Coupes de Pâques 2014

The first Blancpain Sprint Series weekend at Nogaro was solid. A few things were noteworthy:

  • Only 17 cars turned a lap in the Main Race. That is not overwhelming when there were 22 cars on the first official entry list.
  • The two Maxis (Götz and Buhk) beat Audi on their ‘home track’ on Monday. It can’t start better for the HTP Mercedes pairing.
  • But Audi was unlucky to lose Vanthoor/Ramos on the formation lap. Winkelhock/Mayr-Melnhof lost their bonnet and all chances for a good finish.
  • What does AH Competições Team Brasil have to do to get a podium in BSS? Sérgio Jimenez and Cacá Bueno finishing 5th after many great battles.
  • The GT Open teams Villorba Corse and Bhai Tech Racing need to find some pace in BSS. But judging their performance is difficult beacause they are the only Ferrari and McLaren teams on the grid.

For  Blancpain Sprint Series pics and videos from the 2014 Coupes de Pâques, click here.

It’s #BlancpainGT for 2014

For all the GT loving tweeps out there: here’s the list of the current driver’s “@s” on Twitter.
The official Blancpain GT Series (for Sprint and Endurance) hashtag is #BlancpainGT and the official twitter account is @Blancpaingt.

Here are the teams and drivers:

#0 AH Competições | @BMWteambrasil
Nelson Piquet Jr. | @NelsonPiquet
Matheus Stumpf | @matheusstumpf89

#1 Belgian Audi Club WRT | @WRacingTeam1
Laurens Vanthoor  | @VanthoorLaurens
César Ramos | @C_Ramoss (not used since 2013)

#2 Belgian Audi Club WRT | @WRacingTeam1
René Rast | @ReneRastRacing
Enzo Ide | @enzoide123

#3 G-Drive Racing | @GDrive_Racing
Stéphane Ortelli | not on Twitter
Grégory Guilvert | not on Twitter

#4 Belgian Audi Club WRT | @WRacingTeam1
Vincent Abril | @VinceAbril
Mateusz Lisowski | @lisowski_racing (not used since 2010)

#5 Phoenix Racing | @phoenix_racing
Markus Winkelhock | @m_winkelhock
Niki Mayr-Melnhof | not on Twitter

#6 Phoenix Racing | @phoenix_racing
Marc Basseng | @MarcBasseng
Alessandro Latif | @AlessandroLatif

#21 AH Competições | @BMWteambrasil
Cacá Bueno |
Sergio Jimenez | @aceleraSJimenez

#24 Blancpain Racing | not on twitter
Peter Kox | @PeterKoxRacing
Marc A. Hayek | not on twitter

#26 Grasser Racing Team | not on Twitter
Sascha Halek | not on twitter
Tomáš Enge | @tomasengeracing

#27 Grasser Racing Team | not on Twitter
Hari Prozcyk | not on twitter
Jeroen Bleekemolen | @jbleekemolen

#33 ROAL Motorsport | @RoalMotorsport
Alessandro Zanardi | @lxznr

#34 ROAL Motorsport | @RoalMotorsport
Stefano Colombo | @Stefanocolo21
David Fumanelli | @DavidFumanelli

#60 Bhai Tech Racing | @bhaitech
Daniel Lloyd | @Daniellloyd23
Sten Pantus | @StenPentus

#61 Bhai Tech Racing | @bhaitech
Giorgio Pantano | @giorgio_pantano
Fabio Onidi | @FabioOnidi

#62 Fortec Motorsports | @FortecM
Armaan Ebrahim | @armaan_ebrahim
Benji Hetherington | @HetheringtonBen

#63 Fortec Motorsports | @FortecM
Miguel Toril | @MiguelToril
Nico Bastion | not on Twitter

#83 HTP Motorsport | @HTP Motorsport
Maximilian Buhk | @MaxiBuhk
Maximian Götz | not on Twitter

#84 HTP Motorsport | @HTP Motorsport
Sergei Afanasiev | @sergeiafanasiev
Stef Dusseldorp | @StefDusseldorp

#90 Villorba Corse | @Villorbacorse
Andrea Montermini | @andremontermini
Filip Salaquarda | @filipsalaquarda

A special shoutout to Martin Matzke who’s still injured: @MatzkeMartin
Get well soon!

Here are the most important sessions for the #CoupesDePâques:
Qualification, Saturday, 15.15 – 16.10 CEST
Qualification Race, Sunday, 14.15 – 15.15 CEST
Main Race: Monday, 14.15 – 15.15 CEST

The entry list for the #CoupesDePâques is here.

