PREVIEW: 2019 Blancpain Endurance Cup – Monza

by Mike Widdowson

The 2019 Blancpain GT series enter’s its sixth season and continues to grow with no sign of slowing down.  Monza once again will be the host for the season opener with 49 cars officially entered.

The Pro Class again is set to steal the show with 19 cars to take the flag and compete for the outright win at the historic Italian circuit.

Black Falcon return as title holders of the Endurance cup, the same driver line up will take to the track to defend their crown. Maro Engel, Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz will lead the AMG fight with 2 other Pro squads backing them up.
AKKA ASP come to the party with Raffaele Marciello, Michael Meadows and new boy to the team Vincent Abril. Strakka Racing enter the pro class after taking the Pro-AM drivers title last season.

Audi bring their Brand new R8 LMS EVO for the battle this year, it won first time out at the 2019 24 hours of Dubai, the car’s proven already now it’s just down to the teams to take the car to more victories.
Belgian Audi club WRT took the opening round last year and aim to repeat the win at Monza once again, Sainteloc Racing join the Pro class as well as Attempto Racing both also gained knowledge at the Dubai 24 hours will their new Audi EVO spec machinery.

More new machinery come’s from Lamborghini this year, again an EVO spec car from the original Huracan GT3.
Grasser Racing Team will field a solo car in the pro class but FFF racing set’s their eyes on the big prize be entering 2 of the 2019 EVO Huracan GT3‘s.

Newcomer to the series Dinamic motorsport will enter a single brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R but the most notable addition to the Porsche marque is the ROWE Racing, supporting BMW for many years, it came as huge shock to see this German squad make the leap over the wall into the Porsche camp for the 2019 season.

Bentley returns to the grid with 2 cars of the 2018 version of the Continental GT3. The M-Sport squad looking forward to the season and celebrate the centenary year of the brand with some success

Aston Martin will be running all new machinery this season. R-motorsport will be looking to repeat their fantastic season performances last year with this all new AMR Vantage GT3.
Garage 59 Jump ship from one British marque to another, the former Mclaren outfit have entered 1 Pro Class AMR Vantage GT3 from their 2 brand new Aston Martin Vantage’s

Credit: Mike widdowson of MJW Media

Blancpain wouldn’t be the same without at least 1 Ferrari in the Pro class, this year again brought to you by SMP Racing, the Russian outfit go again with the same drivers as 2018 in the same Ferrari 488 GT3.

With 19 cars running in the Pro field, it leaves 30 entrants spread across the Silver, Pro-AM and AM classes.

The Silver cup is the most populated with 13 entrants. Lamborghini are looking strong for class honours with five Huracan’s entered in both the EVO and original spec from FFF Racing, Barwell Motorsport,  Ombra Racing Daiko Lazarus Racing and Grasser Racing Team.

Rinaldi Racing bring their fantastic Ferrari 488 GT3 whilst Honda is welcomed to the grid for the full season with Jenson Team Rocket RJN. Porsche are represented by GPX Racing who bring their fantastic Gulf Livery to the grid and who isn’t happy to see a Gulf Livered Porsche?

AMG have entries from Black Falcon and AKKA ASP in the silver class whilst Phoenix Racing join Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will use all their experience to try and claim the class honours.

PRO-AM will no doubt be a dogfight all season long with teams such as Sainteloc running EVO spec Audi and Ram Racing joining the grid again. Ram Racing have been enjoying great success in GT open Tom Onslow-cole and Remon Vos. Tempesta Racing joins the Grid too with a Ferrari 488 GT3 who have been showing some real strong pace in pre season testing.

Barwell Motorsport aim to defend their AM cup title, running another new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO, Target racing are another outfit to look out for after a really strong performance in the Dubai 24 hours in January where the team ran up amongst the top pro cars until the car had trouble with an hour left on the clock.

Another fantastic grid to make the start of the Blancpain Endurance Cup season but with a sad twist. 2019 looks as though it will be the first time since the beginning of the Blancpain series back in 2014 that we won’t have a Mclaren present on the grid in any form despite having the new 720s GT3 released this season for competition, we may see it appear at one-off rounds but so far there’s no Mclaren’s entered at all this season.

The Monza round is Scheduled to be a three-hour affair in the Italian parkland circuit with the green flag to be dropped at 15:00 Local time.

