Endurance Cup victory for SMP Racing's Ferrari at Silverstone
Silverstone hosted the second round of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with 48 GT3 cars on the grid. The victory went to the #72 Ferrari 488 GT3 of SMP Racing, driven by Mikhail Aleshin, Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon. It’s the first Endurance Cup win for Ferrari in more than six years.
The #72 crew started the race from the tenth place on the grid, avoiding troubles on a dramatic opening lap with a multi-car crash on the Hanger Straight. The #63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan started from pole with Christian Engelhart at the wheel, led for most of the sting but all hope of victory was lost when the car have a puncture. This promoted the #563 Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini into the lead, ahead of its sister #519 car.
The #563 was the first to stop shortly before the 60-minute mark, but this would prove costly as the race was neutralised again to recover a stranded car. By stopping later, the #519 Lamborghini was able to take the lead ahead of the #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and the #72 Ferrari in the third place. Miguel Molina took the wheel from Mikhial Aleshin, and when racing resumed the Spanish ace made a pass on Ezequiel Perez Companc in the #2 Audi to capture second place. The #563 Lamborghini later took P2 from the #72 Ferrari but lost three places during the last pit stop.
During the final stint, we saw a fight between Davide Rigon in the #72 Ferrari against leading Giovanni Venturini in the #519 Lamborghini. With 17 minutes left on the clock, Rigon made his move and took the lead. At the checkered flag, he won by 2.6 seconds. Dries Vanthoor finished the race third in the #2 WRT Audi, sharing a car with Ezequiel Perez Companc and Alex Riberas.
In the Silver Cup class, the #19 Grasser Lamborghini took the victory by just 0.013 seconds ahead of the #55 Attempto Racing Audi. The drivers of the #19 Lambo were Gerhard Tweraser, Arno Santamato and Lucas Mauron. In the Pro-Am class, Tom Onslow-Cole and Ramon Vos took the victory in the #74 RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG. The Am Cup category was also won by a British squad, with Barwell Motorsport’s Adrian Amstutz, Leo Machitski and Miguel Ramos taking a victory in the #77 Lamborghini Huracan.
The Blancpain GT Series will resume with another Endurance Cup event at Circuit Paul Ricard on May 31 and June 1.
Photos: Jules Benichou/Blancpain GT Series,