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
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:lancpain GT Series