Following a successful debut season, SRO’s Blancpain GT Sports Club aimed squarely at Bronze-only drivers returns for its second campaign with an expanded calendar, far bigger entry and wider variety of GT3 and GTE machinery.
Indeed, no less than 20 drivers and 11 teams fielding cars supplied by Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Mercedes will make the trip to Italy’s Adriatic coast as an official support to the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup.
Established in 2015, the championship gives 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. And drivers over 60 are also catered for thanks to the additional Iron Cup classification.
With reigning Overall champion Massimiliano Bianchi opting against a title defence the way has been left clear for a new challenger to emerge. Chief among these will surely be AF Corse’s Mario Cordoni who travels to Misano hoping to make it five or, ideally, six Blancpain GT Sports Club victories in a row following Qualifying and Main Race wins at the same venue and Algarve International Circuit last season.
This year’s Iron Cup also promises to be hard-fought with 2016 champion Martin Lanting, runner-up Louis Philippe Soenen, and third-place driver Michael Luzich all returning.
AF Corse boasts the largest line-up at Misano with no less than five Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and GTE models, as well as an all-new 488 GT3 in the hands of Patrick Van Glabeke. The Italian manufacturer is also represented by AKKA ASP and Kessel Racing, who are running three more 458 Italia GT3s under their own name and that of Dragon Racing.
Six Audi R8 LMS Ultras entered by three teams – Sainteloc Racing, JB Motorsport and WRT Racing – will undoubtedly provide stiff opposition, while more German hardware in the form of Classic and Modern’s BMW Z4 GT3, and HTP Motorsports’ Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 promise to provide a thunderous soundtrack.
The same can most definitely be said of Nicolas Vandierendonck’s Selleslagh Racing Team-entered Corvette C6 ZR1 GTE, while HP Racing’s Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 is sure to add even more glamour to the occasion.
Saturday’s action begins with two 30-minute practice sessions followed by a 20-minute qualifying run. The 25-minute Qualifying Race takes place that same evening before drivers and teams return mid-morning on Sunday for their 40-minute Main Race.
Saturday, April 9th
Free Practice 1 10:20-10:50
Free Practice 2 12:40-13:10
Qualifying Practice 16:15-16:35
Qualifying Race 18:35-19:00
Sunday, April 10th
Main Race 11:15-11:55
Blancpain – Innovation is our Tradition
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. 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. Over the past ten years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 35 new calibres.
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 L-evolution 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.
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.
SRO Motorsports Group – The architect of modern GT Racing
SRO Motorsports Group was founded by Stephane Ratel and has specialised in the promotion, support and organisation of many national and international motorsport series since 1995.
In 2016, SRO Motorsports Group will promote several championships and series, such as the Blancpain GT Series, including the iconic Total 24 hours of Spa, the British GT Championship, the Blancpain Sports Club with the Blancpain GT Sports Club and the Blancpain Ultracar Sports Club, the Competition102 GT4 European Series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
SRO Motorsports Group runs also the SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France – and Curbstone, that provides ultimate track driving opportunities on world renowned race circuits in Western Europe for supercar owners, as well as test driving facilities for race car drivers.
SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.