9. Jean-Luc Beaubelique (FRA)/Patrice Goueslard (FRA)/Ludovic Badey (FRA) PRO-AM, No.20 SOFREV ASP (FRA) Ferrari 458 Italia 1:48.950
10. Valentino Rossi (ITA)/Alessio Salucci (ITA) PRO-AM, No.46 Kessel Racing (CHE) Ferrari 458 Italia 1:48.962
The Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia No.71 will start tomorrow’s first race of the 2012 season on pole position after a frantic Qualifying session in Monza.
Pit lane resembled rush hour as 57 cars squabbled over track time during the hour-long session. Despite heavy rain overnight and during the morning, the track stayed relatively dry for the 60-minute period split into three parts.
It was the Italian Daniel Zampieri who set the fastest time overall – a 1:47.923 – to underline the PRO team’s serious hopes for tomorrow’s three-hour race.
Zampieri, the Ferrari Formula One Academy youngster, and his Italian team-mates Stefano Gattuso and Davide Rigon have been near the top of the time sheets since Friday’s first Free Practice.
Second fastest was Richard Westbrook (GBR) in the No.8 Haribo Racing Porsche 997 GT3 R. Westbrook’s time of 1:48.177 enabled the Haribo PRO-AM entry to muscle in on the top order and be the best of the PRO-AM class.
The Briton shares the driving duties tomorrow with German duo Hans Guido Riegel and Mike Stursberg.
In third overall, was fellow PRO-AM entry Black Bull Swiss Racing’s Ferrari 458 Italia No.64 with the best time of 1:48.266 by Mirko Venturi (ITA). Venturi and fellow-Italians Andrea Invermizzi and Tommaso Maino, who took pole position in 2011, loom as strong contenders for the opening race of 2012.
The Gentleman Trophy class was led by the Ruffier Racing Lamborghini LP520+ No.31. Fabien Thuner (CHE) set a time of 1:50.666. He and French duo George Cabannes and Romain Brandela will start from 41st on the grid.
Valentino Rossi in the Kessel Racing No.46 Ferrari 458 Italia lit up the second session and much to the delight of the exuberant home fans topped the time sheets with a 1:48.962. He and co-driver Alessio Salucci (ITA) will start tomorrow’s race from 10th on the grid.
Rossi, choosing the Blancpain Endurance Series for his first competitive GT outing, is relishing being part of the Monza spectacular, dodging hordes of autograph hunters as he moves from Paddock to garage surrounded by an army of minders.
“In the future if I want to go racing it is better for me in a car than on a bike. I have done rallying but it is more about controlling the car on the slide on the gravel. In GT racing it is about racing lines, breaking and rhythm and I enjoy it a lot,” the nine-times motorcycle world champion said.
“I enjoy sprint races because I have more experience in that but the Blancpain is just right for me at three hours. It is between a sprint race and an endurance race. The field of cars is impressive and the driver line-up very strong.
“Being in the top 10 in qualifying is a great result and being under 1:49 is a good lap time at Monza. Tomorrow it will be important to get the rhythm – one lap is one lap but three hours is very different.”
The Boutsen-Guinon Racing No.14 was the fastest of the McLarens. The MP4-12C shared by Edouard Mondron (BEL), Jack Clarke (GBR) and Nico Verdonck secured 14th place overall.
There were some notable incidents in a Qualifying session peppered with red flags.
Among them was the No.23 United Autosports McLaren MP4-12C which was beached by Mark Patterson (USA) at the chicane before the first Lesmo. Patterson, along with Zak Brown (USA) and Mark Blundell (GBR) eventually finished 47th fastest in 1:51.698.
Qualifying was ended for the No.4 Marc VDS Racing BMW Z4 in Q1 when Bert Longin (BEL) struck the barrier at the second chicane resulting in extensive damage to the front end of the car. The Belgian entry will start the race from the lowly position of 52nd.
The second session was red flagged three minutes in after the No.42 Sport Garage Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Emmett O’Brien (IRL) went wide and struck the barrier halfway round Ascari. Proceedings were halted while the car was removed and the tyre barrier put back into place. The French entry will line up in 33rd tomorrow.
The No.66 Vita4One Racing Team BMW Z4 came to grief and returned to the pit lane after a spell in the gravel bringing out a second red flag but still managed 24th.
Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8 LMS No.2 stopped as the clock wound down to end the session. The car was just outside the top 10 at the time and eventually finished 37th.
All is now set for tomorrow’s race which starts at 14:15 local time (+2 UTC/GMT). It promises to be a gripping three hours.
The series will feature in live broadcast across 22 channels globally with a number of other key broadcasters showing extended highlights in territories such as Europe, Australia, North America and Latin America.
Bloomberg Television will also broadcast highlights worldwide (Americas, Pan Euro, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific). That all adds up to a global audience reach of over 350 million homes.
Motors TV will carry live coverage to viewers in over 20 countries across Europe.
Live streaming of each race will also be shown on the official web site www.blancpain- endurance-series.com German viewers can watch on http://eurovision.digotel.com/gt1/index.html
Watch the 2012 season preview on the Blancpain Endurance Series Youtube channel. Read David Addison’s blog Moonlighting at www.blancpain-endurance-series.com
The Marc VDS Racing Team had a mixed qualifying for Round One of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza. The #3 BMW Z4 GT3 of Bas Leinders, Maxime Martin and Markus Palttala will start from 18th position, while the #4 car of Mike Hezemans, Bert Longin and Henri weiter >>
Valentino Rossi at the wheel of the Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia at MonzaPre-Qualifying top 101. Tommaso Maino (ITA)/Andrea Invernizzi (ITA)/MirkoVenturi (ITA) 1:48.955PRO-AM, No.64 Black Bull Swiss Racing ( weiter >>
Blancpain Revival SeriesNadat Wim Lumbeeck vorig jaar de laatste wedstrijd van de Belcar achter zijn naam zette in de Belcar GT open was het, gezien de malaise in het Belgisch omloopgebeuren, even afwachten welk vervolg de Lightin&r weiter >>
De teamtruck is al onderweg. De laatste testen op Zolder waren positief. De koffers zijn gepakt zodat de rijders van het KRK-Racing team vandaag zijn afgereisd naar Monza voor de allereerste Europese opdracht ooit van het Limburgse team. weiter >>
Nach aufschlussreichen Testfahrten mit einigen GT 3 Fahrzeugen und Verhandlungen im Vorfeld, bestätigt der 19-jährige Waiblinger Motorsportler Riccardo Brutschin seine Teilnahme in der Blancpa weiter >>
The Marc VDS Racing Team begin their 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series campaign this weekend at the famous Monza circuit, in Italy. The Blancpain series is the main focus of the Marc VDS Racing Team's endeavours this season, and taking the title is their ultimate goal. weiter >>
.. in de Blancpain Endurance SeriesDe 19-jarige belofte en tweevoudig kampioen in de Belcar GT Open, Dylan Derdaele uit Overpelt, werd door ProSpeed Competition gecontacteerd om het succesvolle Belgische Porsche-team te vervoegen in de Blanc weiter >>
Ollie Millroy has signed to drive the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 (run by Barwell Motorsport) in the opening round of this season’s Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza, Italy, on April 13-15. The former BMW Scholarship recipie weiter >>
Het team dat destijds door Kris Wauters, Raf Vanthoor en Koen Wauters (KRK) opgericht werd om ten allen tijde met een racewagen te kunnen rijden is vijf jaar later uitgegroeid tot een gevestigde waarde in de autosport.Vorig s weiter >>
In 2012 ProSpeed Competition will be competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series, entering two cars. A new challenge, which the Belgian team, and double European champion, will be taking on with their “2012 Spec.&rdquo weiter >>
Iconic Scottish squad confirms British GT and Blancpain Endurance Series programmes 60 years since the team was formed, legendary Scottish outfit Ecurie Ecosse will make a full-time return to top-level international sportscar racing weiter >>
Nun ist es soweit, nach meinen motorsportlichen Erfolgen der letzten Jahre mit meinem Vater und Belgium Racing bereite ich mich 2012 auf eine professionelle Karriere im Motorsport vor. Verdanken kann ich dies auch meinem Manager Wolfgang Ko weiter >>
• Le Mans 24 Hour winner and double American Le Mans Series Champion David Brabham joins United Autosports in title bid• Massive coup for team as McLaren GT-factory driver, GP2 race winner and British Formula 3 Champion, Álvaro Parente joins Leeds-based outfit• &nbs weiter >>
2012 Blancpain Endurance Series Calendar SRO Motorsports Group today unveiled the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series, with races on five of Europe’s most prestigious circuits, with a sixth round to be announced. As i weiter >>
In a joint press conference held at Silverstone, SRO Motorsports Group CEO Stephane Ratel and Vice President of Blancpain SA Alain Delamuraz presented the next stage of the evolution of the Blancpain Endurance Series. Building on the suc weiter >>
