Time to take a look back at what turned out to be a grand cru edition...
With the iRacing.com Nürburgring 1000 the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series has come to an end. The names of the champions are known, both in the drivers’ as in the teams’ classifications. Time to take a look back at what turned out to be a grand cru edition of the best GT endurance championship on the motorsports planet.
Facts and figures of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series
1 lap, is what the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi lacked to complete all laps of the 2014 season. Pro Cup champion Laurens Vanthoor is the only driver who completed all five races of 2014 on that car.
1,178 sec: smallest gap between winner and second placed car (#7 M-Sport Bentley and #98 ART Grand Prix McLaren at Paul Ricard)
3 different cars have taken the overall win in the five races of 2014: McLaren MP4-12C, Bentley Continental GT3 and Audi R8 LMS ultra
5 different cars finished on the overall podium : McLaren MP4-12C, Audi R8 LMS ultra, Bentley Continental GT3, Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 and BMW Z4 GT3
9 different drivers have stood on the top step of the podium in the Gentlemen Trophy
11 prestigious car brands were represented during the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series
11 different drivers have stood on the top step of the podium in Pro Cup
12 different drivers have stood on the top step of the podium in the Pro-Am Cup
14 different cars have led at least one lap of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series
14,473 sec: average gap between winner and second placed car over the five races of 2014 (yes, that’s including the Total 24 Hours of Spa)
35 different driver nationalities were represented during the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series
61 cars were on the largest grid of the year, at the Total 24 Hours of Spa
61 different drivers have scored points in Pro Cup
61 different drivers have scored points in Gentlemen Trophy
66 plaques have been added to the new Art Deco Trophy celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Total 24 Hours of Spa
70 different cars have participated in the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series
88 different drivers have scored points in Pro-Am Cup
291,11 km/h : highest top speed of the season, set by Alex Buncombe (#80 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN) during Free Practice at Paul Ricard
953 laps were completed this year
6063,334 km is the added distance of the five races of the 2014 season of the Blancpain Endurance Series
Stephane Ratel (CEO and founder of the SRO Motorsports Group): “In the name of the SRO Motorsports Group I would like to thank all the teams and drivers that participated in the 2014 edition of the Blancpain Endurance Series and congratulate our new champions. This has really been an outstanding year for our Series, with close fought battles and high level racing throughout the year. One only has to look at the small gaps between the cars at the end of each race to realize that the Balance of Performance in our Series fully works.
Those exciting races appeal to the fans, for sure. The 85 % increase of our worldwide TV audience is the best proof of that. We are already looking forward to the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series and to encourage teams to run cars in both Endurance and Sprint Series we have increased the prize fund, by adding prize money to the Blancpain Endurance Series races.
With the possible interest of a new manufacturer and three new models to replace the existing GT3 cars, 2015 will certainly be another highlight in the history of the Blancpain Endurance Series. And last, but certainly not least, I would also like to express our sincere gratitude to all our partners, without whom it would not be possible to organize and promote the Blancpain Endurance Series.”
And to completely end the 2014 edition of the Blancpain Endurance Series, we call upon the team principals of the teams winning the 2014 titles to take one last look at the season past.
Vincent Vosse (Team Principal Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Pro Cup Team’s champion): “I do not think that we were above the others performance-wise, but we could count on an extremely reliable car and high-quality drivers who barely made any mistakes. After all, you cannot win a 6- or a 24-hour race by spending ten minutes in a gravel trap. We won the two races that counted the most points-wise and we finished in the three others. That consistency has given us the title. This might be our third Pro Cup title in four years, but do not forget that we have only won four Blancpain Endurance Series races to get those three crowns. We were able to seize every opportunity that presented itself to us.”
Raimondo Amadio (Team Principal Scuderia Villorba Corse, Pro-Am Cup Team’s champion): “I have to say 'thank you' to the whole team, to our drivers and to Ferrari for the good job, the perfect strategies and driving stints and such a competitive 458. We are proud to have successfully defended the colours of the Prancing Horse in the Blancpain Endurance Series. It seems like a dream, but we are aware that we still have to focus on the other Blancpain championship, the Sprint Series, where our goal is to clinch a podium before the end of the season.”
Giulio Pucci (Team Principal AF Corse, Gentlemen Trophy Team’s champion): “Thanks to the passion, the determination and the great job both the drivers and the team did during the whole season, we achieved, all together, this wonderful result. I am really happy that AF Corse won the Gentlemen Trophy's Team title. On the car #51, Peter Mann, Filipe Barreiros and Francisco Guedes had a wonderful season, collecting three pole positions and four podiums, including one victory in the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
For sure, the victory in Spa was fundamental to win both the driver and team titles, so I would like to emphasize that the drivers and the whole team did a fantastic job during the 24 hours. It was a shame that Filipe Barreiros was absent in Spa for business reasons, as he also contributed to win these titles during the others Blancpain Endurance Series races he joined. The Blancpain GT Series is a nice championship, with an interesting race weekend format. Now we look forward to the new season and we are working to participate both in the endurance and in the sprint series in 2015.”
Calendar 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series
10th-12th April : Monza (Ita)
23rd-24th May : Silverstone (UK)
26th-27th June : Paul Ricard 1000 (Fra)
22nd-26th July : Total 24 Hours of Spa (Bel)
19th-20th September : Nürburgring (Deu)
Blancpain GT Series