Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blancpain Sprint Series: Enzo Ide and René Rast grab another podium

Enzo Ide Press Release

Motorsport is back following the summer recess, with next to the F1 in Spa and the World Rally Championship in Germany, this weekend also saw the first of the four remaining rounds of the Blancpain Sprint Series or the European Championship for GT cars. And Enzo Ide was also on hand. The West Flanders based driver is competing with WRT Audi, and teamed up with German driver René Rast, recent winner of the 24 Hours of Spa, also with Audi. On the highly challenging Slovakia Ring in Slovakia, the duo experienced some highs and lows during the weekend, but which finally did result with a podium having finished in third place in the championship race. As such Enzo Ide and René Rast are still in the battle for the championship’s final podium, and will be heading on down to Portimao for the next race of this highly thrilling season.

On Friday it soon became apparent that the WRT Audi R8 LMS Ultra would be in a position to perform well on this undulating circuit in Slovakia. René Rast slotted the car, with which earlier at the beginning of the summer he had won at Zandvoort, in first spot of the second free practice.

Enzo Ide: “Right from the start it all went well. So we were pretty confident for the rest of the weekend to come, in fact confidence that was confirmed with a fourth place in the qualifying sessions. Ok, it wasn’t a front row spot, but on the other hand a second row is and remains a perfect position for the race.”

The sequel was one from which Enzo Ide would literally lie awake from all night.

Enzo Ide: “Up to a few minutes from the finish of the first race we were up front, with the victory in sight. That’s when I committed an error, dropping us back into ninth place. I still can’t get over it. To this day I can’t understand how this could have happened. I could hardly sleep all night and you will appreciate how annoyed I felt, especially for the team and my teammate René Rast, who once again had driven a brilliant race. It was especially hard to get going again a mere twenty fours later to take the start of the main race.”

Initially the main race looked as though it would turn out to be a drama, as Enzo Ide’s car was involved in an accident through no fault of his own. However the sequel turned into what one might call a sporting fairy tale.

Enzo Ide: “We were lying last up until the pit stops… Unbelievably I cursed everything and everyone in the car, which was far from being a pleasant experience. But then … A brilliant tyre change led by François Verbist and Laurent Durieu of the WRT Audi team meant that we were able to make up a few places. What then followed was a true show put in my teammate René Rast, who managed to climb back up through into third place. To be honest I didn’t expect that result, but it really felt fabulous. We’re still in the battle and running for the final podium in the championship and in the intermediate rankings we remain the best Audi team. I’m really looking forward to the next race, in a fortnight’s time in Portimao, in the splendid Portuguese Algarve.”

Photo credit: Belgian Audi Club / Patrick Hecq Photography