulie/Gedik in Borusan Otomotiv's second BMW all showed reliable pace and will be aiming to challenge the front runners in the championship.
Pro-Am: About dominance, regularity and... revenge?
What a stage awaits the Pro-Am line-up at Circuit Paul Ricard! Racking up a win and a second place in the opening weekend, Saintéloc Junior Team's Grégory Guilvert and Christophe Hamon will head to their home country's event bursting with confidence. But their #42 Audi R8 LMS GT4 will be up against hungry challengers such as Safronov/Vaintrub in NM Racing Team's Mercedes-AMG GT4 or Julien and Florian Briche in the JSB Competition Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4.
The most fiercely motivated competition in Pro-Am could well come from Antoine Leclerc and Loïc Villiger in the #36 Alpine A110 GT4 Evo from Code Racing Development. After dropping to ninth after winning the opening contest following a post-race penalty, they already struck back by claiming a dominating class victory in Race 2. No doubt they will be looking to continue on that streak of revenge, and so will the teams at EastSide Motorsport, Elite Motorsport and W&S Motorsport, who all suffered a difficult season opener and will be looking for a significant rebound.
Am class: All about challenging the frontrunners
No class ranking was as clearly defined as the one in Am over the first weekend. Julien Piguet and Alban Varutti secured both opening wins in the AVR-Avvatar #10 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS. And on both occasions, they found Laurent Hurgon and Alain Ferté on the next podium step, finishing second twice in the #55 Autosport GP LS Group Performance Alpine A110 GT4 EVO. We may have a clear leader and runner-up heading into Race 3 and 4, but GPA Racing has already shown their Aston Marting Vantage AMR GT4 is capable of some serious speed, and so has W&D Racing Team with the BMW M4 GT4. All ingredients are there for yet another exciting Am class race, with battle for track space spiced up even further by a few guests from... Scandinavia!
GT4 Scandinavia joins the grid for the first of two guest appearances this season
Last season at Spa-Francorchamps, competitors from GT4 Scandinavia joined the GT4 European Series for the first time. The experience proved a hit with drivers, teams and crowds alike, which has lead to a sequel covering not one, but two rounds of the championship this season. Before heading back to Belgium next month, the GT4 Scandinavia contenders now also join the grid for both races at Paul Ricard.
As was the case last year, all GT4 Scandinavia cars will run numbers in the 200-range for ease of recognition, and they will fight for their own championship points while being ineligible for points in the European championship. Six teams bring a total of eight extra cars from five brands to the grid at Paul Ricard. Going into the second weekend of the series, it is Afab Racing's #288 McLaren Artura GT4 who leads the ranks in GT4 Scandinavia, followed by the #290 Toyota GR Supra GT4 Evo of Toyota Gazoo Racing Sweden and the #298 BMW M4 GT4 run by M-Bilar Group Racing. An extra bit of Nordic competition to keep an eye on, all the way south at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Where to watch the GT4 European Series' second weekend of the season
The GT4 European Series at Circuit Paul Ricard runs from June 2-4, beginning with two free practice sessions on Friday followed by qualifying on Saturday at 9:00 CEST. Race 1 follows at 14:50 CEST, while Sunday’s second race is scheduled for 11:30 CEST.
Circuit Paul Ricard PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST: Click here