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Vandierendonck claims maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club pole at Barcelona

Vandierendonck claims maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club pole at Barcelona

02/10/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 19605614
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Vandierendonck claims maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club pole at Barcelona; Advantage Lanting in Iron Cup

Nicolas Vandierendonck claimed his maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club pole position at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya earlier this afternoon thanks to a dominant performance in the 20-minute qualifying session. Meanwhile, the Iron Cup title fight appears finely poised after Martin Lanting pipped main rival Stephen Earle to class top spot.

The Selleslagh Racing Team Corvette had signalled its intentions by pacing the day’s second practice session and reproduced that same form when it mattered most. Vandierendonck initially vied with Cedric Leimer’s X Bionic Lamborghini Huracan for the fastest time before setting what would ultimately prove the day’s quickest lap - 1m49.426s - on his third flying run.

That was set just before Coach McKansy brought proceedings to a brief halt halfway through the session after spinning his Lamborghini exiting Turn 3. At that point Leimer was just 0.277s slower than Vandierendonck, who opted not to run again, but the Swiss driver had nothing more to give when the action resumed and eventually had to settle for second.

Having wrapped up the Overall championship at Spa-Francorchamps Michal Broniszewski’s mind was perhaps on his Blancpain GT Series title aspirations. The Pole has been largely imperious this season but could only lap his Kessel Racing Ferrari six tenths slower than Vandierendonck en route to third after not running before the red flag period. He shares the second row with Mario Cordoni’s AF Corse Ferrari.

Jaime Font Casas topped opening practice earlier in the day but required a late improvement to qualify inside the top-five ahead of fellow Blancpain GT Sports Club debutant Eric Cayrole. Both Ferraris start ahead of Jean-Michel Baert’s new-generation Audi R8 LMS after the Belgian jumped up several spots with a last gasp effort.

Patrick Van Glabeke’s Ferrari 488 GT3, the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 driven by Daniel Vogt and Maurice Ricci’s new Mercedes-AMG GT3 complete the top-10.

Meanwhile, Iron Cup championship contenders Martin Lanting and Stephen Earle start alongside each other on row seven after posting near identical times. The latter’s best was an agonising 0.013s slower than the reigning champion managed, suggesting that tomorrow’s title showdown in the middle of the pack will be worth watching.

Sunday’s 25-minute Qualifying Race, which determines the grid for the afternoon’s Main Race, starts at 11:45 local time and will be streamed live on the Blancpain GT Sports Club website.

Nicolas Vandierendonck, #63 Selleslagh Racing Team Corvette C6 ZR1 GTE: “I came here a couple of weeks ago with Curbstone and it has made a big difference. Either I had never driven the other circuits or not raced them for a long time, which is why I was not able to perform as well as I have here. I have also been getting used to the different driving style required to race the Corvette, which is very different to the Porsches I have been used to in the past. It has taken time to get the hang of it but the improvement is clear. In fact, we chose not to go out after the red flag because I did not believe the time could be improved. That also means my tyres are just four laps old, which should help tomorrow. I have a lot of confidence, the car has never felt better and the team has been brilliant.”

Click here for the complete Barcelona qualifying classification


Blancpain GT Sports Club Schedule: Barcelona

Sunday 2 October

11:45 - 12:10: Qualifying Race
15:50 - 16:30: Main Race

Lanting and Earle set for Iron Cup showdown at Barcelona’s Blancpain GT Sports Club finale

Lanting and Earle set for Iron Cup showdown at Barcelona’s Blancpain GT Sports Club finale

26/09/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 19536746
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Lanting and Earle set for Iron Cup showdown at Barcelona’s Blancpain GT Sports Club finale

The Blancpain GT Sports Club returns to the scene of its very first race this weekend when Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosts the fifth and final round of this year’s championship.

The series has come a long way in a short space of time. Just 13 cars lined up for the inaugural event almost 18 months ago, but that number will swell to 24 for this weekend’s outing around the Spanish Grand Prix venue. 

SRO’s series reserved for fully-amateur drivers is also the only international championship to balance GTE, GT3 and single-make cars in the same class, which not only guarantees variety but also a different approach to racing depending on each set of original regulations.