Blancpain Endurance Series The 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series calendar will have an additional 3-hour race and take place on six Grand Prix circuits across Europe. With the exception of the Total 24 Hours of Spa weiter >>
....in the Blancpain Endurance Series GT4
DVB RACING was very close to clinching their first victory in the Blancpain Endurance Series GT4, however a gearbox problem with the BMW M3 threw a spanner in the works of the Willebroek-based t weiter >>
The Marc VDS Racing Team had cause for a double celebration at Silverstone today, with a second successive race win at the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series securing Markus Palttala second place in the overall championship standings.Bas Leinders took the s weiter >>
BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIESBas Leindersnr40 Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4"I got a good start from the second row of the grid, but then the Ferrari came past me and hit the Audi in the first corner, which I was able to take adva weiter >>
The nr40 Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4 of Bas Leinders, Markus Palttala and Maxime Martin was the strongest car in the 3-hour race at Silverstone, with Martin taking the chequered flag to claim the second win of the season. The victory gave Markus Palttala en weiter >>
The Marc VDS Racing Team's BMW Z4 GT3 will start the final race of the Blancpain Endurance Series from third position on the grid, following an impressive qualifying performance from all three drivers at Silverstone this afternoon.After a wet free practice session weiter >>
Dino LunardiNr41 Alpina B6 GT3"We are very, very happy to be here at Silverstone and to show the Blancpain Endurance Series the competitively of the Alpina. The gap between myself and Stephane (Ortelli weiter >>
Blancpain Endurance Series 5 Silverstone, Great Britain A flying performance by the nr41 Alpina B6 of Dino Lunardi gave the car its first pole position on its Blancpain Endurance Series debut. The Frenchman posted a lap time of 2:00. weiter >>
Blancpain Endurance Series 2011 Round 5 - SilverstoneNewly crowned ADAC GT Masters Amateur Champion Marc A Hayek was the quickest driver on the first day at Silverstone, with the weather playing a major role in the proceedings. The nr24 Blancpa weiter >>
BMW became the fourth different manufacturer in four races to win a Blancpain Endurance Series race in 2011, joining Porsche, Ferrari and Audi, when Maxime Martin took the chequered flag at the end of the 3-hour evening race in Magny Cours, to give himself, Bas Leinders, Marcus Palttala, the Marc VDS Racing Team and BMW their first victory in the series. weiter >>
Blancpain Endurance Series Round 4 Magny Cours, FranceReigning GT1 World Champion Michael Bartels claimed the first pole position of the season in the nr29 Vita4One Ferrari 458 Italia in the final qualifying session witha time of 1:39.219, beating weiter >>
Blancpain Endurance SeriesTeam GT3 Portugal is back on track next weekend for the 4th round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Magny Cours, France. The Portuguese trio is currently 5th on the PRO-AM Class and the aim for this weekend is to finish on the po weiter >>
This weekend the Marc VDS Racing Team head for France and the Circuit de Nevers at Magny-Cours, venue for the penultimate round of the increasingly popular 2011 Blancpain Endurance Series.
The Marc VDS Racing Team will run only on weiter >>
...in the Blancpain Endurance Series
This weekend on the French Magny-Cours circuit, located some 300 kilometres south of Paris, the fourth round of the Blancpain Endurance Series is taking place. This brand new endurance championship weiter >>
BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES Round 4 Magny Cours, FranceGreg FranchiNr33 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS“It’s a very quick track. We have a lot of quick corners. There are two main chicanes weiter >>
BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES Round 4 Magny Cours, FranceAfter the fantastic success of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the teams and drivers taking part in the Blancpain Endurance Series were able to take a short but well-deserved summ weiter >>
Very demanding weekend for Matteo Bobbi in Navarra's second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series. The driver from Milan, involved with the crew mates Giacomo Petrobelli and Carlos Iaconelli at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia entered by Scuderia Vi weiter >>
Solid performance for Paolo Ruberti in Navarra (Spain), theater of the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series.The Italian driver was victim of a problem to the gears since the third and weiter >>