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Nico Verdonck and Gulf Racing UK feeling confident going into Blancpain Endurance Series season opener in Monza

The Gulf Racing UK team is completing the final preparations as the clock ticks down to the start of the opening round of the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza, Italy. The drivers at the British-based outfit, which will again run two McLaren 12C GT3s in the championship, are feeling confident following a productive winter testing programme, and are looking to make a strong impression from the very start of proceedings.
The season will see a new challenge for the team, as Gulf Racing UK will campaign one of the McLarens in the highly competitive Pro category, with a highly experienced and competitive driver line-up of McLaren GT factory driver Rob Bell and Adam Carroll, alongside Belgian Nico Verdonck.
Rob Bell remains with Gulf Racing UK for the new season, having contested the Blancpain Endurance Series with the team in 2012. He explained: "Ever since Mike told me his plans for 2013 I've been counting down the days to Monza. To be driving for Gulf Racing again is fantastic, and this year it's great to be given the opportunity to drive in an all Pro car with the sole aim of winning races.
"The testing programme has gone very well over the winter, and we have worked hard on understanding the new Pirelli tyre, as well as the McLaren upgrades for 2013. In terms of personal preparations, I've been working hard on my fitness levels, putting in the miles on my road bike, and I'm ready for the challenge ahead."
Nico Verdonck adds: "It is clear that the Pro field will be extremely competitive this year. After the testing program we finalized last week, I am confident we have a very strong set-up and I really look forward to the start of this season with GULF."
Adam Carroll will make his competitive debut for Gulf Racing this weekend, and is relishing the challenge that the new season, and a Pro entry, will bring: "I am really looking forward to my first race with Gulf Racing at Monza. The circuit is fantastic, and it is a great place to start a championship. It is one of the proper old school tracks that has a special atmosphere and, with a grid of 62 cars, it is going to be busy!"
The team will also continue to challenge for the Pro-Am title with the British pairing of Andy Meyrick and team co-owner Mike Wainwright.
Ahead of his first competitive outing in his new role as Team Manager for Gulf Racing UK, Matt Beers concluded: "We have completed the preparations and testing programme as planned, and managed to cover everything that we wanted to. Our full driver line-up has had the opportunity to test the updates for the 12C GT3, which has shown great reliability during the testing, and we have had fantastic support from McLaren GT. "I'm looking forward to going racing now, and feel fully prepared to step up to the challenge this season in the Blancpain Endurance Series will present. I am confident that Gulf Racing is a team our rivals should be worried about this year."