Friday, June 27, 2014

Blancpain Endurance Series: Mixed pre-qualifying session for Audi teams at Paul Ricard

By Tarek Ramchani

Action has started at the Paul Ricard in the Blancpain Endurance Series. The Audi Sport customer racing squad faced a hard pre-qualifying session this afternoon in the famous French circuit.

Only one Audi R8 LMS ultra managed to enter the Top 10. The #3 Audi from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT finished in fifth place overall and second within the Pro-Cup class. The car driven by Christopher Mies, James Nash and Frank Stippler with a best time of 1:58.4122, they only 0.264s behind the leading #11 Ferrari 458 GT3 from Kessel Racing.

A much harder session for all other Audi Pro-Cup entries, all of them were pushed outside the Top 20. The #1 car from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT driven by Laurens Vanthoor, Marc Basseng and Cesar Ramos was twenty-fourth. The #55 Audi from Brothers Racing Team in the hands of Zheng Sun, Congfu Cheng and Andre Coutow was twenty-fifth. The #26 Audi from Sainteloc Racing with drivers Stéphane Ortelli, Edward Sandström and Grégory Guilvert was twenty-seventh.

Four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars are competiting in the Gentlemen Trophy class. The #4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT of Jean-Luc Blanchemain, Yves Weerts and Pierre Hirschi was fourth in class. The #22 Audi from Team Parker Racing driven by Ian Loggie, Chris Jones and Julian Westwood was sixth. The #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT of Stéphane Pourquie, Harry Teneketzian and Grégoire Chaix was eighth. The #25 Audi Sainteloc Racing of Claude-Yves Gosselin, Jean-Claude Lagniez and Marc Sourd was ninth.

The Audi teams will be back on track tomorrow at the Paul Ricard. The qualifying session will be held a 11:20 local time, the race will start at 19:15.

Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series