Blancpain GT Sports Club title winners Broniszewski and Lanting crowned at SRO Night of the Champions

Blancpain GT Sports Club’s 2016 champions were officially crowned on Sunday night (November 27) during the SRO Night of the Champions prize-giving ceremony staged at the Tower of London.

Blancpain GT Sports Club’s 2016 champions were officially crowned on Sunday night (November 27) during the SRO Night of the Champions prize-giving ceremony staged at the Tower of London.

The Historic Royal Palace, which provided a suitably regal backdrop to the evening, welcomed teams, drivers, manufacturers, sponsors and media from across all of the series promoted by SRO Motorsports Group, including the Blancpain GT Sports Club.

Following its inaugural campaign in 2015, the championship’s unique format of pairing amateur-only drivers with balanced GTE, GT3 and single-make sportscar machinery proved to be incredibly popular this season, with a large number of new faces and cars joining the Blancpain GT Series’ official support category.

One of those new names, Michal Broniszewski, was one of the biggest winners on Sunday night after adding the Blancpain GT Sports Club Overall crown to his other championship titles. Indeed, the Pole has enjoyed an especially successful year after also claiming a ‘full house’ of Pro-Am crowns in the Blancpain GT Series Overall, Sprint and Endurance Cups.

“It has been a fantastic season; four titles will be very difficult for anyone to repeat,” he said. “Competing in Blancpain GT Sports Club was not something I considered at the start of the year. I was keen for the extra track time at Misano but for one reason or another that was not possible. That motivated me more to have another go at Brands Hatch where we eventually won both races. I would love to do it again next season but my plans are still up in the air. I will know more in about one month’s time.”

Also in attendance was Iron Cup champion Martin Lanting, who narrowly defended his over-60s crown against friend and rival Stephen Earle.

“Wow, what a venue!” he said. “I could not have expected anything better than this – SRO have their work cut out to top it in 2017. The same goes for the Blancpain GT Sports Club, but I know that plans are in place to take the championship a step further, which I fully support. We want more cars and to see the level increase but it is also important to maintain the club element that works so well. The spirit we have created is paramount. Even at my age – and I will be 65 next year – there is still room to learn and I certainly achieved that this season.”

Meanwhile, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Stephane Ratel was delighted to see the series experience such impressive growth in 2016.

“GT racing is becoming more and more professional so it is important that we continue to provide a competitive home for purely amateur drivers,”he said. “Clearly the increased numbers prove that the platform works and I would not be surprised to see even more entries next season. Congratulations to Michal [Broniszewski] and Martin [Lanting] for their title successes; now the challenge is to defend their crowns in 2017!”

The six-round 2017 Blancpain GT Sports Club campaign begins at Misano in Italy on April 1/2.

2016 Blancpain GT Sports Club award winners

Overall:
1st Michal Broniszewski, Kessel Racing
2nd Nicolas Vandierendonck, Selleslagh Racing Team
3rd Mario Cordoni, AF Corse

Iron Cup:
1st Martin Lanting, AF Corse
2nd Stephen Earle, Kessel Racing Team
3rd Jan Brunstedt, JB Motorsport

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2017 Blancpain GT Sports Club Calendar
R1   Misano (ITA) – April 1/2
R2   Silverstone (UK) – May 13/14
R3   Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA) – June 24/25
R4   Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) – July 27-30
R5   Hungaroring (HUN) – August – 26/27
R6   Barcelona (ESP) – Sep 30 – Oct 1

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More info

Information & tickets: www.blancpain-gt-series.com/tickets
Press Images: www.blancpainsportsclub.com/gt/gallery
Follow live: www.blancpainsportsclub.com/gt/live

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Twitter: @GTSportsClub #GTSC
Instagram: blancpaingtseries #blancpaingtseries

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About Blancpain GT Sports Club

Established in 2015, the championship offers amateur drivers a chance to fight their peers for overall race wins aboard modern GT machinery while also enjoying an exclusive and friendly paddock atmosphere. Equally, practice and qualifying sessions followed by non-pitstop 25-minute Qualifying and 40-minute Main Races ensure maximum track time. Drivers over 60 are also catered for thanks to the additional Iron Cup classification.

Equally, for gentleman drivers new to sportscars the Blancpain GT Sports Club provides an ideal stepping stone and proving ground between club competition and professional-level racing in Europe and beyond.

It is also an opportunity to bring a wider variety of GT cars together. Indeed, the Blancpain GT Sports Club is the only series to balance GTE-spec machinery with that of GT3, RACB G3 and single-make championships, offering owners of each the chance to race on a level playing field without investing in newer technology. Furthermore, in some cases it also provides a home for highly capable GT cars now replaced with newer models by manufacturers and teams competing in the sport’s upper echelons.

The Blancpain GT Sports Club acts as an official support championship to six Blancpain GT Series rounds in 2017.

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Blancpain – Innovation is our Tradition

Since 1735, Blancpain has been contributing to the development of mechanical watchmaking, while conserving the traditional skills of its founder.

Blancpain is currently engaged 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. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.

From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements.

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 sportive Levolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.

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Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier

Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.

Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.

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SRO Motorsports Group – The architect of modern GT Racing

Since 1995 SRO has specialised in the promotion and organisation of motorsport series. Inextricably linked with GT racing’s revival, SRO predominantly promotes categories that adhere to its successful GT3 and GT4 regulations. Indeed, these rules – a common framework allowing manufacturers, teams and drivers to compete equally with one another – has helped establish SRO as the global leader in customer GT racing.

Today, SRO’s influence and organisation can be seen around the world. SRO’s flagship is the European-based Blancpain GT Series, which combines the Sprint and Endurance Cups, of which the iconic Total 24 Hours is the highlight.

The same regulations and Balance of Performance parameters governing the Blancpain GT Series have been adopted in the United States by the Pirelli World Challenge (in which SRO is also a major shareholder), while the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia begins in 2017. In addition, the world’s best GT races from all four corners of the globe are brought together under the umbrella of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, and amateur drivers are also fully catered for via the Blancpain GT Sports Club.

Likewise, select European race weekends feature the Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club where the world’s fastest and most technologically advanced limited-production road and track-only cars gather to demonstrate their awesome capabilities.

SRO is also strong domestically. The multi-class British GT Championship, which it has presided over since 2005, pairs GT3 with GT4 machinery, while France’s national series – now known as the GT4 European Series Southern Cup – was recently added to its existing Northern Cup counterpart.

SRO also operates the SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France – and Curbstone Track Events, which provides ultimate track driving opportunities on world renowned circuits.

SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel and has offices in London, Paris and Liège.

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