CAR #TEAMDRIVER 1DRIVER 2DRIVER 3DRIVER 4CARSERIES
2Belgian Audi Club Team WRTDries VanthoorAlex RiberasEzequiel Perez CompancAudi R8 LMS GT3 Evo-
4BLACK FALCONYelmer BuurmanMaro EngelLuca StolzMercedes-AMG GT3-
5Phoenix RacingFinlay HutchisonKim Luis SchrammIvan ParerasAudi R8 LMS GT3 EvoSilver Cup
6BLACK FALCONAbdulaziz Al FaisalHubert HauptPatrick AssenheimerMercedes-AMG GT3Silver Cup
9Boutsen GinionKarim OjjehPhilippe StevenyMarc RostanBMW M6 GT3Am Cup
10Belgian Audi Club Team WRTCharles WeertsRik BreukersRicardo SanchezAudi R8 LMS GT3 EvoSilver Cup
12Ombra RacingDean StonemanRomain MontiAlex FrassinetiLamborghini Huracan GT3Silver Cup
15Boutsen GinionClaude-Yves GosselinPierre FeligioniRenaud KuppensLamborghini Huracan GT3Am Cup
17Belgian Audi Club Team WRTShae DaviesAlex MacDowallPaul PetitAudi R8 LMS GT3 EvoSilver Cup
19GRT Grasser Racing TeamLucas MauronGerhard TweraserArno SantamatoLamborghini Huracan GT3 EvoSilver Cup
20GPX RacingBenjamin GoetheStuart HallJordan GrogorPorsche 911 GT3 RSilver Cup
22Jenson Team Rocket RJNMatt McMurryPhilipp FrommenwilerStruan MooreHonda Acura NSX GT3Silver Cup
23Tech 1 RacingFabien Barthez-Bernard DelhezLexus RCF GT3Am Cup
25Sainteloc RacingMarkus WinkelhockSteven PaletteChristopher HaaseAudi R8 LMS GT3 Evo-
26Sainteloc RacingFabien MichalPierre Yves PâquesSimon GachetAudi R8 LMS GT3 EvoPro-Am Cup
27Daiko Lazarus RacingKris RichardFabrizio CrestaniNicholas PohlerLamborghini Huracan GT3Silver Cup
29Raton Racing by TargetChristoph LenzStefano CostantiniAntonio Forne TomasLamborghini Huracan GT3 EvoAm Cup
31Team Parker RacingDerek PierceRob SmithSeb MorrisBentley Continental GT3Pro-Am Cup
33Rinaldi RacingChristian HookSteve ParrowManuel LauckFerrari 488 GT3Am Cup
43Strakka RacingLewis WilliamsonDev GoreJack HawksworthMercedes-AMG GT3-
52AF CorseNiek HommersonLouis MachielsAndrea BertoliniFerrari 488 GT3Pro-Am Cup
54Dinamic MotorsportAndrea RizzoliKlaus BachlerZaid AshkananiPorsche 911 GT3 R-
55Attempto RacingMattia DrudiTBCTBCAudi R8 LMS GT3 Evo-
59Garage 59Côme LedogarJonny AdamAndrew WatsonAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3-
62R-MotorsportMatthieu VaxivièreMaxime MartinMatt ParryAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3-
63GRT Grasser Racing TeamMirko BortolottiRolf IneichenChristian EngelhartLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo-
66Attempto RacingKelvin van der LindeClemens SchmidNick FosterAudi R8 LMS GT3 Evo-
72SMP RacingDavide RigonMikhail AleshinMiguel MolinaFerrari 488 GT3-
74Ram RacingRemon Vos-Tom Onslow-ColeMercedes-AMG GT3Pro-Am Cup
76R-MotorsportJake DennisNicki ThiimMarvin KirchhöferAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3-
77Barwell MotorsportMiguel RamosAdrian AmstutzLeo MatchiskiLamborghini Huracan GT3 EvoAM Cup
78Barwell MotorsportSandy MitchellJordan WittJames PullLamborghini Huracan GT3 EvoSilver Cup
87Akka ASP TeamJean-Luc BeaubeliqueMauro RicciJim PlaMercedes-AMG GT3Pro-Am Cup
88Mercedes-AMG Team Akka ASPVincent AbrilMichael MeadowsRaffaele MarcielloMercedes-AMG GT3-
90Akka ASP TeamTimur BogulavskiyFelipe FragaNico BastianMercedes-AMG GT3Silver Cup
93Tempesta RacingChris FroggattChris BuncombeJonathan HuiFerrari 488 GT3Pro-Am Cup
97Oman Racing with TF SportSalih YolucAhmad Al HarthyCharlie EastwoodAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3Pro-Am Cup
98ROWE RacingMathieu JaminetRomain DumasSven MüllerPorsche 911 GT3 R-
99ROWE RacingDirk WernerMatt CampbellDennis OlsenPorsche 911 GT3 R-
110Antonelli MotorsportMarco AntonelliDavide RodaGiuseppe CiprianiMercedes-AMG GT3Am Cup
107Bentley Team M-SportJordan PepperSteven KaneJules GounonBentley Continental GT3-
108Bentley Team M-SportAlex BuncombeAndy SoucekMaxime SouletBentley Continental GT3-
188Garage 59Alexander West-Chris GoodwinAston Martin Vantage AMR GT3AM Cup
333Rinaldi RacingRinat SalikhovDavid PerelDenis BulatovFerrari 488 GT3Silver Cup
444HB RacingFlorian ScholzeJens LiebhaserAndrzej LewandowskiFerrari 488 GT3Am Cup
488Rinaldi RacingPierre EhretMartin BerryJose Manuel BalbianiFerrari 488 GT3Am Cup
519Orange 1 FFF Racing TeamDouglas Keen PhilipGiovanni VenturiniFranck PereraLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo-
555Orange 1 FFF Racing TeamTaylor ProtoDiego MenchacaMichele BerettaLamborghini Huracan GT3 EvoSilver Cup
563Orange 1 FFF Racing TeamAndrea CaldarelliMarco MapelliDennis LindLamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo-

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