2016 was arguably one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the Blancpain GT Series. Not only were the fights for the drivers’ titles sometimes nerve-wrecking, but the quest for the teams’ trophies caused some sleep deprivation for team bosses, too.
The overall Blancpain GT Series teams’ title went to HTP Motorsport, for the first time in its existence. Thanks to some excellent team work, the German squad scored a mere seven points more than their eternal rivals, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. Vincent Vosse’s squad was not left empty handed, however, for it claimed the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup teams’ title. In the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, another Belgian team manager, Bas Leinders, led Garage 59 to the crown.
In the Pro-Am and Am categories Ferrari teams dominated the title races. Kessel Racing proved to be the most successful squad, claiming the Pro-Am teams’ title in the overall championship, the Sprint Cup and the Endurance Cup. The Swiss squad can also add the trophy for best Am Cup team in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup to their cabinet.
Mainly thanks to Claudio Sdanewitsch’ efforts, Italian team AF Corse was able to conquer the Am Cup teams’ titles in the overall Blancpain GT Series and the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup.
Renaud Dufour - HTP Motorsport – Mercedes-AMG GT3
Blancpain GT Series Team Champion
“When we saw the entry list at the beginning of the season, with so many high-level works teams and pro drivers, we all agreed it was the biggest challenge we had ever faced. As a result, winning the Blancpain GT Series teams’ title will remain one of HTP’s greatest achievements. Having won a couple of drivers’ titles in the past, it means a lot for us to add this overall teams’ trophy. Starting for the second year in a row with a new car and trying to be at the top every weekend requires a lot of energy from all team members; it is hard and needs a lot of sacrifices. This trophy is a nice reward for the dedication of all mechanics, drivers, managers and engineers of the team. We are thankful to SRO for organising such a nice and competitive championship. Having this number of professional GT teams on the grid is just incredible…. The Blancpain GT Series is now definitely the toughest and most competitive GT championship in the world. What would we like to see in 2017? The taste of the Total 24 Hours of Spa podium is a bit distant now and we would definitely like to get back on it, preferably on the top step!”
Bas Leinders - Garage 59 – McLaren 650S GT3
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Team Champion
“I think the key to our success was the great start to the season. Once you are at the front, it is up to the others to try and catch you. This title is the result of great team work all through the season. It is always nice to see your efforts rewarded, especially if you are competing in such a competitive series as the Blancpain GT Series.”
Vincent Vosse - Belgian Audi Club Team WRT – Audi R8 LMS
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup Team Champion
“We set our goals high at the start of the season, and although we did not win everything we wanted to win, we cannot be disappointed. This Sprint title is great for the team and all in all we had a good season, although we could have been more consistent, especially in the endurance races. We will try to do better next year. I personally would love to get another win in the Total 24 Hours of Spa again.”
Tiziana Borghi - Kessel Racing – Ferrari 488 GT3
Blancpain GT Series Pro-Am Team Champion
Blancpain GT Series Endurance & Sprint Cup Pro-Am Team Champion
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup AM Team Champion
"It was an amazing season. A season where every single part of the team, drivers and staff, including those working from home, managed to transform our previous efforts and extraordinary work into success. This is just fantastic. The enormous growth of the team in 2016 helped us to reach these results. In 2016 Kessel Racing got its blessing in the Blancpain GT Series. Now we are looking ahead, to confirm ourselves and consolidate the great things we’ve reached until now.”
Bernardo Serra - AF Corse – Ferrari 488 GT3
Blancpain GT Series Am Team Champion
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup Am Team Champion
“We are obviously happy and proud with this great result. It is the compensation of the brave choice of our driver Claudio Sdanewitsch to take part in a series with such a high level of competition. ‘Sdanew’ has competed in the Blancpain GT Series races without making any mistakes and improving his performance race by race. We cannot forget the excellent job done by Stéphane Lémeret and Rino Mastronardi, when they shared the car with Claudio.”
2017 Blancpain GT Series Calendar
13th-14th March : Official Blancpain GT Series Test Day Paul Ricard
01st-02nd April : Misano (ITA) – Sprint
22nd-23rd April : Monza (ITA) – Endurance 3 hours
06th-07th May : Brands Hatch (GBR) – Sprint
13th-14th May : Silverstone (GBR) – Endurance 3 hours
02nd -04th June : Zolder (BEL) - Sprint
23rd-24th June : Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA) – Endurance 1000kms
04th July : Official Test Day Total 24 Hours of Spa (BEL)
27th-30th July : Total 24 Hours of Spa (BEL) – Endurance 24 hours
25th-27th August : Budapest (HUN) - Sprint
15th-17th September : Nürburgring (DEU) – Sprint
30th Sept-01st October : Barcelona (ESP) - Endurance 3 hours
Information : http://www.blancpain-gt-series.com
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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.
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
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.