With the Overall title decided in Michal Broniszewski’s favour at Spa-Francorchamps in late July, all eyes are on the Iron Cup battle - reserved for drivers aged 60 and over - currently led by reigning champion Martin Lanting. The Monegasque has won four times this year, twice more than anyone else, but only enjoys an 11-point lead over main rival Stephen Earle whose superior consistency has kept him in title contention.

And with a maximum 33 points available in Sunday’s Qualifying and Main Races, the crown could still go one of two ways.

Lanting’s more recent winning experience at the circuit perhaps gives him the edge. He won last year’s Qualifying Race before losing the Main Race lead after clashing with another driver.

“I need to adopt a more thoughtful approach this weekend,” said Lanting. “My primary focus has to be the Iron Cup classification rather than the overall result, which is not really in my nature! I was never a big fan of Barcelona but I have received some private coaching in order to better understand it and my opinion has now completely changed! I really like it but need to avoid the same sort of thing as happened last year when my good friend Patrick Van Glabeke and I tangled!”

But Earle is also no stranger to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya having competed there in various series since 2002. His approach differs to Lanting’s this weekend.

“There are 33 points available and I am 32 ahead of Jan [Brunstedt] in third, so I can afford to be daring!” he confirmed. “There is also no point waiting for Martin to make a mistake because I think he has learned from what happened at Brands Hatch earlier in the season. So it is a flat-out and risk-taking weekend for me.”

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of contenders hoping to secure the Overall runner-up spot behind Broniszewski. Nicolas Vandierendonck currently occupies that position but is only three points clear of Mario Cordoni who has endured a frustrating campaign aboard his AF Corse Ferrari.

Iron Cup leader Lanting is not out of contention in fourth, while a whole gaggle of drivers sit just 11 points adrift of Vandierendonck’s thunderous Selleslagh Racing Team-run GTE-spec Corvette.

Such is the Blancpain GT Sports Club’s increasing stature that a number of new-generation GT3 cars will be on the grid this weekend. Ferrari’s new-for-2016 488 and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 both compete, along with the Team WRT-run Audi R8 LMS and X Bionic-entered Lamborghini Huracan, which are both making their championship debuts in the respective hands of Jean-Michel Baert and Cedric Leimer.

The championship’s unique platform also allows the likes of Renault’s RS01 - originally intended to compete in its own single-make series - to race on equal terms with GT cars. Jurgen Smet and Monlau Competicion make their Blancpain GT Sports Club debuts with one of the French machines that twice finished second at the previous Spa-Francorchamps round.

Elsewhere, Fons Scheltema will also be making his maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club appearance at the wheel of a Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3.

Watch this Sunday’s race and follow the live timing from all sessions on


Entry list

Click here to download the Barcelona entry list


Blancpain GT Sports Club Schedule: Barcelona

Saturday 1 October
11:50 - 12:20: Free Practice 1
14:00 - 14:30: Free Practice 2
17:15 - 17:35: Qualifying

Sunday 2 October
12:15 - 12:40: Qualifying Race
16:25 - 17:05: Main Race


Image captions

1. AF Corse's Lanting leads the Iron Cup standings by 11 points.
2. Kessel Racing's Earle has won once this season.
3. Lanting (centre) and Earle (right) will battle for the Iron Cup class title this weekend.

Broniszewski crowned Overall Champion with second victory of the weekend at Spa

Broniszewski crowned Overall Champion with second victory of the weekend at Spa

31/07/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 18810842
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Broniszewski crowned Overall Champion with second victory of the weekend at Spa

Michal Broniszewski sealed the 2016 Blancpain GT Sports Club Overall Drivers’ title at Spa-Francorchamps this morning after claiming a second victory of the weekend. Elsewhere, Martin Lanting took a step closer to retaining his Iron Cup crown with another over-60s class win.

The 40-minute encounter, run in bright morning sunshine throughout, was essentially decided on the opening lap at La Source when Broniszewski converted pole position into the lead. The Kessel Racing driver was never challenged thereafter thanks to a fast, error-free drive that resulted in a commanding victory.

With chief rival Mario Cordoni scoring just three points this weekend, and Nicolas Vandierendonck not registering enough to challenge, Broniszewski leaves Belgium an unassailable 37 clear with a maximum of just 33 available at Barcelona’s season finale.

The battle for second looked more promising when fellow front row starter Davide Roda lost two places in quick succession to Nicolas Vandierendonck and Alexis De Bernardi. But the Italian’s Renault RS01, which was competing as a balanced Xtra Cup entry for the first time this weekend, proved more than a match for its GTE and GT3 counterparts after fighting back over the opening laps.

De Bernardi was the first to be dispatched before a slipstreaming move through Eau Rouge and Raidillon accounted for Vandierendonck’s Corvette into Les Combes. Roda was never challenged thereafter en route to his second runner-up spot of the weekend, 2.8s clear of the pursuing C6 ZR1.

While De Bernardi completed a trouble-free race in fourth, a terrific fight was developing behind for the lower half of the top-10.

In the end it was Patrick Van Glabeke who fought from 20th on the grid to finish an incredible fifth. The Ferrari 488 GT3 initially cut through the midfield before passing Pierre Hirschi, Stephen Earle and Lanting. Spins for Mario Cordoni and Daniel Vogt - who like Van Glabeke had started out of position in 14th - subsequently gifted the AF Corse driver two more places before the Belgian relieved Anthony Pons of fifth on the final lap.

Lanting was next up after taking advantage of other drivers’ travails while also keeping his own Ferrari’s nose clean throughout a generally frenetic race in the lower half of the top-10. A second Iron Cup victory of the weekend has helped him establish a 11-point lead over main class rival Earle who finished ninth on the road behind Hirschi.

Cordoni, whose late spin exiting the Bus Stop not only dropped him out of sixth but also championship contention, regrouped to complete the top-10 ahead of Christoph Ulrich and Jan Brunstedt, who joined Lanting and Earle on the Iron Cup podium after fighting through from 19th.

The final round of this season’s Blancpain GT Sports Club takes place at Barcelona on October 1/2.

Michal Broniszewski, #11 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3: “The car was a handful in the dry yesterday because of the wet qualifying and practice sessions, but it was much easier to drive today. I am definitely not as tired! The team have done a fantastic job. I did not have to take any risks, just remain consistent and get to the finish. Of course winning the championship with a weekend to spare feels great but I will not change my approach at the final round. I will always push!”

Martin Lanting, #50 AF Corse Ferrari 458 GTE: “Some cars spun and there were some yellow flags to deal with so I was driving more with my brains than feet because it was important to be first in Iron Cup. I was happy with my pace compared to the younger guys but getting around, securing points and enjoying this iconic track were the main aims. Plus I really enjoy the competition and spirit amongst the drivers racing in Blancpain GT Sports Club. We have got to know each other pretty well and always have a good time.”

Click here for the complete Main Race classification.
Click here for the championship standings.

Dominant Broniszewski claims third Blancpain GT Sports Club victory of the season at Spa

Dominant Broniszewski claims third Blancpain GT Sports Club victory of the season at Spa

30/07/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 18800202
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Dominant Broniszewski claims third Blancpain GT Sports Club victory of the season at Spa

Michal Broniszewski notched up his third Blancpain GT Sports Club win of the season in this afternoon’s Qualifying Race at Spa-Francorchamps with a comfortable lights-to-flag victory.

Elsewhere, Martin Lanting extended his Iron Cup points lead with another over-60s class win after coming through from 14th on the grid to finish sixth overall.

The rain that blighted practice and qualifying had been replaced by bright sunshine and a dry track by the time racing began in the Ardennes. A good start helped Broniszewski maintain his lead during the opening laps despite coming under pressure from Patrick Van Glabeke’s Ferrari, which passed Daniel Vogt’s front row-starting Mercedes at La Source on the opening tour.

However, any contest was effectively ended on lap three when the 488 GT3 spun into the Les Combes barriers. Although able to continue, Van Glabeke’s delay allowed Broniszewski to break further clear and eventually seal a commanding victory by 36.5s.

The Pole’s cause was also helped by Vogt, whose misdemeanour - made just after Van Glabeke’s spin had helped the Mercedes re-take second - gave the Ferrari driver even more breathing space.

That left Davide Roda’s Renault RS01, running for the first time in an SRO-sanctioned event this weekend, as the last line of defence. However, the Italian - who had looked every inch Broniszewski’s match in wet free practice - had no answer for the Kessel Racing driver. Indeed, he spent the race’s final third focusing more on his mirrors as they became increasingly full of Nicolas Vandierendonck.

The Selleslagh Racing Team Corvette driver had made impressive progress from 11th on the grid but ran out of time to mount a proper challenge for second. He eventually finished 1.7s behind Roda.

Anthony Pons enjoyed a relatively uneventful race en route to fourth. He, like Vandierendonck, benefitted from the issues of several drivers who started ahead, including Coach McKansy who span out of top-six contention on the opening lap.

Pierre Hirschi finished fifth on the road but was demoted to 12th post-race as a result of a 30-second time penalty for impeding Vogt’s comeback drive, which resulted in the Mercedes spinning out of sixth. That promoted Alexis de Bernardi to fifth, one place ahead of Iron Cup winner Martin Lanting who passed title rival Stephen Earle at half-distance.

Mario Cordoni was next up in seventh despite starting dead last, with Marco Zanuttini completing the top-eight.

Meanwhile, Earle maintained his ultra-consistent Iron Cup run with second in class and ninth overall, two places clear of Klaus Dieter Frers who completed the over-60s podium.

Tomorrow morning’s Main Race gets underway at 10:40 local time.

Michal Broniszewski, #11 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3: “We had to guess a little with the set-up because of all the wet running earlier today. Honestly, it rained like hell! Maybe the car was not perfect but it was still good enough in the end. Tomorrowwill not be easy either; it is a 40-minute race and very close to the Total 24 Hours of Spa, which I will be starting.”

Martin Lanting, #48 AF Corse Ferrari 458 GTE: “Everything went pretty well in free practice but I ended up fighting the car in qualifying while everyone else improved. So I had to accept starting in P14 today, which I was not happy about, especially as that meant fourth in the Iron Cup! The start was a bit hectic but I managed to battle through and then pass Earle.”

Click here for the complete Qualifying Race classification.

Blancpain GT Sports Club set for Spa showdown

Blancpain GT Sports Club set for Spa showdown

23/07/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 18717109
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Blancpain GT Sports Club set for Spa showdown

There will be plenty to play for when the Blancpain GT Sports Club touches down in Belgium next weekend (29/30 July) for not only its penultimate round of the season but also as an official support act to the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

SRO’s series reserved for fully-amateur drivers is also the only international championship to balance GTE, GT3 and one-make machinery in the same class. And that level of variety will again be on show in the Ardennes where 23 cars comprising seven manufacturers - including one debutant - and 9 different models will line up for both races.

Ferrari is once again the best represented brand with no less than 12 entries split between GTE and GT3, two of which are the new-for-2016 488 model. Nine are shared between Kessel Racing and AF Corse, whose drivers currently occupy first and second respectively in the Overall standings.

Five Audis and two Mercedes offer the biggest numerical threat, while single entries from BMW, Lamborghini and Corvette add further variety.

But it is likely to be the Renault RS01’s series debut that raises most eyebrows. Originally designed for its own single-make championship, the car has since raced against GT3 machinery in other multi-class categories. Spa, however, represents the first time in SRO history that the RS01 will be eligible for outright honours thanks to Blancpain GT Sports Club’s GT3, GTE and single-make performance balancing.

Davide Roda, who will drive Oregon Team’s Renault at Spa, believes the car should compare favourably against its pure GT rivals.

“I have been racing in the Renault Sport Trophy this season and think the RS01 in its GT3 configuration could be a very good car for Spa,” he said. “Its mechanical qualities will become apparent through the circuit’s more technical sections where the driver makes time. However, I will likely lose some of that in the speed traps.

“Hopefully I will be able to learn the track fairly quickly because it will only be my second appearance at Spa in six years. I will work to improve my performance session by session. I am aiming for top-10 finishes in both races.”

Elsewhere, the championship’s maiden visit to one of the world’s most revered circuits comes after as many different drivers won the opening three Main Races at Misano, Brands Hatch and Paul Ricard.

