26/06/2016 – A close to the podium finish with fastest lap of the race has been the feat of I.S.R. racing at the circuit of Paul Ricard in occasion of the third round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup 2016.
The Audi R8 LMS run by the Czech team showed once again a good potential and constancy of results in this important round ahead of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the highlight of the season that will take place next 28-31 July.
Franck Perera (FRA), Henry Hassid (FRA) and Philippe Giauque (CH) have been impressive, particularly in terms of race pace. Following a good performance in qualifying, that ended with the fifth place in Pro Am Cup and the sixth row of the grid, Hassid started the race running a wise first stint. Giauque took over driving duties during a full course yellow before handing the car to Perera for the third stint. The Frenchman put in an unbearable rhythm for most of his rivals. Thanks to some great driving he posted the fastest lap of the race (1’57.983) and even though a puncture in the closing stages pushed him off the fight for the podium. Thanks to the fourth place of their class which was worth the fifteenth absolute, the trio is currently second in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Pro Am Drivers, while I.S.R. racing recovered up to the third place of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Pro Am Teams standings.
The number 75 PRO lineup made by Marlon Stockinger (PHL), Frank Stippler (GER) and Filip Salaquarda (CZ) also run a strong race. After a great time in free practice, Stockinger run Q3 for the first time in his career. The young rookie completed his effort with a positive 1:58.172 without taking excessive risks and closing in the mid field. Salaquarda started the race and delayed as much as possible his stint due to the full course yellow. Such a strategy change allowed Stippler and Stockinger to recover several positions closing in eleventh position, as a drive through penalty relegated them out of the top ten.
Igor Salaquarda (I.S.R. racing, Team Principal):
“We are happy on our performance here in Le Castellet. Both cars showed reliability and constancy and sensations have been very positive. This round has been crucial to collect some important technical data ahead of the Total 24 Hours of Spa that will be the most important race of the season. Frank has been really quick. He put in a stunning race pace and the effective driving of Henry and Philippe allowed them to score some heavy points for the championship. Marlon, Frank and Filip opted for a very different strategy decided during the full course yellow neutralization, but they managed to get a stunning 25 positions back, which shows again that our Audis R8 LMS can fight for top positions. Now we will focus on preparing the exciting round of Spa, where we will have to use all the experience acquired so far”.
The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup 2016 will resume next 28 – 31 July with the Total 24 Hours of Spa