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Blancpain Series Silverstone


888 39 AM Cup Ferrari 488 GT3 s/n 4408 Marco Zanuttini, Jacques Duyver, David Perel

888 39 AM Cup Ferrari 488 GT3 s/n 4408 Marco Zanuttini, Jacques Duyver, David Perel

 

Silverstone, 13-15 May, 2017

A week after the Blancpain series Sprint Cup races at Brands Hatch, the Blancpain entourage set up camp at Silverstone for the second endurance race of the series season, the 3 Hours of Silverstone. There was also a strong support programme, with a pair of races each for the Blancpain GT Sports Club series, aimed specifically at gentlemen drivers, the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series and the Formula Renault Eurocup single seater series. Add in all the peripheral activities and displays, like the supercar display, featuring a very impressive array of modern McLaren road and race GT cars as the main feature, the Pirelli slot racing feature, the pit walk and autograph session, plus a number of vendors, and there was plenty to keep everybody occupied. It was a good weekend for Lamborghini fans, as apart from the Super Trofeo races, where obviously it would be a Lamborghini that won, there were wins for Lamborghini in both GT Sports Club races and also in the 3 Hours of Silverstone.

Blancpain Endurance Cup Ė 3 Hours of Silverstone

The entry list comprised of a very healthy 55 cars over the three classes, Pro, Pro-AM and AM, with ten different marques represented, Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, McLaren, Mercedes AMG, Nissan and Porsche. After practice and pre-qualifying sessions on the Saturday, qualifying took place on a bright but blustery Sunday morning. In the Pro class it was the # 88 AKKA ASP entered Mercedes SLS AMG of Vautier/Serralles/Juncadella that claimed pole position, by only 0.225sec from the # 63 GRT Grasser Racing Teamís Lamborghini Huracan of Caldarelli/Engelhart/Bortolotti. Rro-AM class qualifying honours went to another AKKA ASP Mercedes, this being the # 87 example of Bastian/Beaubelique/Gounon, which also had a Lamborghini as 2nd quickest class qualifier, this being the # 77 Barwell Motorsport entry of Kodric/Amstutz/Kujala. In the AM class it was the # 888 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Zanuttini/Duyver/Perel that took the qualifying honours ahead of the similar # 488 Rinaldi Racing example of Ehret/Mastronardi. The level of competiveness through the field can be seen by the fact that there were 7 different marques in the top 20 qualifiers, and that they were only covered by a span of 1.067secs, and less than 1.5secs covered the top 30 cars.

The race on Sunday afternoon started at 14.55, well actually slightly after, as an extra formation lap was needed, and the # 63 Lamborghini took the lead into the first corner, and started to establish a gap the pursuing pack. The pole sitting Mercedes was adjudged to have made a false start and was given a one minute Stop-and-Go penalty. It wasnít long before the safety car was deployed after the # 44 Strakka Racing McLaren was pitched into the barriers at turn 3, which resulted in a lengthy period on neutralisation whilst the car was removed and repairs to the barrier effected.

This nullified the # 63 Lamborghiniís advantage, and an early pit stop for # 90 AKKA ASP Mercedes of Meadows/Mortar/Marciello put it in the lead by the time that the race went green. Thus it set up for a great battle between the #63 Lamborghini and the # 90 Mercedes, which as they fought allowed the # 84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes of Eriksson/Buhk/Perera to latch on to the lead battle. This fight continued through to the end of the second hour and the final round of pit stops, when the Grasser team managed to get the # 63 Lamborghini turned around quicker than its pursuers. Things looked good for them, but as the race entered its closing phase the # 84 Mercedes was reeling the Lamborghini in, and by what many thought was the final lap it was right on its tail. However, it turned out to be the penultimate lap, as such was their pace, one to try and stay ahead and the other to try and pass, that they crossed the Start-Finish line with 3secs of the 3 hours remaining, so Engelhart in the # 63 Lamborghini had to withstand the immense pressure from Buhk in the # 84 Mercedes for another nail biting lap for the team. He managed to do so, taking victory by 0.344sec after 180mins of racing.

