Blancpain GT Sports Club Paddock Notes: Circuit Paul Ricard

25 June 2016 Blancpain GT Sports Club Paddock Notes: Circuit Paul Ricard

A family affair!

Circuit Paul Ricard sees Augusto and Egidio Perfetti become the first father and son team to contest a Blancpain GT Sports Club round.

Both are making their series debuts this weekend aboard Mentos Racing-prepared Porsches – Perfetti Snr aboard the 997 GT3 variant and Jnr in the new generation 991 GT3.

Augusto was keen to point out that age wouldn’t be on his side!

“This is the first time we’ll have raced against each other, although we’ve tested together many times,” he said. “Le Castellet is a fantastic area, plus my other son Daniele is racing in the Blancpain GT Series this weekend, so it’s a lovely family event for us. There’s no excessive competition between myself and Egidio; we’re a generation apart. But if I can stay within two or three seconds of his times I’ll be happy!”

Van Glabeke hoping to prove 488’s potential

There was much excitement and a great deal of expectation at the start of the season when Patrick Van Glabeke announced he would be entering the new Ferrari 488 GT3 in this year’s Blancpain GT Sports Club.

However, a tough start to the campaign has seen the new model, widely regarded as a big step forward compared with the outgoing 458, struggle so far.

Plenty of testing since Brands Hatch has gone some way to addressing most of those concerns, and Van Glabeke is now eager to demonstrate what the car is capable of at Circuit Paul Ricard where he and Blancpain GT Series front-runner Frederic Vervisch recently spent some time fine-tuning the Ferrari.

“A lot depends on external factors, like some of the new drivers this weekend who have impressive CVs. But, after a difficult first weekend at Misano when the gearbox broke and then switching back to the 458 for Brands, I’m hoping to recover a bit this weekend. We’ve done five days of testing since then, three of which were here, and the new 488 now feels a lot like the old car. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with it, which gives me confidence.”

‘More brains’ for Lanting…

Reigning Iron Cup champion Martin Lanting was once again the fastest driver aged 60 and over at Brands Hatch last time out but arrives at Paul Ricard second in the class standings after failing to convert that pace into points.

Indeed, a costly error while searching for a way past current championship leader Stephen Earle sees him lie 12 points behind the American, who backed up his consistent start to the season with a first Iron Cup victory at Brands.

And it’s that same tactic that Lanting is hoping to emulate this weekend at a circuit where he finished on the overall podium last season.

“Brands Hatch was unfortunate but I have to be honest and also take a look at myself,” he said. “Paul Ricard is obviously very different but the message is: drive with your brain as well as your foot! There was too much of my foot at Brands because I was feeling very confident. I need to be more patient and less aggressive.”

Baert to honour late father

Jean-Michel Baert will run number 25 alongside his regular race number this weekend as a tribute to his father who passed away a quarter of a century ago this weekend.