- The penultimate meeting of the season is scheduled this weekend, from 7 to 9 October, on the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
- More than 100 cars will be gathered between the different grids of the Coupe KENNOL GT Endurance, Endurance Proto, Coupe Pièces Auto GT Hyper Sprint, Monoplace, 208 Racing Cup and 208 Relais
The pace is quickening in the second half of the Ultimate Cup Series season with the penultimate round of the season this week at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. After a trip across the Rhine to the Hockenheimring three weeks ago, the protagonists of the six grids meet again in Burgundy.
On the calendar since the inaugural season in 2019, the 4.411-kilometre long Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, renowned for having hosted the French Formula 1 Grand Prix, is an essential stage of the season.
The programme includes 10 sprint races – 3 in the Coupe Pièces Auto GT Hyper Sprint, 3 in the Single Seater and 4 in the 208 RC – and 3 endurance races – 4H Coupe KENNOL GT Endurance, 3H Proto Endurance and 4H 208 Relay.
This weekend will also be the occasion for the Ultimate Cup Series to unveil its 2023 calendar…
Coupe KENNOL GT Endurance – Tightening of the hierarchy at the start of the Nivernais weekend
The second consecutive victory at Hockenheim last month by Nicolas Chartier and Vincent Capillaire, at the wheel of the n°88/Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3, has tightened the top 3 of the drivers’ scratch ranking by just 8 points. This ranking is led by the trio of the n°2/Visiom Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, composed of Jean-Paul Pagny, David Hallyday and Jean-Bernard Bouvet, with 94 points, i.e. 6 lengths ahead of Charles-Henri Samani and Emmanuel Collard (n°83/Racetivity Mercedes), who experienced mechanical problems in Germany, while the Chartier/Capillaire duo completes the top 3 only 8 units behind.
However, in the UGT3A category, in which the above-mentioned crews are competing, Charles-Henri Samani and Manu Collard have maintained their advantage over their rivals, as has Racetivity in the team rankings.
The Ferrari n°2/Visiom, the two Mercedes n°83/Racetivity and n°88/Akkodis ASP as well as the Renault RS 01 n°31/AB Sport Auto will fight for the final victory.
The magic of the night will work on Saturday evening during the 4-hour race of the KENNOL GT Endurance Cup, which will start at 7.35pm.
- GT Class 3B: The n°701 Vortex and its leader Lucas Sugliano will try to continue their three consecutive victories. The latter will be supported by Philippe Bonnel, with whom he won in Navarra and Hockenheim, as well as Cyril Calmon. The sister car n°702 will be driven by Vincent Congnet, Christophe Decultot and Pierre Fontaine. The reigning champions of the discipline, Hary Putz and Raphaël Van Der Straten, had another setback in Germany when victory was in their grasp. They are hoping to beat the odds by winning the Marc Car Mustang II entered by VDS Racing Adventures…
- GT Class 4A: Milan Compétition is back this weekend with its Audi R8 LMS GT4, driven by Pierre Arraou and Frédéric Billon.
- Porsche Cup: The championship leaders, Joeffrey Dorchy and Julien Froment, in the n°94 Porsche 992 of Martinet by Alméras, winners of the three previous races, will have the field open to take another step towards the category title.
Coupe Pièces Auto GT Hyper Sprint – A growing field at Magny-Cours!
The Coupe Pièces Auto GT Hyper Sprint will have a strong line-up at the Circuit de Magny-Cours this weekend, with no less than 16 cars starting.
Scuderia Ravetto & Ruberti (SR&R) will not be present at Magny-Cours due to its sporting programme in Italy, but it will leave the door open to its competitors, including CMR. And for good reason, one of the two drivers of the Italian structure, Luca Demarchi, is leading the UGT3A category, with a 10 points lead over Eric Mouez. The latter will try to take advantage of the opportunity to collect as many points as possible with the #88 CMR Bentley Continental GT3.
The French team is leading the overall team standings and is putting all the chances on its side by entering no less than three other Bentleys, including one for Nigel Bailly, who created the feat of becoming the first paraplegic driver to win a race overall in a GT3. He will try to repeat the performance this weekend in the Nièvre. The other two British GT cars will be driven by Grégory Driot, known for his work with the highly regarded DAMS team, and Philippe Colançon.
The three races – two of 20 minutes and one of 50 minutes – are expected to be particularly lively with the return of the Audi R13 DTM. Aligned by Racetivity, it will be driven by Eric Debard and Hugo Chevalier.
- 16 cars, including 5 in the premier UGT3A class and 21 drivers are expected to compete in Burgundy this weekend.
- Runner-up in the UGT3A class of the 2021 GT Sprint Championship, Marc Waechter is making his return with the #21/G2 Racing AG Renault RS 01, after a stint at the beginning of the season.
- BDR Competition Grupo Prom continues with its two Lamborghini Super Trofeo cars in UGT3B for its regular drivers Amaury Bonduel and Alfredo Hernandez.
- In addition to the four Bentleys, CMR will also enter a Ferrari 488 Challenge for Alexis Berthet and Patrick Michellier.
- Pierre Martinet and Gérard Tremblay are used to endurance racing and will discover the Hyper Sprint format with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Martinet by Alméras.
- In addition to its prototypes, ANS Motorsport will be fielding a Ligier JS2 R for Julien Lemoine.
- Porsche Cup: Maxime Mainguy (Breizh Motorsport) dominates the category with 180 points already collected since the first race.
