Blancpain Sprint Misano: A record season for the WRT?

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The long winter break is over! Next weekend will mark the start of the 2016 season of the Blancpain GT Series, and what a season! The world’s top competition for GT cars seems to have reached new heights: the coming in of a new generation of GT cars and the reshuffle of the two Blancpain Series, with five events for both the Sprint and Endurance Series, has led to a record number of entries.

There will be no less than 40 cars taking the track at Misano, the Italian circuit close to the Adriatic coast that hosts the season-opener of the Blancpain Sprint Series. It will be a special year also for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, as the squad defending the two overall Blancpain GT titles (Drivers and Teams) and the Team titles in Sprint and Endurance, has also risen its stake, with a line-up bigger than ever, which includes six cars in the Sprint Series and many interesting novelties. Significantly too, 2016 marks the first full-time racing season for the Audi R8 LMS, the new racer by Ingolstadt.

Six cars entered in the Sprint Series under the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT banner means new and renewed driver line-ups. Laurens Vanthoor is now partnering with fellow Belgian Frédéric Vervisch, while the youngest of the Vanthoor brothers, Dries, will make his debut in GT racing alongside reigning champion Robin Frijns. A stellar duo is the one composed of René Rast and former F.1 driver Will Stevens. New-comers include British duo Stuart Leonard-Michael Meadows, which will compete in the Silver Cup, as well as Brazilian pair Rodrigo Baptista-Sérgio Jimenez. Exceptionally, Jimenez cannot attend the Misano round because of other commitments and will be replaced by Portugal’s Filipe Albuquerque. The only driver pair unchanged is the one composed by Enzo Ide and Christopher Mies.

With such a strong line-up, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, Team Principal Vincent Vosse can only be happy and concerned at the same time: “It is clear that entering six cars is a real challenge, but it is also true that it is a pure luxury to be able to rely on such a dream team