PREVIEW: 2018 Blancpain GT Series – Barcelona: AM Cup

by Jean-Paul Hackett
#188 Garage 59 GBR McLaren 650 S GT3 AM Cup Alexander West SWE Chris Harris GBR Chris Goodwin GBR, Free Practice | SRO / Patrick Hecq Photography

There will be a winner-takes-all showdown in the Am Cup category, with the overall and Endurance standings identical heading into the final round.

In the drivers’ championship, Adrian Amstutz and Leo Machitski lead the way on 99 points. The Barwell Motorsport duo was part of the crew that took class honours at the Total 24 Hours of Spa by a dominant five laps and bonus points for leading at the six and 12-hour marks.

The Spa result allowed them to pull away from the Garage 59 trio of Alexander West, Chris Harris and Chris Goodwin, who enter the finale on 82 points. The British squad’s McLaren 650S GT3 won the two events before Spa but fell out of contention at the 24 Hours.

Nevertheless, the #188 McLaren line-up knows how to win races and will be bullish about ending the season with another victory. Should they take maximum points in Spain, the Barwell crew will need to finish fifth or higher to secure the title.

The teams’ standings are very similar. Barwell leads the way on 99 points, with Garage 59 their closest contenders on 85. Rinaldi Racing holds a mathematical chance of drawing level with Barwell but would need to score maximum points while the British squad took zero.

The weekend will begin with a one-hour Bronze test at 15.55 on Friday afternoon, while Saturday sees free practice (09.00) and pre-qualifying (16.45) take place at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

A busy Sunday will conclude the 2018 season, with qualifying set for a 09.00 start and the green flag dropping on the championship-deciding race 15.00.

What’s more, a packed support schedule will see Blancpain GT Sports Club, FFSA French GT Championship – GT4 France, Porsche Carrera Cup France and the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup adding to the on-track action. Combined with the main event, it promises to be a highly entertaining weekend for fans in the grandstands and watching at home as 2018 completes its final chapter.

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