The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT hopes to repeat last year’s success at Zandvoort
The Blancpain Sprint Series is extremely competitive this year.
It’s beach time for the Blancpain Sprint Series, which is back for its third round at Zandvoort, the iconic and historic Dutch track on the dunes of the North Sea. But teams and drivers won’t have much time to share beach pleasures with holiday-makers! The Blancpain Sprint Series is extremely competitive this year and, despite good results in the previous rounds, the Audis R8 LMS ultra of the Belgian squad have paid the toll of lower top speed.
On the Dutch track, this handicap might be less present and Laurens Vanthoor-César Ramos and Enzo Ide-René Rast will try everything to repeat last year’s excellent results (one win and three podium finishes) and reduce the gap in the points standings. Vincent Abril-Mateusz Lisowski enjoy a more comfortable position, as the Under 25 duo of the team is currently leading the Silver Cup.
Team Principal Vincent Vosse is determined although cautious ahead of the trip to the Netherlands: “Clearly, it’s a track that we know well and where we have had good results in the past, and it’s also a circuit which suits reasonably well the Audis, but it is difficult to make any prediction. Things seem to change so quickly this year… I expect the Mercedes and the BMWs to be very competitive, but we’ll try our best and we’ll fight hard, as always, and I am totally confident the team and the drivers can achieve something positive.”
Photo by: Daniel James Smith
The young Belgian admits: “We had very good results at Zandvoort last year, as our car won the Saturday race and was a close second in Race 2, with the other WRT cars taking two additional podium finishes, but difficult to say how things will go this year. As always, I want to wait after qualifying before saying where we stand.”
On car #2, Enzo Ide-René Rast will try most of all to have … a trouble free weekend after a frustrating start of the season. “We haven’t been lucky so far, as our Nogaro and Brands Hatch weekends were ruined in Race 1, because of various incidents. But René and I have proven to have good pace and the potential to be on the podium. The pieces just need to fit together at the same time! I quite like Zandvoort, it’s a circuit with a soul and actually, it’s the track where I started training at the beginning of my career. It’s not too far from home, so I expect to see many friends and fans there.”
In the Silver Cup, the two Belgian Audi Club Team WRT young guns, Vincent Abril and Mateusz Lisowski, will aim at confirming their excellent start of the season and possibly at increasing further their lead in the standings of this Silver Cup which has been created this year for drivers under 25 years of age. Mateusz Lisowski is obviously happy when he reflects on how things have gone so far: “It has been a very positive start of the season for Vincent and me and I think the team is happy with what we have achieved.
I was among the first surprised, because I didn’t expect to be that competitive, given my lack of experience with GT cars, but I am enjoying the experience a lot. Now the objective is to stay focused, continue to learn and grow, don’t do mistakes, and try to win the Silver Cup, which is an important target for the team and for us.”
With regard to Zandvoort, the Pole takes things with a completely fresh look: “I raced there in 2010, so I should say I know the circuit, but it was with a mono-brand trophy car and four years ago, so it will be like discovering everything anew. A GT car is so much powerful than anything I have driven before, has such a braking and aerodynamic performance, that every track now seems a new thing to me! I’ll try to do my best at Zandvoort and mostly, improve my qualifying performance. It’s a relatively new exercise for me and I need to improve, especially when it comes to using new tires.”
The Dutch round will follow a traditional format, with the Qualifying Race kicking off on Saturday afternoon at 13:45 and the Main Race taking place Sunday noon at 11:45.
Belgian Audi Club Team
Battle at the beach for the Blancpain Sprint Series
Blancpain Sprint Series: Third and fourth for Audi in Zandvoort qualifying race