2012 Blancpain Endurance Series Titles
clinched at Navarra
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT clinched both the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series drivers’ and teams’ titles at Navarra in a dramatic and incident-filled afternoon, as the usual Spanish sunshine turned to a torrential downpour.
The No.1 WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra of Christopher Mies (DEU), Christopher Haase, (DEU) and Stephane Ortelli (MCO) finished the race in second place under safety car conditions in the wet weather, bringing home the drivers’ championship, finishing on 114 points for the season.
An emotional Stephane Ortelli explained his feelings: “I’m so happy for the team. I was already happy when we were running in second place. I think both Christophers have done a great job today. I didn’t do that much, but they both drove great stints. They had the chance to pass some cars, before the safety car was deployed.”
Ortelli thanked team owner Vincent Vosse: “Every point counts in this championship. Vincent told me at Monza, ‘If you continue like this we can win the championship at the end of the season.’”
Their closest rivals in the No.3 Marc VDS Racing Team BMW, Bas Leinders (BEL), Markus Palttala (FIN) and Maxime Martin (BEL) finished second in the championship with 111 points. The BMW took fourth in the race, behind the second Team WRT Audi of Filipe Albuquerque (PRT), Frank Stippler (DEU) and Oliver Jarvis (GBR).
In the PRO Cup Teams’ Championship, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT finished with a total of 125 points, after winning at Paul Ricard. Marc VDS was close behind with 119 points with wins at Monza and Silverstone plus strong consistency throughout the season. In third place was the Belgian Prospeed Competition team with 78 points.
Hexis Racing scored a superb win in mixed conditions at Circuito Navarra today with its McLaren MP14-12C in its first Blancpain Endurance Series race this year. The French-based team of Alvaro Parente (PRT), Stef Dusseldorp (NDL) and Fred Makiowecki (FRA) converted their pole position into victory to score their third win at the Spanish venue in 2012. The team took two wins earlier this season at the Spanish track in the FIA GT1 World Championship.
Alvaro Parente set the team up well with the opening stint. “The start went well. I then defended my position nicely into the first corner. Then we had a little bit of rain, which slowed us down for three laps but then it was back to normal. The track is really good for our McLaren which helped, and combined to our great pit stops, I think was a good combination.”
In the PRO-AM class Niek Hommerson (NLD) and Louis Machiels (BEL) won the drivers’ championship with a total of 76 points. The duo was teamed with Alessandro PierGuidi for the final round, and had a three-point lead from the Italian combination of Eugenio Amos, Alessandro Bonacini and Giacomo Petrobelli in the No.57 Vita4one Team Italy Ferrari. Their race ended disappointingly with retirement due to suspension damage.
The PRO-AM team fight also had a narrow points margin with the AF Corse Ferrari team winning by a slim four points. Second, also running a brace of Ferraris was SOFREV ASP with 90 points. Third, with 67 points was the disappointed Italian Vita4one team.
In today’s race the ART Grand Prix McLaren MP4-12C of Grégoire Demoustier (FRA) and Duncan Tappy (GBR) was victorious in the PRO-AM class, with an impressive win despite a spin in the wet conditions. Tappy’s spectacular stint, including several inspired overtaking manoeuvres, helped their route to victory. “It was a really entertaining race for me. I couldn’t relax!” Tappy said. “I had Audis coming from all sorts of directions. I actually had contact in one of the corners, which we were both lucky to escape from. Once I got them out of the way I managed to do a great overtaking manoeuvre on the Boutsen-Ginion Racing McLaren. Then it started to rain,” he concluded.
Following today’s dramatic race, the Gentlemen Trophy class produced an interesting finalé to the teams’ championship. The French Sainteloc Racing Team only had to finish the race to win the championship with its Audi R8. With less than an hour to go, in treacherous conditions, Philippe Giauque spun and hit the No.9 Gulf Racing UK McLaren damaging the front section of the car. With minutes to go, the Sainteloc team repaired the car and finished champions.
The Gentlemen Trophy drivers’ championship title also went to the Sainteloc Racing drivers Robert Hissom (USA) and Pierre Hirschi (CHE), who after their second-in-class finish at Navarra gave them a total of 94 points.
Hissom expressed his championship winning thoughts: “This is the first championship I’ve ever won and it feels amazing. I have to thank the drivers, thank Sainteloc and the other teams, the competition in this series was simply fantastic.”
As the champions were announced and the Blancpain Endurance Series drew to a close, Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, expressed his thanks to the teams and congratulated the winners. “This has been a great season in the Blancpain Endurance Series. We have had different brands, teams and drivers scoring wins in all over the classes through the events. I would like to congratulate the three champion teams today: Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, AF Corse and Sainteloc Racing on their successes.”
About Blancpain: Over 275 years of tradition in motion
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing is name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged in a long-term commitment to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research.
From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past seven years, the Manufacture in Le Brassus has indeed developed no less than 22 new calibres.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the daring L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection and the Blancpain Women models.
The sports enthusiasts’ watch: Chronographe Flyback à Rattrapante Grande Date
While remaining loyal to its fundamental values, Blancpain quite naturally associates with the world of fine automotive mechanical engineering, since the key values of precision, reliability and sturdiness are required and shared by both cars and watches.
The bezel, caseback, dial and even the cap of the folding clasp are all made of carbon fibre and represent technical accomplishments vividly reflecting Blancpain’s innovative strength. To highlight the sporting nature of the new L-evolutionR, a digital font displays the large date as well as the 3 and 9 o’clock numerals, while the shape of the pushpiece at 8 o’clock resembles a fuel tank cap.
When the chronograph is in action, the movement with its column wheel and vertical coupling-clutch ensures excellent precision. Two major horological complications offer additionally useful functions: the split-second chronograph enables a split-time read-off, while the flyback function serves to instantly reset and restart the chronograph. The black alcanatara strap is equipped with carbon fibre inserts evoking the latest technological evolutions in racing car design.
How to follow the Blancpain Endurance Series:
Live streaming of each race will also be shown on the official web site www.blancpainendurance-series.com
Watch the 2012 season preview on the Blancpain Endurance Series Youtube channel.
Read David Addison’s blog Moonlighting at www.blancpain-endurance-series.com
The series will feature in live broadcast across 22 channels globally with a number of other key broadcasters showing extended highlights in territories such as Europe, Australia, North America and Latin America.
Bloomberg Television will also broadcast highlights worldwide (Americas, Pan Euro, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific). That all adds up to a global audience reach of over 350 million homes.
Motors TV will carry live coverage to viewers in over 20 countries across Europe.
Head of Communications
SRO Motorsports Group
Monday, 15 October 2012
McLaren win at Navarra Blancpain Endurance Series.
Posted by AmigosRacing/MRS GT. at 12:22