Tag Archives: Blancpain GT Series

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.

B5

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

2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Gets Underway At Monza (20.04.17)

Photo Above: Olivier Beroud / Vision Sport Agency

The second round of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series and the first round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, the TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza, takes place at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on April 22 – 23.

53 cars are on the entry list for the first three-hour race of the Blancpain GT Series season. There are 30 Pro entries, 18 entries Pro-Am entries and 5 entries in the Am category.

The manufacturer with the most cars on the grid this weekend will Mercedes with 13 examples of the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Rabastens, France-based AKKA ASP is bringing four Mercedes-AMG GT3s, two with full Pro driver line-ups and two with Pro-Am line-ups. HTP Motorsport is also entering four AMG GT3s, three with Pro line-ups and one with a Pro-Am line-up. It was the #84 Mercedes-AMG team HTP Motorsport entry which won the opening round of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series, the Sprint Cup race at Misano, where the driving duties were shared by Franck Perera and Maximilian Buhk. For the TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza, Buhk and Perera will be joined by Jimmy Eriksson.

Three Mercedes-AMG GT3s have also been entered by Black Falcon and a further two by Team Zakspeed.

Lamborghini and Ferrari are also represented by 10 entries apiece.

Ferrari F488GT3s have been entered by Kessel Racing, Spirit of Race, AF Corse, Kaspersky Motorsport and Rinaldi Racing.

Lamborghini will be hoping that the results seen in the first round of the British GT Championship can be repeated on Italian soil. Two Huracán GT3s have been entered by GRT Grasser Racing Team, both with Pro driver line-ups. Attempto Racing has two Huracán GT3s on the entry list, one with a Pro line-up and one with Pro-Am drivers. Ombra Racing, Raton Racing and Orange 1 team both bring one example apiece. Barwell Motorsport, fresh from a double victory at the opening weekend of the 2017 British GT Championship, has entered two Huracán GT3s, both with Pro-Am line-ups. Adrian Amstutz, Martin Kodric and Patrick Kujala will pilot the #77 entry while Leo Matchitski, Miguel Ramos and Richard Abra will share the driving duties in the #78.

Audi is represented by seven R8 LMS’. All have Pro driver line-ups with the exception of #26 Sainteloc Racing which fields Pro-Am drivers.

Team WRT will have four Audi R8 LMS’ on the grid, the #2 and #5 cars entered by Belgian Audi Club team RT and the #3 and the #17 entries in the name of Team WRT. ISR also has two entries on the grid, the #74 and #74 cars.

BMS a.a. 17.04.20

Photo: Pascal Saivet / Vision Sport Agency

Bentley will have just two Continental GT3s on the grid. Bentley Team M-Sport has entered the #7 car to be driven by Steven Kane, Guy Smith and Oliver Jarvis, fresh from his victory in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA 07 LMP2 at the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The #8 will be driven by Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Vincent Abril. Both Kane and Abril enjoyed success in the Sprint Cup race at Misano where they finished second.

Additionally, in the packed 53-car grid, will be four McLaren 650S GT3s, two Jaguar G3s, two Nissan GT-R GT3s and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Porsche 991 GT3 R and a sole BMW M6 GT3.

There is plenty of track-time for all drivers with a one and a half hour Free Practice session on Saturday at 10:45, a Pre-Qualifying session of similar duration at 16:05, and hour-long Qualifying session on Sunday April 23 at 09:50 with the lights going out for the start of The TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza at 14:45 local time.

The GT3 category was refined and developed by the SRO Organisation and the Blancpain GT Series represents some of the best GT3 racing in the world. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, this is a race-weekend not to be missed.