The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT found again the path to the podium, putting its two Audis R8 in second and third in the Silverstone round of the popular Blancpain Endurance Series, which was characterized by typical British weather. Andrea Piccini-Laurens Vanthoor-Edward Sandström took second, just ahead of Christopher Mies-Christopher Haase-Stéphane Ortelli. The two cars are now second and third in the overall standings, but in reverse order. But even more gratifying is the fact that the Belgian Audis fought for victory in the decisive second half of the race, proving their competitiveness is intact.

“This is the result that we wanted and we were seeking for”, commented Team Principal Vincent Vosse, “We knew that our team is working well and that our cars are competitive, when balance of performance issues are not distorting things. Today we proved it, in quite difficult conditions, and I am very proud of everybody, starting from the drivers, who all did a great job.”

Qualifying had left mixed feelings in the team, as the two cars were tangled in traffic in the decisive third session and could not repeat the good results of Q1 and Q2, when they were among the best. Eventually, car #1 qualified 12th on the grid with Ortelli, and car #2 in 22nd position with Sandström.

A very British drizzle and a mere 11° of temperature welcomed the start of the race that was given behind the safety car. In the difficult conditions, Mies and Piccini, who were at the wheel in the first stint, were cautious not to make mistakes but started climbing positions at the same time. They handed out the wheel to Haase and Vanthoor, respectively, in 6th and 10th positions. Christopher Mies was satisfied with what achieved by the two cars in this first part of the race: “Both cars had a good first stint, but it wasn’t easy to gain positions, as there was a lot of traffic and as soon as you left the dry line, the risk of a mistake was high.”

The second stint saw Laurens Vanthoor passing Christopher Haase for what had become the third position, the young Belgian closing slightly on the two leading BMWs. In lap 37, Vanthoor passes Franchi for P2, imitated a few laps later by Haase. Vanthoor then started attacking Leinders, passing him also after a breath-taking manoeuvre which included a slight contact. The Hasselt-born was quite excited by the battle with his country fellows: “I’m rather satisfied by my performance. It was not easy because the tires were quickly getting worse. I could have stayed out a little bit longer but the team preferred to get me in because of the heavy traffic.”

The final stint saw another Belgian driver in great shape, as Maxime Martin secured BMW’s win ahead of Sandström and Ortelli, who gave the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT two podium finishes which mean a significant jump ahead in the overall standings of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

The third round of the championship will bring the 50-car field to the sunnier and warmer Paul Ricard track in Southern France in exactly one month time.

Blancpain Endurance Series - Round 2

Silverstone, UK

2-3 June 2012


1. Palttala-Leinders-Martin (BMW Z4) 73 laps in 3h04m708

2. Piccini-Sandström-Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS ultra) + 54s792

3. Mis-Haase-Ortelli (Audi R8 LMS ultra) + 55s480

4. Hayek-Kox (Lamborghini Gallardo LP600) +1m54s637

5. Lémeret-Van Hooydonck-den Boer (BMW Z4) +2m06s113

Championship Standings (GT3 Pro Cup) after Round 2 of 6

1. Palttala-Leinders-Martin 50 points

2. Sandström-Vanthoor 36

3. Mies-Haase-Ortelli (Audi RB LMS) 23

4. Wauters-Wendlinger-Kumpen 21

5.Gattuso-Rigon-Zampieri (Ferrari 458 Italia) 20

6. Piccini, Bonanomi(Audi RB LMS) 18

Championship Standings (GT3 Pro Cup for teams)

1. Marc VDS Racing Team: 50 points

2. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT: 36

3. KRK: 21

4. Kessel Racing: 20

5. BMW / Vita4One Racing Team: 18

Next Round: Paul Ricard (FR), 30 June – 1 July 2012.

For more information on the B.E.S.: