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Blancpain GT countdown begins as season gets started this weekend

Tuesday, March 31 2015

The Blancpain GT Series gets underway this Easter weekend, with a variety of supercars competing for the first round of the Sprint Series, ahead of its visit to Brands Hatch on 9/10 May.

The French circuit of Nogaro will host the opening two sprint races on Easter Monday (6 April), and the champion Audi marque will be heading the entry with several cars. Joining reigning Blancpain GT champion Laurens Vanthoor in the number one R8 will be former Caterham F1 test driver and 2012 Renault World Series champion Robin Frijns. Audi's line-up will also include GP2 Series race winner Stephane Richelmi, who joins former Le Mans winner Stephane Ortelli, former BTCC and WTCC frontrunner James Nash, and former Grand Prix and DTM driver Markus Winkelhock.

German rivals Mercedes-Benz will also be fielding a former F1 and DTM driver, Bernd Schneider, in one of the GT Russian Team entries. The five-time DTM champion has said that he hopes to race at Brands Hatch, as he has yet to drive the full Grand Prix circuit. The second Russian-entered Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 will be campaigned by 2007 British F3 Champion and former BMW F1 test driver Marko Asmer.

The German supercar contingent will also include two BMW Z4s and a Porsche 997, whilst Italian interests are covered by a brace of Lamborghini Gallardos and a Ferrari 458 Italia.

British engineering excellence will be represented with two works Bentley Continentals, one of which will be piloted by former champion Maximilian Buhk. Also included will be two of the latest McLaren 650 S models run by Attempto Racing, with McLaren juniors Rob Bell and Kevin Estre pairing up.

The Nogaro grid will also include a Nissan GT-R run by the MRS GT Racing squad. It will be driven by the all-British pairing of single-seater converts Sean Walkinshaw and Craig Dolby.

Click here to download the entry list.

This Monday's race will be shown live on BT Sport and the second round of the Blancpain Sprint Series will take place at Brands Hatch on 9/10 May, supported by GT Cup, PowerMaxed MINI Challenge, Sports 2000 and the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship and will also feature a huge supercar display.

Tickets for the Blancpain GT Series at Brands Hatch on 9/10 May are available from £21, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.