Following the announcement of the entry list for the inaugural FIA GT Nations Cup, which will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit for 30 November/1 December, we take a look at the final three entries on the 18 nation hit list.
In our series of previous stories, we looked at the first 15 squads to sign up for the prestigious event, so we conclude our previews with a glance at Team Malaysia, Mexico and Argentina:
DRIVERS: Zen Low Suan Chuan / Mitchell Cheah
CAR: Audi R8 LMS
TEAM: Axle Motorsport
Malaysia strives for glory in the inaugural FIA GT Nations Cup with a team formed by the country’s first – and so far only – F1 driver to hail from its south-east Asian shores, Alex Yoong.
Founded by former Minardi F1 driver in 2008, Axle Motorsport will give one of its young racers Mitchell Cheah an opportunity to compete, alongside experienced sportscar driver Zen Low.
Cheah gets his sportscar chance after finishing runner-up in the TCR Asia series, while the youngster has also raced competitively in the FIA Formula 4 South East Asiaseries. Meanwhile, the experienced Zen Low is a regular podium contender in the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific series.
Though this will be a first outing in the Audi R8 LMS for both drivers, team manager Yoong at least has an affinity with the German machine after winning three consecutive titles in the European-based Audi R8 LMS Cup between 2014 and 2016.
DRIVERS: Martin Fuentes / Ricardo Perez De Lara
CAR: Ferrari 488 GT3
TEAM: Squadra Corse Garage Italia
A nation with a rich history in motor sport, Mexico entrusts its entry to Martin Fuentes and Ricardo Perez De Lara, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3 run by Squadra Corse Garage Italia.
Fuentes will find himself in familiar surroundings having driven for the team in the competitive Pirelli World Challenge, where he finished as second placed ‘Am’ driver in 11th overall.
His 2018 success comes after the 42-year-old tallied up a similar GT-A title in 2016, while he has also competed in the top level WeatherTech United Sportscar Championship.
Completing an experienced line-up for Mexico is Perez De Lara, who also brings a series of class wins in North America in a potentially formidable pairing for the nation.
DRIVERS: Jose Manuel Balbiani / Ezequiel Perez Companc
CAR: Lamborghini Huracan GT3
TEAM: HB Racing
The Argentinian flag will appear on the sole Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to be entered into the FIA GT Nations Cup, as prepared by top outfit HB Racing.
Jose Manuel Balbiani has been a regular contender on the sportscar scene for a number of years with credits stretching back towards the FIA GT Championship era, though he has more recently competed in the Blancpain GT Series.
Similarly, Ezequiel Perez Companc has made the Blancpain GT Series his home in recent seasons where he competes with another Austrian outfit, GRT Grasser Racing Team. Brother of Luis Perez Companc – another familiar figure on the GT racing scene – Ezequiel brings invaluable experience of the Huracan to the team having also dovetailed his season with starts in the ADAC GT Masters series.
Full entry list