In brief, May 2009

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Salo’s full-time place in the Risi Competizione Ferrari ALMS line-up has been taken by Pierre Kaffer, who will share the team’s lead Ferrari 430 GT2 with Jaime Melo in the full season. Salo joins them for the enduros at Sebring, Le Mans and Road Atlanta.

Former Le Mans winner Christophe Bouchut returns to the GT2 ranks in 2009, sharing a Reiter Engineering-run Lamborghini Gallardo SP560 with German amateur Albert von Thurn und Taxis.

Vitaphone Racing, the dominant force in the FIA GT series, will run a Porsche RS Spyder in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The squad, run by Michael Bartels, is also aiming to contest the full LMS with the car in addition to a continued attack on the FIA GTs with the Maserati MC12.

A €600,000 support package for the 2009 FIA GT Championship means that the teams of 24 cars, selected according to their record in the championship, will be awarded €25,000 per entry provided they take part in all of the eight rounds.

The MSA has launched an Advanced Apprenticeship in Motor Sport, open to 50 drivers and co-drivers of 16-24 who believe they have “the potential to achieve excellence”. For more information visit www.msauk.org/AASE

The Argentinian round of the FIA GT Championship at the new Potrero de los Funes road circuit has been cancelled for financial reasons. The event will return as the opening round of the new GT1 World Championship in 2010.

The new Arena-built Ford Focus BTCC Super 2000 racer has hit the track after a three-month gestation period, exceeding expectations, according to lead driver Tom Chilton.

Jota, whose Carrera Cup GB racer we featured in the February issue, has decided not to enter the Porsche Supercup this year due to the poor euro exchange rate. Instead the team will compete in the VdeV championship in a Ligier JS49.

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