The Blancpain Endurance Series roars back in to life this week with the official test days taking place at the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France on 12/13 March. Upwards of 60 cars are set to descend on the circuit in a valuable testing opportunity for the teams ahead of the start of the 2013 season.
The world’s best supported GT series is set to return bigger and better than ever with large grids, close multiple class battles and a unique collection of some of the most well-known automotive and racing brands anywhere in global GT3 competition.
The official tests at Paul Ricard take place exactly a month before the racing season begins at Monza on 13/14 April. The five-date 2013 series also takes in Silverstone (1/2 June), Paul Ricard (29/30 June), the prestigious 24 hours of Spa (24-28 July) and the season finale, Nurburgring 1000kms (21-22 September).
2013 promises to deliver the closest and most competitive GT racing once again with every aspect of the series having stepped up a level this year. Top new drivers have joined the along with additional teams who have committed to representing brands such as Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan and Porsche.
All set to re-ignite their rivalry in the series are Marc VDS Racing Team and Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, with both having announced their driver line-ups this week. Last year’s title contenders were embroiled in a fierce battle until the spectacular last few racing laps of the season and are again likely to lock horns in 2013.
Also back will be the new Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 which will be entered under the Blancpain Racing banner in 2013. Peter Kox and Marc A.Hayek, President and CEO of Blancpain, once again form an impressive team and after an encouraging recent test at Imola, they are confident for strong results this season.
In the Pro-Am and Gentlemen Trophy classes, both the reigning champions of AF Corse and Sainteloc Racing will be back to try and retain their crowns. New team and driver combinations will again be out to topple them in these ultra-competitive and closely fought categories.
This season the Blancpain Endurance Series welcomes Pirelli who become the tyre supplier and official technical partner. Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world.
Live updates and images from the Paul Ricard test will be available throughout the test days via the series official Twitter feed @BES_GT using #TestPR
ABOUT BLANCPAIN: OVER 275 YEARS OF TRADITION IN MOTION
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged in a long-term commitment to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research.
From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past seven years, the Manufacture in Le Brassus has indeed developed no less than 26 new calibres.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the daring L-evolution line, the high complication from Le Brassus, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection and the Blancpain Women models.
The sports enthusiasts’ watch: Chronographe Flyback à Rattrapante Grande Date
While remaining loyal to its fundamental values, Blancpain quite naturally associates with the world of fine automotive mechanical engineering, since the key values of precision, reliability and sturdiness are required and shared by both cars and watches.