Tag Archives: Blancpain GT Series

“There’d Be Nothing better For Me Than To Win It!” – GT SPORT Motul Team RJN’s Bob Neville On the Build-Up To The TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa (05.07.18)

Photo: www.blancpain-gt-series.com

Oxfordshire-based GT Sport Motul Team RJN will be bringing its new-for-2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa. Owner and Team Principal recently spoke to www.Blancpain-GT-Series.com and, in a fascinating interview, the full contents of you can read here, outlined the massive amount of work it takes to prepare a world-class GT3 car for the rigours of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

In the middle of packed schedule of racing, Neville has his sights firmly set on victory at Spa but is under no illusions about the challenges that the next three weeks offers before the #22 and #23 entries can join the grid on Saturday July 28.

“The logistical task is virtually carried on from when the chequered flag drops the previous year,” said Neville. “This year will be particularly difficult as there’s a British GT round the preceding weekend (as part of the SRO Spa Speedweek), which we’re also doing.”

“There are arrangements to be made with SRO, such as paddock and garage space, which is really important to be able to arrive there in the right frame of mind. All of that starts really early on.”

Continue reading “There’d Be Nothing better For Me Than To Win It!” – GT SPORT Motul Team RJN’s Bob Neville On the Build-Up To The TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa (05.07.18)

Packed Grid Announced For TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa (04.07.18)

Photo: Blancpain-GT-Series.com

The blue riband event of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series, the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa gets underway on Saturday July 28 at 16:30 with a total of 67 entries representing 13 manufacturers expected to be on the grid for arguably the greatest GT3 race in the world.

With the build-up already having begun with the Test Day at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Tuesday July 3, the packed grid gets to stretch its legs for the first time on the 7.004 kms track on Thursday July 26 with Free Practice 1.

The four 15-minute qualifying sessions begin later on the Thursday of race-week at 20:50 local time with the 30-minute Super Pole session taking place on Friday July 27 at 18:30.

Qualifying positions for the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa are initially set on the average lap-times of the drivers in each of the four qualifying sessions. At the end of the four sessions, the teams with cars occupying the top twenty grid positions will each nominate a driver for the Superpole session within 30 minutes of the end of qualifying.

In reverse order of the qualifying positions, each driver will complete one out-lap, two flying laps and one in-lap with the final qualifying positions being determined by the quickest lap-times from each driver.

GTEND-2018-07A-SPA-04 Testday Pitlane-1023-DBWP3404

Photo: Blancpain-GT-Series.com

The TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa also offers the interesting variation of awarding points at the six-hour and 12-hour mark as well as at the completion of the race. 12 points are available to the leader in each class at the six- and twelve-hour mark as well as 25 points to the winner of each class at the chequered flag. As a result, there are a considerable number of points available, hence the increased interest in racing at the iconic Belgian circuit.

After back-to-back victories in the previous round at Misano World Circuit, Alex Riberas and Christopher Mies, teammates in the #1 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS, lead the overall Drivers Standings on 103.5 points, 24 points clear of Dries Vanthoor who will be joining Riberas and Mies in the #1 for Spa.

Endurance Cup Drivers Standings could not be closer with 10 points separating the top 11 drivers. Again, Vanthoor, Riberas and Mies head the table on 37 points, just two points ahead of Christian Klien, Albert Costa and Marco Seefried, crew of the #14 Emil Frey Lexus Racing Lexus RC F GT3, after victory for the Lexus at Circuit Paul Ricard in the last Endurance Cup round.

Lamborghini will have the largest presence on the Spa grid. 11 examples of the Sant’Agata Bolognese-manufacturer’s work will be present. 10 Huracán GT3s are entered with GRT Grasser Racing Team campaigning three, Daiko Lazarus Racing and Barwell Motorsport two and Attempto Racing, Target Racing and Ombra Racing with one apiece. GDL Motorsport has entered a single Super Trofeo.

Audi will have ten examples of the R8 LMS on the grid. Team WRT has entered three, two under the name of Audi Sport Team WRT and one in the name of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. Attempto Racing has entered two while Audi Sport Team Sainteloc Racing, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, Car Collection Motorsport, Sainteloc Racing and Aust Motorsport have entered one apiece.

There will be much interest in the pair of Aston Martin V12 Vantages, two of four in total on the grid for the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa, entered by R-Motorsport, after the team showed scorching pace at Silverstone in a weekend albeit marred by an issue with data-logger.

As ever, the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa promises to be a highly competitive race at one of most challenging and iconic circuits on the Blancpain GT Series calendar. Coverage and live timing can be found at www.blancpain-gt-series.com

R-Motorsport To Contest The 2018 Blancpain GT Endurance Series (30.11.17)

R-Motorsport, the motorsport division of AF Racing which is itself the motor racing arm of Aston Martin St. Gallen in Switzerland, has announced that it will partner with Arden Motorsport to compete in the 2018 Blancpain GT Endurance Series.

The team has been testing the Aston Martin V12 GT3 with Aston Martin Racing works driver Darren Turner, FIA World Endurance Championship driver Alex Brundle and FIA Formula 3 European Championship pilot Jake Dennis.

Co-owner and Team Principal of R-Motorsport Dr Florian Kamelger said:

“We are extremely excited to be competing in the Blancpain GT Endurance Series in 2018. We have the ambition to fight for the win of the championship and to step onto the highest step of the podium at the 24 lours of Spa in 2018.”

“The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 is such a great race car, the team is amazingly professional and our driver line-up will be fantastic. Being able to work with Arden Motorsport has been and is a great experience for us and we think we have found the perfect match.”

