Blancpain Endurance Series back on track for preseason testing

The Blancpain Endurance Series is testing at Paul Ricard this week, and Peter Kox found himself at the top of the charts after day one.

The Reiter Engineering run Lamborghini Gallardo topped the times on the first day of the official pre-season Blancpain Endurance Series testing at Paul Ricard today.

Peter Kox set the best time of 1m56.018s early this morning on just his fourth lap. Set in cool and settled conditions, it was a time that would not be beaten in the warmer afternoon session and was a full second clear of the Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia. Last year’s pole position at the third round of the BES was a 1m57.198s lap set by Alvaro Parente in an ART GP run McLaren MP14/12.

Lots of competition at the top

There were six different manufacturers in the top six at Ricard with the Team Oman Aston Martin third, the Nissan GT Academy car fourth, the new Von Ryan McLaren fifth and the ISR Audi in sixth place with works Audi pilot Marco Bonanomi at the wheel.

The raucous Reiter run Chevrolet Camaro posted the 8th best time of the first day with Tomas Enge setting the quickest lap today.

New-look Audi looking great

The new-look Audi R8 LMS was a surprise addition to today’s running with reigning BES champion Laurens Vanthoor setting a best time of 1m58.767s as the car continues its development ahead of a competitive debut at May’s Nurburgring 24 Hours.

The highest placed Bentley Continental today was the #84 HTP entered car in 12th place. 45 cars set times at the track today. There were three stoppages during the afternoon session. The most significant being that caused when Rinat Salikhov crashed the Rinaldi Racing entered Ferrari 458 Italia.

The annual Balance of Performance test was conducted yesterday at Paul Ricard with Christophe Bouchut and Jean-Marc Gounon carrying out independent testing of the various GT3 cars.

Testing continues tomorrow.

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About this article
Series Blancpain Endurance
Event Paul Ricard March testing
Sub-event Day 1
Track Circuit Paul Ricard
Drivers Tomas Enge , Peter Kox , Christophe Bouchut , Marco Bonanomi , Jean-Marc Gounon , Alvaro Parente , Laurens Vanthoor , Rinat Salikhov
Article type Testing report
Tags endurance, france, pre-season