This weekend, the Autodromo Nazionale Di Monza hosted the first of the 2014 "Blancpain Race Weekends". For the sixth year running, the world of Haute Horlogerie and motorsports met and mingled, united by the same values of precision, reliability and performance. Over an action-packed two days, the Manufacture Blancpain invited its guests to discover the fascinating world of motorsports in the temple of speed represented by the Monza racing circuit.
Ever since its creation in 2011, the Blancpain Endurance Series has been the best-supported and most competitive GT competition in the world. 40 impressive GT3 cars, entered by some of the most professional teams and that a driven by a plethora of top-notch racers, formed the impressive grid on the asphalt of the fabled Italian circuit. ART Grand Prix McLaren takes first win of the season. Alvaro Parente, Grégoire Demoustier and Alexandre Premat dominated the first round, leading from start to finish. It was only the second time in the history of this championship McLaren managed to take the win. The Sainteloc Audi of Sandström, Ortelli and Guilvert crossed the line in second place, with the second ART Grand Prix McLaren in third. Victory in the Pro-Am category went to the BMW of Italian team ROAL Motorsport, with Comandini, Amos and Colombo finishing sixth overall as well. A faultless drive by the GT Corse by Rinaldi drivers Ehret, Schmikler and Mattschull, in their Ferrari, gave them the win in the Gentlemen Trophy.
The weekend also marked the season's start of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo featuring a record grid in Monza, with up to 25 cars for the season, 12 confirmed teams and an exceptionally high number of ‘young’ drivers. Other developments in 2014 include a new class, reflecting the number and quality of race entrants: along with the PRO-AM and AM, there will also be the PRO One. The Italian driver Andrea Palma is the first winner of Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo sixth season. He managed both pole and Race One win. Milos Pavlovic and Edoardo Piscopo, the duo racing under the Bonaldi Motorsport team’s banner, won the Race Two in Monza, after the P2 achieved in Race One.
During these two days, the Blancpain invitees had a chance to enjoy a unique experience. To confirm the sense of being at the very heart of the race, they took part in the famous grid walk and also did a lap aboard the Gallardo Super Trofeo, the 2010 car driven by Mr Marc A. Hayek, President and CEO of Blancpain, as well as the Aventador VIP car. The programme included a visit to the paddock and the pit building, notably featuring a look at the timekeeping and race control centres, along with a discovery of the historical track and a simulator driving session. They also witnessed the impressive precision of the actions performed by the Reiter Engineering team during pit stops.
Five rounds will be organised this season, all taking place on world-class circuits in Europe. The next meeting is Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, on May 23-25. Paul Ricard follows on June 27-28 with an entertaining evening race, before the most celebrated endurance test takes place at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit from 23-27 July. The mythical Total 24 Hours of Spa promise to be one of the highlights of the racing summer. The season concludes with the second edition of the Blancpain Endurance Series’ version of the Nürburgring 1000 on September 19-21, where a memorable finale will take place.