Kessel Racing ace Michal Broniszewski’s double victory in Britain and subsequent podium in southern France have helped him establish a 10-point lead at the top of the standings over Mario Cordoni, whose title hopes were rocked by a double DNF at Paul Ricard last time out. But with his Polish rival’s Total 24 Hours of Spa commitments potentially impacting on his Blancpain GT Sports Club programme, the Italian AF Corse driver has an ideal opportunity to overturn the deficit next weekend.

With double Paul Ricard race winner Daniele Perfetti skipping Spa, Cordoni and Broniszewski’s main opposition is likely to come from Iron Cup leader and defending champion Martin Lanting, whose AF Corse Ferrari 458 GTE moved back to the top of the standings after recording Qualifying and Main Race class victories last time out in France.

However, the Monegasque remains just two points clear of fellow Ferrari driver Stephen Earle whose consistency aboard the Kessel Racing-run 458 GT3 has helped him remain in title contention despite winning only once this season. Nevertheless, much like Broniszewski, the American’s attention could be elsewhere as a result of entering the Blancpain GT Series’ blue riband event over the same weekend.

Both Qualifying and Main Races will be shown live on the Blancpain GT Sports Club website next Friday and Saturday.

Blancpain GT Sports Club Schedule: Spa

Friday 29 July
09:00 - 09:30: Free Practice 1
10:35 - 11:05: Free Practice 2
14:05 - 14:25: Qualifying
17:20 - 17:45: Qualifying Race

Saturday 30 July
10:40 - 11:20: Main Race


Entry list

Click here to download the Spa entry list

Daniele edges Egidio as Perfetti brothers finish 1-2 at Circuit Paul Ricard

Daniele edges Egidio as Perfetti brothers finish 1-2 at Circuit Paul Ricard

27/06/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 18398435
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Daniele edges Egidio as Perfetti brothers finish 1-2 at Circuit Paul Ricard

Daniele Perfetti resisted a late challenge from his brother Egidio to claim a second Blancpain GT Sports Club victory of the day at Circuit Paul Ricard, while Martin Lanting also made it two Iron Cup wins in as many outings.

Perfetti’s Qualifying Race victory earlier in the day owed much to the drive-through penalty that Egidio and several others incurred while leading the opening laps. That translated into a healthy grid advantage for the AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 over its likely Main Race victory rivals.

Daniel Vogt’s strong start from the front row initially helped him nose ahead, but Perfetti was almost immediately back in front, a position he would maintain over the following 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, Michal Broniszewski - who started out of position as a result of his Qualifying Race drive-through penalty - wasted little time making up for lost time by carving his way through from eighth to second in the opening lap-and-a-half. However, he was unable to reel in Perfetti whose lead of 3.7s only increased further thereafter.

Indeed, Broniszewski was soon looking backwards rather than forwards thanks to the progress made by Egidio Perfetti. The Mentos Racing Porsche was a little slower out of the blocks but had climbed from seventh to third by quarter distance. He would soon catch the Kessel Ferrari ahead but took several laps to find a way through before setting off in pursuit of the leading Mercedes which, by then, had established a significant seven second advantage.

That did not prevent Egidio from throwing everything at his brother over the final 15 minutes before ultimately having to settle for second, less than two seconds behind Daniele.

Broniszewski never had the pace to run with the Perfettis and eventually came home a distant third, albeit comfortably clear of Vogt who similarly enjoyed a lonely race in fourth.

Coach McKansy’s scrap with Martin Lanting was a highlight of the opening laps before the Lamborghini Gallardo finally found a way past the AF Corse Ferrari 458 GTE en route to fifth, just 1.6s behind Vogt’s Mercedes.

Maurice Ricci, along with Perfetti and Broniszewski, was the third driver to be penalised for corner cutting at the start of the Qualifying Race and spent much of the second fighting his way through from 16th. A total of 10 places gained underlined his pace en route to sixth, one position clear of Lanting’s Ferrari which picked up the Iron Cup honours for the second time today.

Nicolas Vandierendonck’s Corvette C6 ZR1 GTE came out on top in its battle with Marc Sourd’s Mercedes, which finished second in the Iron Cup, while Stephen Earle completed the over-60s' podium and outright top-10.