6 former F1 drivers in Blancpain Sprint

Never judge a driver purely on his Formula 1 results! But the ‘pinacle of racing’ gets a lot of attention and drivers are labled “former F1 driver” for the rest of their careers. In 2014, there are 6 former F1 driver’s in the field:

  1. Tomáš Enge (Grasser Racing | Lamborghini): 3 starts for Prost in 2001.
  2. Andrea Montermini (Villorba Corse | Ferrari): 20 starts for Simtec, Pacific and Forti between 1994 and 1996.
  3. Giorgio Pantano (Bhai Tech Racing | McLaren): 14 starts for Jordan in 2004.
  4. Nelson Piquet jr. (AH Competições | BMW): 28 starts for Renault in 2008 and 2009.
  5. Markus Winkelhock (Phoenix Racing | Audi): 1 start for Spyker in 2007.
  6. Alex Zanardi (ROAL | BMW): 41 starts for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams between 1991 and 1999.

Ther’s a life before and after F1. Let’s see which achievement belongs to which driver (easy to intermediate difficulty):

  • GT1 World Champion in 2012.
  • 2 times GT Open Champion.
  • LMP1-Champion in ELMS 2009.
  • Winner Mil Milhas Brasil in 2006.
  • 2 times CART champion.
  • GP2 Champion in 2008.

The 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series entry list for Nogaro is here.

22 cars for BSS opener in Nogaro

22 GT3 cars are entered for the first race of the new Blancpain Sprint Series (BSS) in Nogaro on Easter Weekend. Bearing in mind that some changes might appear until the green flag drops, here are some remarks on the entry list:

  • Last year’s FIA GT Series Race at Nogaro had 24 cars on the entry list but only 22 started the race.
  • With Stéphane Ortelli, Laurens Vanthoor and Sergei Afanasiev there are 3 of 5 FIA GT Series’ champions present on the 2014 grid.
  • Alex Zanardi, Nelson Piquet Jr. and (maybe) Bruno Senna are well know names that might help to grow the series.
  • 14 cars for PRO class: very strong; 6 for Silver Cup: decent; 2 cars for PRO-AM: …
  • 7 Audi, 4 Mercedes and 4 BMW: Germany really seems to be the “Auto-Nation”: that’s 68,2% of the field.
  • Grasser Racing has not named a substitute for the injured Martin Matzke (test crash in Nogaro).
  • No Lamborghini of Leipert in Nogaro.
  • Boutsen Ginion only takes part in selected races. Nogaro is not one of them.

The Blancpain Sprint Series class distribution regarding driver ratings is as follows:

  • PRO: 14 cars (every rating combination is possible)
  • PRO-AM: 2 cars (1x Bronze + 1x Platin, Gold, Silver or 2x Silber older than 30)
  • Silver Cup: 6 cars (2x Silver under 25)

The calender of the BSS can be see here.

BSS: (un)lucky 13?

A bit more than one month ahead of the first race of the new Blancpain Sprint Series (BSS), there are 13 cars on the preliminary entry list for Nogaro. A detailed version can be found here.

The number might not be the highest but there not many TBAs to be filled after WRT announced the 2014 driver line-ups. Those teams still have seats to fill:

  • Boutsen Ginion Racing: Karim Ojjeh doesn’t have a partner in BSS yet.
  • Grasser Racing Team: Austrian sportscar veteran Hari Proczyk is still alone in the 2nd Grasser Lamborghini that is sheduled for Pro-Am.
  • Leipert Motorsport: No drivers announced.

Those are the cars for 2014:

  • 4x Audi R8 LMS ultra (4x WRT)
  • 4x Lamborghini Gallardo FLII (2x Grasser, 1x Reiter, 1x Leipert)
  • 2x BMW Z4 GT3 (2x ROAL)
  • 2x Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (2x HTP)
  • 1x McLaren MP4-12C (1x Boutsen)

BSS is taking shape

The first season of the new Blancpain Sprint Series (BSS) in 2014 looks to be solid.  What do we know two months before the first races in Nogaro?

  • Séabstien Loeb might be gone but the series attracted another of the sport’s greatest: Alessandro ‘Alex’ Zanardi who starts in a BMW of ROAL Motorsport.
  • WRT is coming with four Audi R8 LMS ultra. The team’s and drvier’s champion of last year’s FIA GT Championship will look strong again in 2014.
  • Four Lamborghinis are entred as well. Dutch veteran Peter Kox returns to sprint racing with Blancpain Racing.
  • HTP Motorport has hired some talented young drivers but has not yet revealed the driver line-ups.

A detailed version of the preliminary Blancpain Sprint Series entry list is here.

The revised shedule for the BSS season is here.