Denmark, Turkey, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and China to contest inaugural event
Five more countries have confirmed their participation for the inaugural FIA GT Nations Cup, to be held at the Bahrain International Circuit on 1st December 2018.
Denmark, Turkey, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and China are set to do battle in the much-anticipated end-of-season showdown, which will pit nation against nation as they compete for one of GT racing’s most sought-after prizes. We take a look at the latest entrants.
TEAM: Formula Racing
CAR: Ferrari 488 GT3
DRIVERS: Johnny Laursen/Nicklas Nielsen
A country with a proud history in sportscar competition, Denmark is targeting victory in the FIA GT Nations Cup under the Formula Racing moniker, together with drivers Johnny Laursen and Nicklas Nielsen.
One of a number of teams set to benefit from AF Corse’s input this year, Formula Racing will enter a Ferrari 488 GT3 prepared by the experienced Italian outfit.
Nielsen already has a rich pedigree in Ferrari colours after clinching back-to-back titles with Formula Racing in the Ferrari Challenge Europe series, making him a potential dark horse coming to Bahrain.
Team-mate Laursen brings a wealth of experience from competing in the Ferrari single-make series too but while he is better used to competing against Nielsen on track he will instead join forces with him in the colours of Denmark.
TEAM: Ram Racing
CAR: Mercedes-AMG GT3
DRIVERS: Salih Yoluc/Ayhancan Guven
Well-established British outfit Ram Racing provides the support for Turkey’s entry, with the nation’s top GT drivers Salih Yoluc and Ayhancan Guven to compete at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Yoluc made history in 2017 as the first Turkish driver to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours where he was in the hunt for GTE Am honours. Moreover, he has forged a strong relationship with Ram Racing, where he currently races a Mercedes in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
“The opportunity to race for my country is not one to miss, especially when we can go for a win with a line up like this – it’s a ‘no-brainer’,” said Yoluc.
"This will be my third time in Bahrain. I've done some Carrera Cup Middle East racing and it is a nice track – the changing grip conditions make it a bit harder sometimes, but it's fun to race here, especially at night. It’s nice to end the year with another outing with RAM Racing.”
Up and coming racer Guven has already turned heads competing in the Porsche Cup Benelux, where he was crowned champion in 2018, and will be one to watch as he steps up to GT3 machinery in Bahrain.
NATION: United Kingdom
TEAM: AF Corse
CAR: Ferrari 488 GT3
DRIVERS: Christopher Buncombe/Christopher Froggatt
Christopher Buncombe teams up with Christopher Froggatt for the United Kingdom entry in Bahrain at the wheel of another AF Corse-prepared Ferrari 488 GT3.
Seasoned GT racer Buncombe helms the British car, the 40-year-old set to call upon a wealth of experience that has seen him score a class victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours and more recently Pro Am title glory in the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup with Strakka Racing.
Team-mate Froggatt comes to Bahrain on the back of his own title-winning success in the one-make Ferrari Challenge Europe series, where he picked up overall honours driving a 488 GT in the Trofeo Pirelli class.
NATION: Hong Kong
CAR: Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3
DRIVERS: Shiu Cheong Charles Kwan/Cheuk Wai Andy Yan
Leading motorsport outfit KCMG is no stranger to success in sportscar competition around the world but will now attempt to fly the Hong Kong flag high in the FIA GT Nations Cup with a pair of local racers.
Winners at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the KCMG name can also be seen competing in series’ as diverse as TCR Europe, Super Formula and Formula 3, but it is in sportscars where it has enjoyed much of its success.
For this event ShiuCheong Charles Kwan and Cheuk Wai Andy Yan will team up to drive the Nissan GT-R Nismo, which KCMG races at the sharp end of the Blancpain GT Series Asia and Asian Le Mans Series.
Kwan is a hugely experienced racer with numerous starts in GT and touring car competition over the decades, while Yan has enjoyed significant success in the domestic TCR championships with titles in the TCR Asia Series and the China Touring Car Championship too.
TEAM: Herberth Motorsport
CAR: Porsche 911 GT3 R
DRIVERS: Li Chao/Ye Hongli
Together with the Australian entry, Herberth Motorsport is behind China’s FIA GT Nations Cup effort too entering a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The German team is a stalwart of the Porsche stable with experience stretching well into the 1990s, while drivers Li Chao and Ye Hongli will be at home behind the wheel with their combined credits in GT and sportscar competition.
Currently competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series, Li Chao has also started races in the Blancpain GT Series Asia, while Hongli currently competes in the LMP2 category of the Asian Le Mans Series.
The full entry list for the inaugural FIA GT Nations Cup will be confirmed later this week.
The FIA GT Nations Cup will headline the Bahrain GT Festival, sharing a busy weekend of racing with supporting series including the SRO GT4 International Cup, Patrick Peter’s Bahrain Classic Challenge and the Porsche GT3 Challenge Middle East.