Back to business! The Blancpain GT Series season is starting this weekend, with the first round of the Blancpain Sprint Cup, which takes place at Zolder. It’s the first time that the iconic track in Limburg has the honour to open the season, for the delight of Belgian fans and of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, which will live the emotion of ‘home race’ straight away! The squad is ready for another big fight this year and to defend its two Sprint Cup titles (Teams’ and Drivers’).
It will field a 4-car entry: the three line-ups already announced (Riberas-Mies, Vanthoor-Stevens and Leonard-Frijns) are joined by an additional Audi R8 LMS entered in the Silver Cup and entrusted to two young guns and ‘local heroes’ debuting at the highest level of GT racing: Gilles Magnus and Alessio Picariello.
The Belgian outfit has a challenging record to defend: in the five editions of the Blancpain Sprint competition held so far, it has always conquered the Teams ‘title, clinching also the Drivers’ crown in three occasions. This tells enough about the challenge lying ahead, as underlined by Team Principal Vincent Vosse: « We have enjoyed great success in the Sprint series so far, taking at least one of the titles every year. It won’t be easy to keep this trend, but this is clearly our objective. This year, the Sprint Cup will have at tighter core of participants, but when you see the list, you understand the level of competition is going to be extremely high. None of the teams competing are doing it to finish second, and we aren’t either! It’s going to be an exciting season for sure, and we are ready, well-prepared and extremely motivated. With the Audi R8 LMS and our re-worked driver line-ups, I think we are extremely well-equipped for the battle ahead. I am also delighted to have fresh blood in the team, and very pleased to have the car running in the Silver Cup at Zolder in the hands of two young and talented Belgian drivers as Picariello and Magnus. Starting the season at home, certainly makes things even more special and puts a little bit more pressure on us, but that’s fine: we like challenges and serious things will start right aways! »
As known, driver line-ups for the 2018 Sprint Cup have been slightly reshuffled, ensuring a clever mix of experience and speed.
In car #1, Christopher Mies, a solid reference in GT3 racing and in our team, will welcome a new team mate, Spaniard