Sunday, October 14, 2012

WRT and Audi are Blancpain Endurance Series champions

By Tarek Ramchani

WRT Belgian Audi Club clinched the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series title at Navarra today. A back to back triumph following their 2011 crown.

The Belgian Audi squad entered no less than three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars for the finale at the Spanish track. In the qualifying sessions the three cars finished in fourth with car #6 of Frank Stippler, Oliver Jarvis and Filipe Albuquerque, in sixth with car #1 of Stéphane Ortelli, Christopher Haase and Christopher Mies and twelfth with car #2 of Laurens Vanthoor, Marco Bonanomi and Edward Sandstrom.

The three hour race later on Sunday it was far from easy for WRT. A very large field on a narrow and technical track was combined with heavy rain in the final part of the race. The #1 Audi squad was on a mission, to score four more points than their rivals from Marc VDS Racing BMW. Bas Leinders, Markus Palttala and Maxime Martin, were the drivers of the #3 BMW Z4 GT3 who were leading the series points standings on arrival in Spain. All three WRT cars worked well together in order help the #1 car score the most points possible and push back the assault of the #3 BMW. Great pressure on the whole team, but all three cars had fast and perfect pit stops in pitlane during the race. The race finished under safety car due to the torrential rain. In the end the Audis finished in 2nd for #1 and 3rd for #6, while ahead of them it was a McLaren victory. These results were enough to give Belgian Audi Club Team WRT the teams title and also enough to secure Stéphane Ortelli, Christopher Haase and Christopher Mies the drivers title.

It was a great season for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain Endurance Series. The team may only have scored a single win at Paul Ricard out of six races in the calendar, however the WRT crew was able to score big and vital points at each round, including the Spa 24 Hours. Consistency crowned them as champions this year. Congratulations to the whole team.

Photo credit: SRO / Blancpain Endurance Series