Garage 59 heads into the first of the Sprint Cup races for the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe this weekend. After competing predominantly in endurance races in recent years, all of the focus shifts to speed now as the team fights for glory in the two, one-hour races at the Magny Cours Circuit, close to the town of Nevers in central France.
Magny Cours is best-known for being the host of the French Grand Prix between 1991 and 2008. It has a good mix of corners, including the heavy braking zone into the Adelaide Hairpin, which is the best place for overtaking opportunities. Many of the corners, like the Adelaide Hairpin are named after the famous corners they are modelled on. The fast Estoril right-hander and the Nürburgring and Imola chicanes to name a few.
Garage 59 tested at Magny Cours ahead of the new season so the team has a good idea of what awaits them this weekend. The team prepped the cars for this race from the new Garage 59 Technical Centre in Brackley, UK, after moving in straight after the race at Monza.
The #159 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 will race in the Silver Cup category in the hands of Nicolai Kjærgaard and Tuomas Tujula, who makes his Garage 59 debut and his Magny Cours debut this weekend.
“I’m extremely eager to get back to racing!” said Tujula. “It feels like it has been ages since the final round of the Italian Super GT Championship last year. Even though I join Garage 59 after my strongest year so far in GT racing - winning the Italian Super GT title - I don’t have many targets for the upcoming weekend. I’m a new face on the GT World Challenge scene and have a lot of new things to learn with the car, the team and the championship in the following days. I trust the team completely and believe that we can build on the strong performance they had in Monza. I’ve never raced at Magny Cours so it’s going to be a weekend of new experiences for me.”
Fresh from their Pro-Am victory in the opening endurance round at Monza, Alexander West and Jonny Adam are raring to get their Sprint Cup campaign underway.
“We gathered some good data at the pre-season test but we still don’t know for sure how the circuit will suit the Vantage. The circuit layout looks like it should suit us and I can’t see any reason why we can’t get a good result this weekend. We are on a high after winning at Monza so we want to roll that confidence into Magny Cours. I haven’t done a sprint race for a while so I’m really looking forward to that aspect of it. We have a night race too, which can be hard on the non-professional drivers, but Alex is on great form and extra night racing is all good for our preparations for the high point scoring 24 Hours of Spa.”
The Sprint Cup race weekend consists of two, one-hour races: the night race on Saturday at 22:25 CEST and Sunday’s day-time race at 14:40 CEST.