As the Blancpain Endurance series returned to Silverstone it was the #76 of new team R-Motorsport’s Aston Martin driven by Matthieu Vaxiviere, Jake Dennis and Nicki Thiim that took a resounding win with more than 10 seconds ahead of second place #88 Mercedes AMG of AKKA ASP, with #114 Emil Frey Lexus taking third place.
There was some confusion after the mornings qualifying session due to the #76 Vantage being disqualified due to the data-logger not working, this would have put the car to the back of the grid, however the team lodged an appeal putting them on pole and in the event of their appeal being overturned race results would have been provisional.
At time of writing the #76 maintained its position and subsequent race win.
The #76 was never in any position to be seriously troubled by the #88 Mercedes of Adam Christodoulou, Tristan Vautier and Raffaelle Marciello. The AKKA ASP squad briefly took the lead after the first round of pit stops but with Jake Dennis now at the wheel of the #76, the lead position was quickly regained.
Jake Dennis commented: “I looked to my left coming out of the pits and I could see the Mercedes overtaking me. I pushed as hard as I could for a few laps to try and put some pressure on Tristan and the move paid off. We left each other enough space so there was good respect between us. From then on I just wanted to run a clean stint. The car was incredible all weekend. We’ve had a really strong package and my teammates have done an outstanding job.”
The #114 Emil Frey Lexus took third position and despite a a charge from Dries Vanthoor in the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 the #114 held third giving Lexus their first podium place in the Blancpain GT Series.
In the Silver Cup class it was top step of the podium for Abdul Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt and Gabrielle Plana in the Black Falcon Mercedes AMG, although it had looked as though the #54 Emil Frey Jaguar was set to take the win until the last hour of the race when a lost wheel brought them to a halt at Luffield and dropped them out of the race and down the final class order into seventh place.
Taking second place was the Reiter Young Stars squad of Mads Siljehaug, Lenny Marioneck and Patric Neiderhauser in the Lamborghini Gallardo. The team is made up of several students who work closely with industrial partners competing in the Reiter Young Stars Cup.
Third step of the podium in that class went to Jordan Witt, Ricardo Sanchez and Struan Moore in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of RJN Motorsport.
Pro-AM Cup found class honours going to Ram Racings Darren Burke, Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey in the Mercedes AMG in a dominant win which saw Hankey take the final stint and a popular home win for the WEC driver.
In second place was the #42 Mercedes AMG of Strakka Racing helmed by Chris Buncombe, Nick Leventis and Lewis Williamson, Williamson also completing the fastest lap in class. Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin in the AF Corse Ferrari 488 took third place while the #53 sister car completed the class in ninth place
The win in the AM Cup went to Garage 59’s Chris Harris, Alexander West and Chris Goodwin who finished just ahead of #89 AKKA ASP Teams Mercedes AMG of Phillipe Glauque, Eric Debard and Fabien Barthez with the Porsche 911 of Herberth Motorsport finishing class in third place.
British GT entrants Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw also competed, Minshaw on board the Barwell Lamborghini #77 which finished 42nd overall after contact with the #26 Audi took it into the International pit wall and out of the race.
Keen was behind the wheel of the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan which finished 17th overall. Meanwhile last years British GT champion Seb Morris who is contesting the series in the Team Parker Racing Bentley was taken out of the race early on after engine problems drew their day to a close.
The Series continues at Paul Ricard on 1st/2nd of June.
Blancpain GT Silverstone Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi