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Basseng, Winkelhock enter Blancpain Sprint Series with Phoenix Audi

Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock BES

Former FIA GT1 World Champions Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock will return to the championship in its latest guise as the Blancpain Sprint Series.

The Audi-contracted Germans, who won the GT1 World title with the Munnich/All-Inkl Mercedes squad in 2012, are part of the roster of drivers in a two-car line-up to be fielded in the seven-race series by the Phoenix Audi team.

Basseng will share his Audi R8 LMS ultra with 17-year-old Briton Alessandro Latif, who began his first full season in international sportscar racing with outings with the Flying Lizard Audi team in the Daytona and Sebring US enduros.

Winkelhock will drive with Austrian Niki Mayr-Melnhof, who is moving over from the WRT Audi squad with which he finished third last season in the FIA GT Series, the predecessor of the BSS.

Phoenix technical director Ernst Moser said: "We're delighted about two strong new signings: Niki has a lot of experience and showed his class on finishing last year's GT series; and Alessandro is a young, up-and-coming driver with excellent prospects.

"Together with Marc and Markus, they are perfectly positioned to be in contention for victories and the championship in the BSS."

The Phoenix sportscar squad, whose sister team won the DTM with Mike Rockenfeller last season, is swapping to the BSS from the Blancpain Endurance Series in which it ran two Audis last year.

The team, which ran Chevrolet Corvette C6.Rs in the inaugural GT1 World series, has no plans to race in the full BES and has yet to comment on the likelihood of it taking part in the Spa 24 Hours round.

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