All of that sees Broniszewski now leading the Overall classification by 10 points from Mario Cordoni whose earlier accident eliminated him from both races, while Perfetti’s maximum score means he is just five points further back in third. Meanwhile, reigning champion Lanting moves back to the top of the Iron Cup standings, just two points clear of Earle.


Daniele Perfetti, #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I was a little lucky because in turn one Daniel [Vogt] got me, but then I was just able to grab the lead again, and I needed it! Had I lost time there then maybe I would not have won - the gap was just two seconds at the finish. We had new tyres and it was pedal to the metal after that! Had my brother not picked up the drive-through this morning I think he would have been ahead. He was definitely quicker, but such is life so I will take it! I have had so much fun this weekend so hopefully I will be back again.”

Martin Lanting, #48 AF Corse Ferrari 458 GTE: “There was quite a difference between this and race one because you had to really work the tyres over the second half. I made a very good start and got away in third, but the Iron Cup was my focus this weekend so I was happy to let faster Overall classification cars past. Seventh is therefore very satisfying but first in the Iron Cup is much more important. I said at the start of the weekend that I needed to drive with my brains more than my feet! Two wins is perfect.”

The Blancpain GT Sports Club returns for its fourth round of the season at Spa-Francorchamps on July 29/30.


Click here for the complete Main Race classification.

Circuit Paul Ricard set to welcome another record Blancpain GT Sports Club entry

Circuit Paul Ricard set to welcome another record Blancpain GT Sports Club entry

21/06/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 18325858
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Blancpain GT Sports Club - Round 3 - Circuit Paul Ricard Preview

Circuit Paul Ricard set to welcome another record Blancpain GT Sports Club entry

A record 29 cars will travel to Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend for round three and the halfway mark of the 2016 Blancpain GT Sports Club campaign.

The former F1 venue in southern France attracted a then-record entry last season and has once again pulled in a formidable line-up comprising seven different manufacturers and 12 models of balanced GTE and GT3 cars.

Circuit Paul Ricard’s 2015 benchmark was eclipsed at the start of this year by the 27 machines that competed at Misano. Two more this weekend, which comprise a new team, drivers and cars, emphasises the growing popularity of a series reserved for purely amateur drivers.

Standing in the way of 28 of them is double Brands Hatch race winner Michal Broniszewski who once again combines his Blancpain GT Series commitments with those of the Blancpain GT Sports Club this weekend. His Kessel Racing-run 458 Italia GT3 is one of 13 Ferraris taking part, the most of any manufacturer.

Of course we are hoping to do the same as last time and record maximum points.” said the Pole. “However, the 458 I am racing this weekend is different to the one I used at Brands Hatch and you never know what differences there might be or the affects they will have on performance.

Brands Hatch’s results have given me a lot of motivation to complete the season after missing Misano. We are not far off leading the championship, which could be possible after this weekend. With the Endurance Cup and Blancpain GT Sports Club races taking place on different days it is not difficult to compete in both. Perhaps a few years ago it would have been but modern GT3 cars are less physically demanding to drive, so getting up for Sunday’s qualifying session after racing into the night on Saturdaywill be fine.

AF Corse remains the busiest team with no less than five of Maranello’s finest entered, one of which features Overall championship leader Mario Cordoni who will be eager to bounce back from a troubled weekend at Brands Hatch last month. The Italian certainly needs to be at his very best if he is to defend the five-point advantage he currently enjoys over Broniszewski.

Porsche won both Circuit Paul Ricard races last season and the marque returns to Blancpain GT Sports Club this weekend with father and son Mentos Racing duo Augusto and Egidio Perfetti. The latter, driving a new-generation 911 GT3 R, should provide stern opposition to Cordoni and Broniszewski.

Iron Cup points leader Stephen Earle scored his maiden class victory last time out at Brands Hatch and will likely need another this weekend if he is to keep reigning class champion Martin Lanting, who finished third and fourth overall at Circuit Paul Ricard last season, at bay. The Kessel Racing and AF Corse Ferrari drivers are currently separated by 12 points, with a total of 33 on offer during Sunday’s Qualifying and Main Races.

