Datum: 06.10.2017 · Sonstige
Class-Victory at Blancpain Final in Barcelona
Sportscarpilot Pierre Ehret finished the final heat of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup 2017 in Barcelona with another class-victory in the AM-category. Together with his italian teammate Rino Mastronardi, Ehret crossed the finish-line with his Rinaldi Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 at the inaugural 3 hours of Catalunya in 33rd overall-position in the 49 cars strong field. After 91 laps the gap to the second placed austrian HB Racing Lamborghini of the trio Rostan/Delhez/Brauner was 2 laps. The win marked Ehrets fifth class-victory in the AM-class of the Blancpain Endurance Series. Although started with minimal championship-chances, the hope for a first title in the class faded away, as the championship-leading Kessel-Racing trio Perel/Duyver/Zanuttini managed to overcome a troubled run to nurse home their Ferrari third in class, which was enough for them to seal the AM-title 2017 in the series.
"We came home for another win, but in the end we missed the title, simply because the Kessel-guys brought their car to the flag. Congratulations to the guys for their achievements! Our qualifying was quite ok. I did the first stint and struggled at the beginning on the damp track with tire pressures that were adjusted to dry conditions. It got better as the track dried up and I was able to pull away from the chasing Lamborghini. Rino did a fantastic second stint, that brought us up to the 24th position. In my second stint I simply had to manage our advantage.", Ehret summarized the race.
Started from P44, the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari of Ehret was able to take the lead of the class in the first laps. Although the tire pressures did not harmonize with the track conditions, the german was able to defend his position from a chasing Marc Rostan in the HB Racing Lamborghini. The championship leading Kessel racing crew lost ground in a spin in the beginning minutes of the race, but were able to leave the gravel trap and continue the race. Rino Mastronardis strong second stint finally laid the foundations for the second class-win of the season for the Rinaldi Racing Duo.
"It´s a pity that our AM-class featured so less cars this year. I think we had a maximum of 5 cars per race, which was by far less than in the previous years. In this race we would have needed more opponents to take advantage of the troubles the Kessel crew had here. But in the end we lost the championship ourselves much earlier, in the first race, where we missed a finish in Monza due to a radiator-hose damage. That finally spoiled our chaces for the title. I hope that the class will be in a better shape next year. The SRO and Stephane Ratel have proposed some senseful changes to the reglement to support this. We would like to come back here, as the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup is the best and most cost effective showroom for privateer-teams like ours to compete in GT-Racing. The alternatives would be much more expensive."
The final race of the season for Pierre Ehret will be the inaugural COTA 24 hours Creventic race in Austin, Texas, on 11th -12th November where Pierre willl take the start aboard of an Audi R8 LMS GT3 of the german Car Collection-Squad.