The GT4 European Series is proving very popular, with 25 cars confirmed for the Northern Cup and several other teams showing interest in the series. The closing date for full season entries is set for March 17, two weeks before the opening round in Italy (April 1/2).
One month before the start of the season at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, 25 cars from 13 teams and eight makes have already been entered. Reigning GT4 European Series champions PROsport Performance has confirmed it will be back and will carry the number 1 on one of its Porsches.
The series is set for an influx of new teams this season, with RN Vision STS (Porsche Cayman), Sean Walkinshaw Racing (Nissan 370Z) and Bullitt Racing (McLaren 570S) already confirming their entries. More familiar names like Allied Racing, Ekris Motorsport, Scuderia Villorba, Sofia Car Motorsport, Las Moras Racing and Equipe Verschuur will also be back this season, while Academy Motorsport and Sellite Racing Team will return following their series debut in 2016.
After a very successful debut in 2016, the Reiter Young Stars cup returns this season. Reiter Engineering will again run eight KTM X-Bow GT4 cars for young, talented drivers hoping to follow in the footsteps of 2016 winners Caitlin Wood and Marko Helistekangas and make the step up to GT3 next year.
SRO Motorsports Group and Pirelli are also pleased to announce the launch of the Pirelli Junior Cup. The Pirelli Junior Cup is a new initiative to support talented drivers racing in the GT4 European Series. At each round of the series the best young driver, between the age of 16 and 26, will receive one set of Pirelli tires to use at the next event. At the end of the 2017 season the overall winner will receive a Pirelli Junior Cup Trophy.
Teams competing in the Northern Cup can also race for the overall GT4 European Series title when they also enter the GT4 European Series Southern Cup rounds at Pau, Barcelona and Paul Ricard. Participants in the Southern Cup will also have to race at Brands Hatch, Zandvoort and the Nürburgring to fight for the overall title.
Also new for this season is that five of the six Northern Cup rounds will be shown live on the GT4 European Series YouTube channel and the races at Misano, Nürburgring and Slovakia will be 60 minutes in length. The opening round at Misano will be held at night.
Max Braams (GT4 European Series Northern Cup Series Manager): “The GT4 concept is really doing well in Europe. An excellent example is the introduction of the Southern Cup and we see ever-growing interest in GT4 overall. This year, several teams and drivers have decided to join the GT4 category, having raced at a higher, more expensive level before. I am looking forward to what promises to be a very exciting season with a fantastic grid and several new and strong teams.”
Matteo Braga (Circuit Activities Manager Pirelli): “We’re absolutely delighted to introduce the Pirelli Junior Cup this year, bringing to GT racing the emphasis on promoting young talent that has always been a hallmark of Pirelli’s motorsport programmes. In rallying, for example, the Pirelli Star Driver programme helped at least three drivers secure top level factory drives, and in single-seaters we support GP2, GP3, and Formula 4: providing incentives for young drivers to progress to the next level.”
“This is what we hope to achieve in GT racing as well, which is now one of the fastest-growing areas of motorsport with unprecedented levels of manufacturer interest. Thanks to the Pirelli Junior Cup, we aim to help GT4 become the category that puts young drivers on the first step of the ladder towards a career at the top level of endurance racing with the world’s premium and prestige car manufacturers: our partners on the road as well as the track.”