- UGT3B : Jérémy Faligand clearly dominates the class ranking at the wheel of the Vortex n°70.
- UGTC4B : Gregory Launier and the BMW M2 CS Racing of Rosel Racing, the undisputed leaders, will have to face new rivals, Laurent Mayet and Mickaël Lahais, with a Ginetta G50 lined up by Turbo 2000.
Endurance Proto – High Class Racing and MG Sound join the race
The Proto Endurance field has been strengthened by the arrival of additional cars at Magny-Cours, including two new LMP3s.
High Class Racing, which has been competing in LMP2 for a number of years and has made three appearances in the Le Mans 24 Hours, will make its Ultimate Cup Series debut. The Danish team will enter a Ligier JS P320 for Anders Fjordbach and Icelanders Audunn Gudmundsson and Thorvaldur Gissurarson. The MG Sound by Speed Division Ginetta G60-LT-P3 is back in the Nièvre after its summer stint at Misano, which ended in retirement, with Martin Böhm and Andreas Fojtik on board.
The two LMP3s join the year-round Graff Racing Ligier JS P320, which will once again be driven by Irishman Lucca Allen, accompanied by Eric Trouillet and Sébastien Page. Lucca Allen is leading the class classification, but also the general classification.
Pegasus Racing driver Julien Schell and young Alsatian driver Thibault Ehrhart put an end to Graff’s hegemony by winning for the first time in LMP3 at Hockenheim. The duo in the #23 Ligier will be looking to build on this momentum.
The Nova Proto NP02s will be closely watched, especially after the overall victory of the #74 ANS Motorsport car in Germany. Last year’s winners, Nicolas Schatz and Pierre Courroye, will be joined by Adrien Chila, who has already competed in the Ultimate Cup Series in F3R and has been driving in LMP3 for several years. In total, four NP02s will be competing this weekend.
The drivers and teams involved in the Proto Endurance grid this weekend – in the LMP3, NP02, CN and EVO categories – will compete in a three-hour race on Sunday morning at the Nivernais track.
- Two NP02s will be entered by the Dijon-based DB Autosport team. Mathias Beche, a well-known endurance driver, will complete the team composed of Daniel Bassora and Philippe Yschard. Jordan Perroy, Stéphane Panepinto and Antoine Robert will share the sister car.
- With three victories in four races, Mathys Jaubert and Frédéric Crouillet at the wheel of the ANS Motorsport Nova CN n°72, lead the CN ranking by a short margin (9 points) ahead of the Palmyr drivers, Philippe Mondolot and Christophe Kubryk thanks to their series of podium finishes.
- ANS Motorsport will be able to rely on a second CN, driven by Philibert Michy and Sacha Clavadetscher.
- Didier Pierrard, Vincent Bernard and Evan Meunier will share the seat of the Proto Evo n°83 entered by the BHK team.
Single Seater – Sacha Maguet and Lorys Kyburz in the footsteps of Nicolas Prost
Consistency will be the key to winning the 2022 Ultimate Cup Series Single Seater Challenge title as the battle continues at Magny-Cours with 17 F3Rs and FR2.0s.
The reigning champion and current leader of the F3R standings, Nicolas Prost (CMR), is seeing his young rivals grow in strength race after race. The Franco-Swiss driver is now only 5 points ahead of Sacha Maguet (Formula Motorsport) and 29 points ahead of Loris Kyburz (Graff).
Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak, who won all three races in his first season at the Hockenheimring, caused a sensation. The young Thai driver is back at the wheel of the Graff F3R n°14 to try to repeat this performance.
In the F3R Ultimate classification – a category reserved for Gentlemen Drivers – the Race Motorsport drivers have the upper hand in the hierarchy. Franck Seemans took advantage of the previous race to take the lead over David Cristini. The two men are separated by 35 points.
It is worth noting the return of the female driver Carmen Jorda, former Lotus and Renault development driver in F1, at the wheel of a F3R of the CMR team. The Spaniard returns to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, where she made her Ultimate Cup Series debut last year.
We will also have to follow closely the battle in the field, notably between the FR2.0 of David Cristini (Sports-Promotion), leader of the championship, and that of young Gaspard Le Gallais (CMR), without forgetting Gilles Depierre (Rever Team).
The three races will take place this Saturday at 8h30, 12h35 and 15h20.
Rencontre Peugeot Sport– More than 40 Peugeot 208s at Magny-Cours
The 208 Racing Cup and 208 Relay grids return to the Ultimate Cup Series paddock after two excursions to Nogaro and Val de Vienne. More than 40 cars, divided between the two disciplines, will compete in the penultimate round of the season.
The fight for the overall ranking of the 208 Racing Cup will resume with a leader, Pierre Bredeaux (COMTE Racing Team), also leader in the Junior ranking, who will try to widen the gap against Aurélien Renet (JSB Competition) who has been growing in strength for the last two races. Calvin Comte (COMTE Racing Team) is in ambush in 3rd position.
Four 20-minute confrontations are scheduled in the Nièvre, three on Saturday at 09:10, 13:55 and 18:50, then the fourth and final race on Sunday morning at 09:00.
In 208 Relay, the two victories won by DANRACING in Le Vigeant and in Nogaro allow the crew of the 208 n°555, composed of Rahard Danick and David Henry to arrive in Nièvre at the head of the general and gentleman classification.
It is a 4 hours race, on Sunday between 2pm and 6pm, which awaits the 208 Relais.