Cumbrian racing driver Frank Bird is set to return to the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup this weekend.

Bird, who has competed in events both in the UK and abroad in recent weeks, will head to the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands to contest two one-hour races aboard the Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3.

The youngster will also again share the car with regular teammate Ryuichiro Tomita in the Silver Class of the series, with the Belgian team hoping for a set of strong results among their multiple car entry.

“We have often done well at Zandvoort, which is something close to a home race for us” Team Principal Vincent Vosse told the Team WRT website ahead of the weekend.

“Last year we were quite competitive, so we hope to be it this year too, although we will not be the only ones.

“The objective is to do well, keep our leading positions and build up on the great momentum reached at Magny-Cours.

“Our two Silver Cup cars showed a great potential there and we hope to materialize that in good results this time.”

Bird will be hoping to help teammate Tomita again perform strongly after the Japanese driver took a win at the Dutch circuit for the team last season alongside former teammate Kelvin van der Linde.

“It’s been a little while since we had a Sprint Cup, so it will be nice to be at Zandvoort.,” added the Japanese driver to the team’s website.

“We didn’t manage to transform good performance into a good result at Magny-Cours, but Zandvoort is a circuit where we have very good memories from last year, winning my first race in Europe.

“I will do my best, together with Frank and the team, to bring back another good result, I look forward to it.”

So far in the 2021 GT World Challenge Europe season, Bird has had a mixed bag of results.

In round one at Monza, the Endurance Cup got underway with Bird and Tomita being joined by Valdemar Eriksen with the trio taking a fine eighth place overall and fourth in the Silver Cup at the end of the three hour race.

Next up in early May, round two of the overall season and the first sprint races of the year took place at the Mangy-Cours circuit in France, with the duo of Bird and Tomita claiming a mixed bag of results.

In the opening race of the weekend, Bird had been competing within the top 10 overall before he went off the track and dropped two laps while recovering from the gravel trap, ending any chance of a strong result.

Race two of the weekend however saw the two drivers recover in fine style and they ended up taking fourth place in the Silver Cup to reignite their push to claim the overall title at the end of the season.

Three weeks ago Bird again competed for the team in France - this time at Circuit Paul Ricard - in the second round of the Endurance Cup.

After hoping for a strong result at the mammoth six hour event, the 21-year-old, who had started the race, was unfortunately taken out of the race by a rival on track after they hit the rear of his Team WRT Audi.

Team WRT enjoys a lead of 7.5 and 15.5 points, respectively, in the GTWCE and Sprint Cup Teams standings, while Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts command the parallel Drivers’ standings by 12 and 11 points. At this stage of the season, these are still relatively narrow margins but sufficient to motivate even more the WRT troops. Weerts is now clear of his HEC university exams commitments and ready to fight on track again. Together with Dries Vanthoor, the two young Belgians would happily sign for another P1 & P2 result like at Magny-Cours. It’s a result that Team WRT can aspire to at Zandvoort, a track that seems friendly to the Audi R8 LMS. Last year, Ryuichiro Tomita and Kelvin van der Linde won Race 1 and so did Weerts-Vanthoor in Race 2 before a post-race sanction deprived them of the biggest cup.