Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blancpain Endurance Series: Pro-Cup victory for Audi in Monza opener

By Tarek Ramchani

Monza played host to thrilling and chaotic Blancpain Endurance Series season opener. The Audi squad who suffred in qualifying performed well in the three-hour race.

A total of three Audi R8 LMS cars made it into the Top 10. The #1 Audi R8 LMS from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT ended in third place overall, second within the Pro-Cup class. The car was shared by Jean-Karl Vernay, Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor. All three drivers pushed really hard all race long.

Laurens Vanthoor had a heroic final stint passing several cars and taking a very deserved podium in the end. The trio of the #1 Audi finished behind the winning #19 Lamborghini Huracan from GRT Grasser Racing and the second placed #333 Ferrari 458 Italia from Rinaldi Racing.

The new Audi R8 LMS had a positive debut in Blancpain Endurance Series. The #2 car run by Belgian Audi Club Team WRT driven by Frank Stippler, Stephane Ortelli and Nico Müller finished the race in sixth place overall and fourth within the Pro-Cup class.

Sainteloc Racing from France had a strong race with their #35 Audi R8 LMS ultra. Gregory Guilvert, Edward Sandström and Edoardo Mortara ended the event in ninth place overall.

The #20 Audi from I.S.R Racing with drivers Filip Salaquarda, Marco Bonanomi and Frederic Vervisch was twentieth. The #6 new Audi R8 LMS from Phoenix Racing was twenty-third with Christopher Haase, Christian Mamerow and Markus Winkelhock. 

Team Parker Racing's #24 R8 LMS ultra was thirty-fifth with Ian Loggie and Julian Westwood. The  #4 entry from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT was thirty-sixth. The #36 car from Sainteloc Racing was fourty-fourth.

The #3 Audi from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT was forced to retire. The #74 car from I.S.R. Racing did not take part in the race following a big crash in the qualifying session earlier today.

UPDATE:  The winning Lamborghini from Grasser Racing Team has been excluded for technical infringement. Therefore the #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra moves to second place overall and wins the Pro-Cup class with drivers Jean-Karl Vernay, Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor

Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series