The Pro-Am category was initially a battle between the class pole sitting # 87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG and Rinaldi Racingís # 333 Ferrari 488 GT3, until the Ferrari was handed a drive-through for speeding in the pit lane. For some reason it didnít come in to serve the penalty and was black flagged and disqualified from the race. As the race progressed the # 77 Barwell Motorsport entered Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Amstutz/Kodric/Kujala steadily made its way through the field to claim class honours, ahead of the # 97 Aston Martin of Al Harthy/Adam and the pole sitting Mercedes of Bastian/Beaubelique/Gounon. In the AM class the # 488 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Ehret/Mastronardi fared better than its Pro-AM stable mate, to take the class win from the pole sitting # 888 example of Duyver/Zanuttini/Perel.

Results

Overall & Pro Podium

1st        # 63, GRT Grasser Racing Team, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, L. Caldarelli/

            C. Engelhart/M. Bortolotti

2nd       # 84, HTP Motorsport, Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, J. Eriksson/M. Bunk/

            F. Perera

3rd       # 90, AKKA ASP, Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, M. Meadows/E. Mortara/

            R. Marciello

Pro-AM Podium

1st        # 77, Barwell Motorsport, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, M. Kodric/A. Amstutz/

            P. Kujala

2nd       # 97, Oman Racing Team with TF Sport, Aston Martin V12 GT3, A. Al Harthy/

            J. Adam

3rd       # 87, AKKA ASP, Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, N. Bastian/J. Beaubelique/

            J. Gounon

AM Podium

1st        # 488, Rinaldi Racing, Ferrari 488 GT3, P. Ehret/R. Mastronadi

2nd       # 888, Kessel Racing, Ferrari 488 GT3, J. Duyver/M. Zanuttini/D. Perel

3rd       # 36, Walkenhorst Motorsport, BMW M6 GT3, D. Schiwietz/H. Walkenhorst/

            M. Henkola

 

Blancpain GT Sports Club

British GT Championship driver John Minshaw had his first taste of the Blancpain GT Sports Club in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3, actually it was more than just a taste, more a large bite, as he put his car on pole position in qualifying, then proceeded to win both the qualifying race and the main race. Actually that is rather over simplifying things, as it wasnít quite the walk in the park that it sounds. In the 25mins qualifying race at lunchtime on the Saturday, who was only 0.598sec adrift at the chequered flag. The final podium spot went to the fast closing BMW M6 GT3 of Karim Ojjeh, who was 3.503secs behind the winning car.

In the 40mins long main race, the last one on the programme on Saturday afternoon, things were even more closely fought between the three main protagonists in the earlier race. Initially Minshaw led, but Leimer was always in very close attendance and Ojjeh soon joined the battle after a slower start. In the closing stages Leimer made a move stick to take the lead, and Ojjeh followed him past Minshaw to take 2nd spot, but Minshaw soon re-passed the BMW to reclaim 2nd place. Leimer took the flag first 0.766sec ahead of Minshaw, who in turn was only 0.206sec ahead of Ojjeh, but Leimer was given a 30secs penalty for not respecting the track limits, handing the win to Minshaw, and dropping him to 5th overall

In the Iron Cup, for drivers over 60 years of age, class wins in both races went to the American driver Stephen Earle in his Kessel racing entered Ferrari 458 GT3, followed home on each occasion by the German driver Klaus Dieter Frers in his Artega Rennsport entered # 3 Ferrari 488 GT3. Louis-Philippe Soenen from Belgium completed the Iron Cup podium positions in an AF Corse entered Ferrari 488 GT3.

Qualifying Race Podium

1st        # 33, Barwell Motorsport, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, J. Minshaw

2nd       # 963, Autovitesse Garage R. Affolter, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, C. Leimer

3rd       # 2, Boutsen Ginion, BMW M6 GT3, K. Ojjeh

Main Race Podium

1st        # 33, Barwell Motorsport, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, J. Minshaw

2nd       # 2, Boutsen Ginion, BMW M6 GT3, K. Ojjeh

3rd       # 72, AKKA ASP, Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, A. Pons

 

Lamborghini Super Trofeo

 

The Lamborghini Super Trofeo race entry comprised of a colourful array of 32 Huracan Super Trofeos, with a wide variety of nationalities at the wheel, to compete in two 50mins races, one on the Saturday afternoon and the other on the Sunday morning. The qualifying session saw the # 23 Imperiale Racing entered example of Vito Postiglione and Jonathan Cecotto, the 17 year old son of motor cycling World Champion Johnny Cecotto, take pole position in a very competitive field.

