With Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Götz (HTP Motorsport Mercedes), Jeroen Bleekemolen and Hari Proczyk (Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini) and René Rast and Enzo Ide (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi), the three opening rounds of the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series produced three different Main Race winners. This results in a very close fight at the top of the driver rankings, where Buhk and Götz have a small eight-point lead over Bleekemolen and Proczyk. The winners of the Zandvoort round – Rast and Ide – are in third, but already 33 points behind. However, René Rast seems to be on a roll, because a couple of weeks after winning in the Dutch Dunes, the German also won the highlight of the Blancpain GT Series, the Total 24 Hours of Spa, together with his team-mates Marcus Winkelhock and Laurens Vanthoor.
Both of them are present at the Slovakia Ring as well, representing Phoenix Racing and the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT respectively. Vanthoor’s win in Spa lifted him to second in the Blancpain GT Series driver standings (combining the Endurance and Sprint results), only 13 points behind Maximilian Buhk. In previous years the Audi drivers have always been among the frontrunners at the Slovakia Ring, so count on them to try and close the gap in the standings.
The Slovakia Ring is also the scene of the return of Alex Zanardi. The Olympic Champion had a short hiatus in his Blancpain Sprint Series season – missing Zandvoort due to his handbike obligations – but the Italian is now aiming to improve on his most recent result, which was a fifth in the main race at Brands Hatch.
In the Pro-Am Trophy, newcomer René Münnich at the wheel of his All-Inkl. Com Münnich Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 will do his utmost to challenge the Series regulars, the Austrian Pro-Am winners of Zandvoort, Sascha Halek and Stefan Landmann, and the class winners of Brands Hatch, German Marc Basseng and Italo-Briton Alessandro Latif. This will be All-Inkl.Com Münnich Motorsport’s first GT sprint race since the team won the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship.
In the Silver Cup, exclusively reserved for pairs of young Silver driver under 25, Vincent Abril and Mateusz Lisowski (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) have only been beaten once this season, in the qualifying race at Brands Hatch. The French-Polish duo now enjoy a 28-points lead over BMW-duo Stefano Colombo and David Fumanelli, but with 34 points to gain at each Blancpain Sprint Series meeting, that situation could be reversed swiftly. Luca Stolz and Lucas Wolf join the regular Silver Cup drivers for the rest of the season and will share the wheel of the third Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 entered by HTP Motorsport.
The action at the Slovakia Ring starts on Friday, with free practice at 9.30 local time. The qualifying race on Saturday will start at 14.45, Sunday’s main race gets underway at 12.40.
Friday 22 August
09:30 - 10:50 Free Practice 1
14:30 - 15:50 Free Practice 2
Saturday 23 August
10:00 - 10:55 Qualifying Practice
14:45 - 15:45 Qualifying Race
Sunday 24 August
08:10 - 08:30 Warm Up
12:40 - 13:40 Main Race
Livetiming & livestreaming : www.blancpain-gt-series/GT TV/live
Press Images & Results : www.blancpain-GT-series/pressmembers
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Blancpain - Innovation is our Tradition
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit. From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past nine years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 32 new calibres.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.
Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
SRO Motorsports Group
SRO Motorsports Group was founded by Stephane Ratel and has specialised in the promotion, support and organisation of many national and international motorsport series since 1995.
In 2014, SRO promotes several championships and series, such as the Blancpain GT Series with the Blancpain Sprint Series and the Blancpain Endurance Series, including the iconic Total 24 hours of Spa, the Cooper Tires British F3 Championship, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship and has various franchise agreements including the GT4 European Series.
SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.