Elsewhere, Audi is once again well represented with no less than six R8 LMS ultras - three of which are run by Sainteloc Racing - scheduled to compete, while four Mercedes - comprising two SLS GT3s and the same number of new-generation AMG GT3s - are sure to provide a thunderous V8 soundtrack.

The increased entry sees a number of other fresh and familiar faces heading to France this weekend. Home favourite Pierre Hirschi is back with his BMW Z4 GT3 after missing Brands Hatch, while X Bionic Racing Team’s Cedric Leimer gives the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 its first Blancpain GT Sports Club outing. There is also a second Ferrari 488 GT3 on the grid courtesy of new Iron Cup racer Klaus Dieter Frers and the Artega Rennsport squad.

All of this weekend’s sessions will be streamed live on the Blancpain GT Sports Club website while Motors TV also has live coverage of both races on Sunday.

And don't forget the Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club will also be at Circuit Paul Ricard this weekend, featuring the likes of McLaren's P1 GTR, the Porsche 911 GT1 and Pagani Zonda R.


Circuit Paul Ricard Timetable

Saturday 25 June
13:20 - 14:00: Free Practice

Sunday 26 June
09:00 - 09:20: Qualifying
11:00 - 11:25: Qualifying Race
14:05 - 14:45: Main Race


Provisional Entry List

Click here to download the complete Circuit Paul Ricard entry list


More info

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Broniszewski doubles up with Brands Hatch Main Race win

Broniszewski doubles up with Brands Hatch Main Race win

09/05/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 17790549
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Blancpain GT Sports Club - Round 2 - Brands Hatch Main Race

Broniszewski doubles up with Brands Hatch Main Race win

Michal Broniszewski made it two wins from as many Blancpain GT Sports Club races at Brands Hatch today thanks to another dominant performance in this afternoon’s Main Race. Meanwhile, Stephen Earle saw off Martin Lanting’s challenge to claim his first Iron Cup victory.

It was business as usual for Broniszewski who, after again retaining his lead from pole, quickly scampered into the distance en route to a 22-second victory over Karim Ojjeh, who at least denied the Kessel Racing driver fastest lap of the race.

Broniszewski’s dominance ensured all eyes were once again on the fight for the remaining podium places. Vandierendonck picked up a position at the start and initially also looked like passing AF Corse’s Patrick Van Glabeke for second. However, it was not long before Ojjeh had recovered his composure after losing a spot at the start and reeled in the Corvette. And when the C6 ZR1 GTE ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend the BMW M6 GT3 was in prime position to take advantage.

For a while the three cars circulated together before Van Glabeke and Ojjeh edged clear together. But despite being never more than a second apart the latter was unable to mount a meaningful challenge for second.

With 14 minutes remaining a Full Course Yellow period gave Ojjeh the chance he had been waiting for. The Boutsen Ginion Racing driver reacted quicker than Van Glabeke when green flags signalled the end of an admittedly brief caution, gifting him a second place he would retain until the chequered flag.

An equally entertaining battle for fourth place developed further back when Vandierendonck fell into the clutches of championship leader Cordoni, who had charged through from 16th on the grid, and Alexis De Bernardi. The trio ran as one for a time before Vandierendonck was handed a drive-through penalty for overtaking under yellow flags.

De Bernardi, who had already been overtaken by Cordoni, then repaid the favour with a classy move down the inside at Paddock Hill Bend to seal fourth.

Coach McKansy’s Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 completed the top-six, one place clear of first-time Iron Cup winner Stephen Earle. The American’s path to victory was aided by Jan Brunstedt’s early race issues and Martin Lanting starting 19th after spinning into Qualifying Race retirement. The reigning class champion undoubtedly had the pace to win but ran wide into the Clearways gravel on his first attempt at passing Earle.

He recovered from also swiping the barrier to finish second in the Iron Cup and eighth overall, one place ahead of Vandierendonck who was demoted to ninth in the final classification after failing to serve his drive-through penalty.

Gilles Lallement completed the top-10, while Leon Price secured the final Iron Cup podium place with 11th.

