By winning the previous round on the Autodromo Internacional Algarve, Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns took a serious option on the drivers’ title in the 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series. The Belgian-Dutch Audi-duo now have a 26-point lead in the standings and if they can extend that advantage by a further eight points in Italy, Vanthoor and Frijns will be crowned champion with one round left to run. Their task to clinch the overall Blancpain GT Series drivers’ title is even easier, since they hold a 45-point lead in that overall classification.
However, predictions for the races at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli are hard to make. The Italian track – which changed its racing direction in 2006 – has never featured on the calendar of an SRO-promoted Sprint Series and although an official test was organised before the start of the season, the current autumnal conditions might create a surprise or two.
For Maxi Buhk and Vincent Abril, second in the standings, it will be a case of keeping their title chances alive until the last round in Zandvoort. The Bentley drivers are able to beat Vanthoor and Frijns, and have done so during the Moscow round at the beginning of July. All other drivers still holding a – mathematical – chance on the title no longer have their fate in their own hands and must count on an off-day for the Series leaders in order to hang on to their title chances.
They might get a hand or two from a Blancpain Sprint Series newcomer: the Lamborghini Huracàn, entered by the Grasser Racing Team. The Austrian squad – winners of four races last year – make their come-back having spent most of the 2015 season in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Their two mean green machines will be driven by Mirko Bortolotti and Patrick Kujala on the one hand, and Jeroen Mul and Alberto Di Folco on the other. Both Bortolotti and Mul have completed the Endurance season with the Huracàn, while Finn Kujala and Italian Di Folco are stars of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo. The two 19-year olds are the new 2015 champion and the 2014 Pro-Am champion respectively.
Grasser Racing Team is not the only familiar names rejoining the Blancpain Sprint Series in Italy, as the Fjordbach twins are welcome returnees as well. The Danish brothers will certainly give the Dutch Bentley pairing of Szymkowiak and Van Splunteren a run for their money in the Silver Cup.
The Misano meeting will be packed to the rim with great racing, with the Trofeo Abarth, the GT4 European Series and the deciding round of the inaugural GT Sports Club season as well as three Italian single seater and prototype championships as support series. The Italian meeting, which also sees unique racing in the dark on Friday and Saturday, will be further enhanced by the presence of the magnificent automobiles of the Ultracar Sports Club.
Provisional Entry List
Friday, 2 October
Free Practice 1 14:40-16:00
Free Practice 2 19:05-20:25
Saturday, 3 October
Qualifying Race 20:45-21:45
Sunday, 4 October
Warm up 08:50-09:10
Main Race 14:00-15:00
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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 ten years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 35 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 - The architect of modern GT Racing
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 2015, 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 Avon Tyres British GT Championship and the newly-created GT Sports Club and Ultracar Sports Club. SRO Motorsports Group has various franchise agreements, including the GT4 European Series.
SRO Motorsports Group runs also the SRO Race Centre by MMC, a high-level technical centre at the Paul Ricard Circuit in the south of France.
SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.