2018
19.05

RACE PREVIEW

> The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT hopeful of another sunny British weekend as it heads to Silverstone

 

The Blancpain GT Series community is heading towards Silverstone for the second stop in its yearly British tour: the Grand-Prix track in Northamptonshire is hosting the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Cup. With weather forecasts pointing to a sunny weekend after the glorious weather enjoyed at Brands Hatch, English fans will have another option to enjoy a terrific show, with over 50 cars on track. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is in an ideal position ahead of this round, as it is currently leading the overall standings in both Drivers’ and Teams’ rankings in the Endurance Cup as well as in the overall GT Series. At Silverstone, the Belgian squad will be present with its standard two-Audi R8 LMS entry, with only one change in the driver line-ups, as Marcel Fässler is back to the team to replace Robin Frijns.

 

Team Principal Vincent Vosse remains extremely focused ahead of the weekend: “We definitely had a better start of the season than last year’s, but everything is far from done and we need to continue to work well and stay determined as ever. The success at Monza has put us on top of the standings of the Endurance Cup and the Sprint wins at Brands Hatch allow us to lead the overall standings as well. Keeping those positions will be our objective at Silverstone, knowing it won’t be easy on a track like that. Last year, we lived there one of the worst weekends of the season, but I am confident we will not go through the same issues this time. We’ll aim at the best possible results and at collecting heavy points. It is going to be a busy weekend for our team, as wewill also be involved in the FIA WTCR Cup and the TCR Europe events at Zandvoort”.

 

Following their beautiful win at Monza, the trio of drivers of car #1, Dries Vanthoor, Christopher Mies and Álex Riberas, is leading the Endurance Cup standings and determined to keep the position. “The objective is to make a good job, stay out of trouble and take no risks, in order to maintain the points leadership”, explains Dries Vanthoor, “It’s not going to be easy, because although our Audi performs well on the long straights and fast corners of Silverstone, some of our rivals, like the Ferraris or the Lambos, will have the opportunity to make a good use of their higher power. Again, qualifying will be crucial, and this year, the new system introduced, based on the average of best times of each driver, makes the exercise a little bit different. Still, we have a good strategy for that… I am happy also to see that we should have good weather, it’s always more fun…”

 

In car #17, Stuart Leonard and Sheldon Van der Linde will be joined in this race by Marcel Fässler, who makes a very welcome come-back to the team. The Swiss will be subbing for Robin Frijns, taken by his DTM commitments. The trio will aim at wiping the relative disappointment suffered at Monza, where a pit stop too quick resulted in a sanction. “We paid a heavy price for that, otherwise, we could have been on the podium”, reckons Stuart Leonard, who will be racing a second home event in two weeks. “We need to put our Endurance season back on track at Silverstone, exactly as we did in the Sprint Cup at Brands Hatch. I really want to hit it at Silverstone! It’s a good circuit for me and for the car. If there is no ‘freak’ thing like the power issue we had last year, I think we really have the potential for doing well and keep our championship alive.”

 

The event format is over two days, with free practice and pre-qualifying on Saturday and qualifying on Sunday morning. The 3-hour race will kick-off at 15 hours.

 

Blancpain Endurance Cup – Round 2
Silverstone, UK, 19-20 May 2018

 

Timetable (all in local time = CET-1)

 

Friday 18 May 2018
16:25-17:25 Bronze test

 

Saturday 19 May 2018
10:45-12:15 Free practice

15:45-17:15 Pre-qualifying session

 

Sunday 20 May 2018

09:45-10:45 Qualifying
15:00-18:00 Race (3 hrs)

 

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entries
# 1 Dries Vanthoor (B) – Christopher Mies (D) – Álex Riberas (E)
#17 Stuart Leonard (GB) – Sheldon van der Linde (ZA) – Marcel Fässler (CH)

 

Provisional Blancpain Endurance Cup Drivers’ standings after Round 1 of 5:

1. Vanthoor-Riberas-Mies 25 points, 2. Götz-Buhk-Parente 18, 3. Stolz-Engel-Baumann 15, 4. Caldarelli-Engelhart-Bortolotti 12, 5. Grenier-Zaugg-Fontana 10, 7. Leonard-S.Vander Linde-Frijns 6

 

Provisional Blancpain Endurance Cup Teams’ standings after Round 1 of 5:

1. Belgian Audi Cub Team WRT 25 points, 2. Strakka  Racing 18, 3. Black Falcon Racing 15, 4. GRT Grasser RT 12, 5. Emil Frey Racing 10

 

Provisional Blancpain GT Series Drivers’ standings after Round 3 of 10:

1. Riberas-Mies 58.5 points, 2. Vanthoor 55.5, 3. K.Vander Linde-S.Schothorst 43.5, 4. Leonard 43, 5. Engelhart-Bortolotti 39, 7. Stevens 30.5, 9. Vervisch 25, 12. Frijns 18, 17. Picariello-Magnus 7.5

 

Provisional Blancpain GT Series Teams’ standings after Round 3 of 10:

1. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT 80.5 points, 2. Attempto Racing 55.5, 3. GRT Grasser RT 51

 

More info on the Blancpain series, live timing and live commented TV streaming of each race on www.blancpain-gt-series.com

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