Michal Broniszewski, Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3: “I thought the guys were a lot closer in the Main Race, perhaps because my car was a little stiff for the conditions. I was pretty safe in the end, though. I have had fun racing in the Blancpain GT Sports Club this weekend, and maybe more than the Sprint Cup which is like a jungle! The 458 seemed better suited to the circuit than the 488, so I had a good time.”

Stephen Earle, Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3: “I have scored six Iron Cup podiums in six races but this is my first win, which feels a bit different! I knew that Martin would be quick and close in at some point; my engineer was counting down the seconds. So at Clearways I saw him coming and held my normal line while he tried to go around the outside, which was pretty brave! The Iron Cup is very competitive so it is great to come out on top this weekend.”

Round three of this season’s Blancpain GT Sports Club takes place at Paul Ricard in France on June 25/26.

Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club joins GT Sports Club on the Brands Hatch grid

A selection of the world’s rarest, most exotic and expensive road and track-only ultracars joined the grid before the start of this afternoon’s Blancpain GT Sports Club Main Race at Brands Hatch.

The likes of an Aston Martin Vulcan, McLaren P1 GTR, Rimac Concept_One and Pagani Huayra Pacchetto Tempesta lined up in front of their purpose-built racing counterparts after completing their own track session.

The Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club will also join the Blancpain GT Sports Club at Paul Ricard next month.


Click here for the complete Main Race classification

Next Race: Paul Ricard, France: June 25/26

Broniszewski claims pole for Blancpain GT Sports Club Qualifying Race at Brands Hatch

Broniszewski claims pole for Blancpain GT Sports Club Qualifying Race at Brands Hatch

08/05/2016, International, Motorsport - Road Racing, GT Sports Club, Article # 17776364
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Broniszewski claims pole for Blancpain GT Sports Club Qualifying Race at Brands Hatch

Michal Broniszewski picked up where he left off in free practice by securing his maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club pole position at Brands Hatch earlier today. His Ferrari 458 GT3 was comfortably clear of a chasing pack headed by Nicolas Vandierendonck’s Corvette C6 ZR1 GTE.

The Kessel Racing driver is also taking part in this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup round and began his busy schedule in the best way possible by leading throughout the 20-minute qualifying session held on Brands Hatch’s full GP layout.

Broniszewski was already fastest when he set his benchmark 1m26.660s lap, a time that would ultimately be good enough for pole by 0.767s from Selleslagh Racing’s Vandierendonck, who recovered from a spin at Paddock Hill Bend to haul himself onto the front row with a late effort.

Martin Lanting was fastest of the Iron Cup contingent in third overall aboard his Ferrari 458 GTE, while his AF Corse team-mate Patrick Van Glabeke ended up 0.151s further back in fourth.

AKKA ASP’s Anthony Pons was another who left his best until last to make it four Prancing Horses inside the top-five, albeit by less than a tenth from JB Motorsport Audi R8 LMS driver Jan Brunstedt who vied for the Iron Cup honours with Lanting over the opening 10 minutes.

Coach McKansy also spent time in the top-three before he and his Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 wound up seventh, one place and just 0.093s ahead of series debutant Karim Ojjeh and his new-generation BMW M6 GT3.

Power steering failure robbed championship leader Mario Cordoni of meaningful laps in free practice, which perhaps also hindered his progress in qualifying: the championship leader completed the top ten, one place behind Alexis de Bernardi.

Michal Broniszewski, Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3: “The track is so tricky and I had not driven here for two years, so I wanted the extra practice by competing in both Blancpain GT Sports Club and Sprint Cup. I am using different cars and knew what to expect with the Ferrari 458. It is actually easier to drive than the 488 and seems better suited to the circuit, too. Brands Hatch is quite narrow and I had some traffic, so perhaps we could have gone quicker in qualifying. But tomorrow is another story; I have four races and need to start three, so it will not be easy!”

Tomorrow morning’s 25-minute Qualifying Race gets underway at 11:00 local time, while the full points-paying 40-minute encounter begins at 14:25.

Click here for complete qualifying results.


Blancpain GT Sports Club Schedule: Brands Hatch

Sunday 8 May
11.00 - 11.25: Qualifying Race
14.25 - 15.05: Main Race


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