On the calendar since the launch of the Ultimate Cup Series, the round at the Nevers Magny-Cours track is a must. Very popular with the drivers, the Nivernais track will once again welcome more than 150 cars divided among the six Ultimate Cup Series grids (NAPA GT-Touring Endurance, KENNOL GT-Touring Sprint, Endurance Proto, Single Seater, Peugeot 208 RC and Relay 208), not to mention the Legends Cars grid.
Contrary to past years, the weather conditions are very good in the Nièvre and the risk of rain is ruled out.
After a day of private testing and qualifying for some categories, the first races will start on Saturday morning and will be followed by live streaming.
Key information to remember:
NAPA GT-Touring Endurance grid:
- 21 cars entered in the different categories (GT Class 3A, GT Class 3B, GT Class 5A, Porsche Cup and UTCR.)
- With three different crews on the top step of the Scratch podium, the suspense is at its highest for this fifth and penultimate 4-hour event.
- With a victory to their credit, Franck Dezoteux and Stéphane Tribaudini lead the General and GT Class 3A championships, with a total of 76 points. The duo in the #5 Renault R.S. 01 of FIT ITBC by AB Sport Auto are ahead of the crew in the #1 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo of Visiom, Jean-Paul Pagny, David Hallyday and Jean-Bernard Bouvet with 13 points. The trio is still looking for a first victory this season. The perfect opportunity at Magny-Cours?
- The #83 Racetivity Mercedes-AMG GT3, which was absent from the previous round at Le Mans, is back with Charles-Henri Samani and Emmanuel Collard on board.
- AB Sport Auto will enter a third Renault R.S. 01 for Jorge Domingues, Julien de Miguel and Michel Ferte.
- Vortex will enter two cars in the GT Class 3B category, one of which will be driven by a team that is sure to attract a lot of attention, since it will feature Laurène Godey and Sébastien Loeb, who are partners in life, but also in their passion for motor sport. They will be accompanied by Sébastien Lajoux.
- A new team has come to Magny-Cours to do a trial run in the GT Class 5A category, Herrero Racing. The team has entered an Audi R8 LMS GT4 for Xavier Follenfant and Thomas Dagoneau, who have been driving an Alpine A110 Cup for Autosport GP since the beginning of the season. They are accompanied by Julien Froment.
- Sports journalist and TV commentator Adrien Paviot will drive a Ginetta G55 for Speed Car alongside Nicolas Markiewicz.
- Vice-champion of the Ultimate Cup Series Endurance Proto in 2020, Alessandro Ghiretti will drive alongside Pierre Martinet and Gérard Tremblay in the Martinet by Alméras Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
- The 4-hour race will be run on Sunday between 9.55 and 13.55.
- Endurance Proto grid:
- The Ginetta G61-LT-P3 of the Austrian MG Sound Speed Vision team will be joining the Proto Endurance grid for a second time after the one at Castellet in mid-July. It will be driven by Martin Bohm and Julien Schell.
- This Ginetta will compete with the #21 Duqueine D08 of DB Autosport, driven by Jordan Perroy, Nicolas Melin and Stéphane Panepinto, as well as nine other protos, both CN and Evo.
- Vincent Capillaire, the first LMP3 Proto champion of the Ultimate Cup Series in 2019, returns to the discipline at the wheel of one of the four Norma CNs entered by ANS Motorsport.
- Stéphane Clair, director of the Circuit Paul Ricard, leaves the Var region to drive an Evo proto in the Nièvre.
- Team Virage, leader of the teams and drivers championships, is forced to give up.
- The 3 hours race will take place on Sunday afternoon, between 3.50 pm and 6.50 pm.
- KENNOL GT-Touring Sprint grid:
- With some fifteen cars in the GT Class 3A, GT Class 3B, GT Class 5A, 308 Cup, Porsche Cup and JS2 R categories, the field is still very diverse.
- The duel between the Belgian Bernard Delhez (G2 Racing AG) and the Swiss Marc Waechter (AB Sport Auto) for the final victory in GT Class 3A is back in full swing. At the wheel of their respective Renault R.S. 01s, the two men are going head to head. At the beginning of this fifth round, they are only separated by 9 units.
- CD Sport will enter a Ligier JS2 R in the category dedicated to it, with team boss Claude Degrémont on board, in a half-car with Gérard Faure.
- With no less than six Peugeot 308 Cups, the six drivers in this 308 Cup category will undoubtedly be great animators in the field, with Florian Briché (JSB Compétition) and Jimmy Clairet (Clairet Sport) as figureheads, in the absence of the category leader, Xavier Fouineau.
- Two radically opposed Ferraris will compete in the four 20-minute races on Saturday and Sunday.Stéphane Ruiz will drive a 1990’s Huffaker Ferrari while Hervé Huber will be at the wheel of a 2019 Ferrari 488 Challenge.
- Single Seater grid:
- The grid of single-seaters, F3R and FR 2.0 combined, is stabilised at around twenty cars.
- A special guest will take part in the three races of this weekend in the Nivernais, in the person of Carmen Jorda, former Lotus and Renault development driver in F1. She will be driving an F3R entered by the French team CMR.
- The Alès-based team will of course include Nicolas Prost, the undisputed leader of the championship, who has nevertheless found a number of young drivers to stand in his way.
- While Jean-Baptiste Mela (CMR) is not here, Laurens Van Hoepen (Graff), author of two victories in his first weekend of motor racing at Le Mans, intends to continue his excellent momentum.
- Théo Vaucher (Graff) is not to be outdone, as after having come close to the top step of the podium at Le Mans, he is hoping to taste the champagne of victory.
- Franck Seemann (Race Motorsport), leader of the FR 2.0 championship, will try to increase his lead in the championship, especially as Shannon Lugassy (CMR) will no longer be able to steal the show.
- The three races in the single-seater category will take place on Saturday.
- Peugeot 208:
- The 208 Racing Cup and 208 Relay grids will have the highest number of entries ever with 40 cars in the Sprint and 36 in the Relay.
- Laurène Gaudey, accompanied by her partner in everyday life, Sébastien Loeb, nonuple World Rally Champion, will drive a 208 RC in Relay with the GPA Racing team.
- The meeting in Manceau enabled Alexandre Finkelstein (GPA) to take the lead in the overall classification of the 208 Racing Cup. Joran Leneutre (JSB Compétition), whose performances in his first season in motorsport have been remarkable, will try to keep his status of second overall and leader in the Junior class, where he has the upper hand for the moment.
- With two wins and two more podiums, FG Sport by New Team leads the Relay 208 championship by a short margin over Gemo Sport and Gediracing.
- Two races on Saturday and two on Sunday are on the programme for the 208 RCs, while the 208 Relays will compete on Saturday evening, with a night finish at 10.55pm.
In order to avoid the risk of fog on Saturday morning, the programme has been adjusted (V6 attached).
All rankings can be found on ITS Results: https://www.its-results.com/ucs/2021/d2ca4d15-9319-49c0-bc8b-b81d375bdf13