The TM Performance 3 Hours of Monza is the first of five endurance races of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series. Plenty of drivers were looking forward to this event and we met up with some of them during the track walk. Here’s what Franck Perera, Christian Klien and Alex Buncombe had to say.
Franck, you are leading the championship standings, together with Maxi Buhk. How high are the expectations for the Monza weekend?
FP: “They are pretty high. Misano really was a nice weekend, but this is completely different. There is the fact that Jimmy Eriksson joins us on the #84 Mercedes-AMG, but there is also a lot more cars on track. The fact that there are more Pro drivers than ever at the start is an extra motivation to do well. It’s great for the championship that drivers like Giancarlo Fisichella, Will Stevens and other guys that were competing in different series are now racing together. I am very much looking forward to this one.”
Christian, two cars for Emil Frey Jaguar Racing this season, does that have a big impact?
CK: “It makes a huge difference. During winter testing we noticed that we are able to determine the right set-up a lot quicker, because you have twice the amount of data you can work with. That’s very useful, because even though Emil Frey Racing has been quite competitive for a couple of years now, we want to push it even further. The level of the Blancpain GT Series gets better every year and we need to improve as well.”
Alex, you’re sharing the #23 Motul Team RJN Nissan GT-R with two other former Blancpain GT champions. How high are your ambitions?
AB: “They are pretty high actually. But we will not know where we really are until the first race gets going. This is my sixth year in the Blancpain GT Series, and as ever, the teams and drivers in this championship are getting better and better. Our ‘Godzilla’ should still be quick though. We think the new Pirelli tyres should suit us very well, especially near the end of a stint. If we can get everything together there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to finish on the podium.”