 

SRO Motorsports Group Announces Developments For 2018 And Beyond (26.11.17)

SRO Motorsports Group, the organiser of a significant proportion of GT racing around the world, celebrated 25 years of operation when 2017 championship winners gathered at the Palais Brongniart in Paris for its annual awards celebration on November 24.

Founder and CEO Stéphane Ratel took the opportunity to outline his vision and plans for the development of GT racing in 2018 and beyond.

Focusing on the growing GT4 class, SRO Motorsports Group will launch several new series to bring the total to seven GT4 championships over the next two seasons. Three additional series will be launched in conjunction with the European Series; Central, Nordic and Eastern.

The French GT4 Cup (FFSA GT) will continue in 2018. SRO is planning to introduce a Belgian GT4 Cup but the series will not have its own events but rather competitors will score points while participating in events in different series. SRO announced that Asia will have a stand-alone GT4 series on the Blancpain GT Series Asia package.

To bring together all the different GT4 championships, SRO is planning to create a GT4 World Cup in the near future.

In order to focus the Blancpain GT Series on the Pro-Am and Am categories, the maximum number of cars with a full pro line-up will be restricted to 26 in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. An exception will be made for the Total 24 Hours of Spa however.

SRO will continue to grow the Blancpain GT Series Asia championship with a similar calendar in 2018 and, as mentioned earlier, there will be a stand-alone GT4 series. The GT4 class will race together with the GT3 cars at Fuji and Suzuka and China will be a focus for development with dedicated communications being provided in Mandarin.

In Pirelli World Challenge the FIA driver grading system will be adopted and shortened race weekend progammes are being considered.

SRO Motorsports Group is also tendering for the FIA GT3 Cup of Nations which will be the equivalent of the FIA GT World Cup in Macau but for Silver and Bronze-graded drivers. Current plans are to hold the event at the Sochi Autodrome, Russia on October 20 – 21 2018, subject to FIA approval.

The Suzuka 10 Hours has been added to the Intercontinental GT Challenge as the Asian round of the series.

McLaren Automotive Announces Arrival of 720S GT3 For 2019 Season (21.11.17)

Photo: McLaren Automotive

McLaren Automotive has announced that a GT3 variant of its 720S road car is set for development during 2018 with the intention that it will be available for customer teams for the 2019 season.

The McLaren 720S will join its stablemates, the 650S GT3 and the 570S GT4 in its global motorsports programme.

Few details have been announced about the new programme other than two renderings which give a taste of the purposeful styling of the new Woking-built track weapon.

mclaren-720s-gt3-concept-sketch_rear_final-for-release

Photo: McLaren Automotive

The road-going McLaren 720S was launched in March 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show. Powered by a twin-turbo 4.0 litre V8, producing 720 horsepower with 568 foot-pounds of torque the road-going version can sprint from 0 – 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 212 mph.

The Bentley Continental GT3 – Dominating Global GT Racing In 2017 (28.06.17)

Photo: www.blancpain-gt-series.com

Bentley Team M-Sport is riding high across the globe in sportscar racing. With recent wins in the Blancpain GT Series, the Pirelli World Challenge and the British GT Championship, the Bentley Continental GT3 is proving the weapon of choice in global GT racing for 2017.

Vincent Abril, works driver for Bentley Team M-Sport since 2015, took his first endurance win on June 24 when, alongside Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet, the crew of the #8 Bentley Continental GT3 took the top step of the podium at the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Circuit Paul Ricard 1000kmns.

Writing for Mobil 1 The Grid, the young Frenchman explained how it felt to take his first endurance win.

“Taking the win felt incredible. It was a near perfect race, which made it even sweeter. In endurance racing, there is only so much you can do to control your destiny. The rest is up to luck. Bentley Team M-Sport gave me everything I needed to win – a perfect car, the best pit crew in the paddock and two awesome team-mates in Andy Soucek and Max Soulet.”

“The rest just had to fall into place…and it did.”

The Continental GT3, first raced in the Gulf 12 Hours in Dubai in 2013 and shown in the UK at Autosport International in January 2014, is proving fast, tough and reliable for many teams on both sides of the Atlantic and also in the Far East. Over the past few weekends it has been making the headlines.

On June 25 the #88 Absolute Racing Continental GT3, in the hands of Adderly Fong, won at Road America in Round 4 of the Pirelli World Challenge GT series. In the second of the weekend’s double-header, Fong ran a close second to Patrick Long in the #58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

In the British GT Championship Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris are currently lying second in the GT3 Drivers Standings after wins at Silverstone and Rockingham.

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Photo: BritishGT.com / Jakob Ebrey Photography

In the Blancpain GT Series, Bentley Team M-Sport is second in the Team Standings on 88 points, only 12 points behind leaders GRT Grasser Racing Team. Vincent Abril, driver of the #7 Bentley Continental GT3 he shares with Maxime Soulet and Andy Soucek, is second in the Drivers Standings.

Next in the sights for Bentley Team M-Sport is the Blue Riband of GT3 racing – the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

For Spa the marque will be represented by three entries – two from Bentley Team M-Sport and one from partner team Bentley Team Abt.

Bentley’s Director of Motorsport Brian Gush is focused on winning GT3 racing’s biggest prize.

“We have three Continental GT3s all capable of getting a great result,” said Gush. “That’s a good position to be in going into one of the most important races in the GT3 world. After losing the win last year, Bentley Motorsport has something to prove and we return to Spa with real determination.”

Vincent Abril is also set on another endurance win.

“I’m ready to approach it knowing that we can do it,” Abril told Mobil 1 The Grid. “Once you’ve done it, you approach it differently. Will we win the 24 Hours of Spa? Who knows?! Do I know we’re capable of winning it? 100%!”

The Total 24 Hours of Spa July is held on July 27 – 30