25 aprile 2016
Monza, 25 April 2016 – Sunny conditions, 22.000 fans in the grandstands, a massive grid of 57 powerful GT3 cars: the second round of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series – the first of the Endurance Cup – had the necessary elements to become a success. And all expectations were met.
After the traditional hectic Monza start, the race quickly settled into a fast-paced rhythm and was won by Come Ledogar, Rob Bell and Shane Van Gisbergen on the Garage 59 McLaren.
Pro-Am Cup. The Pro-Am Cup class was dominated by the Ferrari drivers. Giancarlo Fisichella had put the #53 AF Corse Ferrari on pole, but Motoaki Ishikawa was unable to keep the red car in front. After the first driver change, Alessandro Bonacini pushed the #11 Kessel Racing Ferrari (shared with Andrea Rizzoli and Michal Broniszewski) towards the front, overtaking the #44 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin and the #66 Black Pearl Racing Ferrari. Bonacini got the car up to fifth overall as well, and after a faultless stint from Andrea Rizzoli the Kessel Ferrari took the Pro-Am win, just as it did two weeks ago in Misano, at the end of the first Sprint Cup race of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series season. Behind the leading Ferrari, Giancarlo Fisichella produced a near-phenomenal final stint, climbing from fourth in class (and well outside the top-15 overall) to second in Pro-Am and tenth overall. Driving the #53 AF Corse Ferrari the former F1 driver produced the fastest lap of the race as well. Third was #66 Black Pearl Racing Ferrari of Steve Parrow, Alexander Mattschull and Daniel Keilwitz.
Am Cup. In the Am Cup the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Peter Mann, Francisco Guedes and Rino Mastronardi that started from pole quickly hit trouble during the opening stint, leaving the fight for the class lead to the #49 AF Corse Ferrari (Garry Kondarov, Alexander Moiseev and Riccardo Ragazzi), the #488 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari (Pierre Ehret and Stefan Vancampenhoudt) and the #87 Akka ASP Mercedes. When the AF Corse machine dropped back and the Rinaldi crew chose to do a three-stop race it was the AKKA ASP French trio of Jean-Luc Beaubelique, Maurice Ricci and Gilles Vannelet who took the chequered flag after a faultless drive. Next stop for the Endurance Cup is Silverstone, on May 15.