 

They converted this to wins in both races, although both were hard fought, with a margin of 3.968secs in race 1 from the # 17 Antonelli Motorsport example driven by Spinelli/Grenier. However, the latter pairing was then given a time penalty for not respecting the minimum time during the driver change, which dropped them to 3rd behind Abbate/Yemoto, but they were then elevated back to 2nd when the Abbate/Yemoto car was excluded on a technical irregularity. The margin of victory for Postiglione/Cecotto was even tighter in race 2, a mere 1.777secs ahead of the # 6 example of Abbate/Yemoto, which had led most of the race, until Postiglione squeezed past in the dying minutes to take the win.

 

Race 1 Podium

1st        # 23, V. Postiglione/J. Cecotto

2nd       # 17, L. Spinelli/M. Grenier

3rd       # 7, R. Breukers/A. Jefferies

Race 2 Podium

1st        # 23, V. Postiglione/J. Cecotto

2nd       # 6, R. Abbate/Y. Nemoto

3rd       # 8, S. Afanasiev/G. Tweraser

 

 

Ferrari Entry

Blancpain GT Sports Club

Race #

Model

Chassis#

Team

Colour

Driver

Position

 

QR

MR

65

Ferrari 458 GT3

3604

Kessel Racing

Black-Blue

A. De Bernardi

7th

6th

51

Ferrari 458 GT3

3614

AF Corse

Orange-RWG Stís

C. Ulrich

8th

7th

77

Ferrari 458 GT3

3686?

Kessel Racing

Red

F. Scheltema

9th

8th

111*

Ferrari 458 GT3

3280

Kessel Racing

Red-Black

S. Earle

10th/
1st

11th/
1st

 3*

Ferrari 488 GT3

4210

Artega Rennsport

Red-White & Blue Stripes

K. D. Frers

11th/
2nd

15th/
2nd

488

Ferrari 488 GT3

4234

AF Corse

Red-Grey

P. Van Glabeke

13th

9th

50*

Ferrari 488 GT3

4236

AF Corse

Red-RWG Stís

L. P. Soenen

16th/
3rd

18th/
3rd

49**

Ferrari 458 Challenge

179361

AF Corse

White-Blue-Red

H. Blank

19th/
1st

20th/
1st

*Iron Cup Class

**Cup Class

 

Blancpain Endurance Cup

 

Race #

Model

Chassis#

Team

Colour

Drivers

Position

 

O/A

Cl.

Class Pro

 

 

72

Ferrari 488 GT3

4272

SMP Racing

Blue-Red-White

V. Shaytar /
D. Rigon /
M. Molina

4th

4th

50

Ferrari 488 GT3

4228

AF Corse

Yellow-RWB Stís

P. Lathouras / M. Rugelo /
A. Pier Guidi

6th

6th

55

Ferrari 488 GT3

4260

Kaspersky Motorsport

White-Red-Green

M. Cioci /
J. Calado /
G. Fisichella

23rd

20th

Class Pro-AM

 

 

53

Ferrari 488 GT3

4298

Spirit of Race

Black-White

N. Hommerson /
L. Machiels /
R. Butcher

33rd

10th

51

Ferrari 488 GT3

4230

AF Corse

Red-White- Green-Black

I. Motoaki /
L. Bontempelli /
O. Beretta

38th

12th

11

Ferrari 488 GT3

4406

Kessel Racing

Red-White

M. Broniszewski /
M. Cressoni /
A. Rizzoli

44th

14th

333

Ferrari 488 GT3

4400

Rinaldi Racing

Green-Yellow- White

R. Saikhov /
A. Mattschull /
D. Keilwitz

DSQ

 

Class AM

 

 

488

Ferrari 488 GT3

4244

Rinaldi Racing

Green-Black

P. Ehret /
R. Mastronadi

35th

1st

888

Ferrari 488 GT3

4408

Kessel Racing

Red-Black

J. Duyvier /
M. Zanuttini

39th

2nd

 

 

Keith Bluemel         
05/2017