Blancpain Endurance Series driver quotes after Silverstone

What the drivers say …

For the second consecutive round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, the Marc VDS Racing BMW squad of Markus Palttala (FIN) and Belgian pair Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin scored victory in the wet – this time a sodden Silverstone.

As it had done at Monza in the opening round, the Belgian team’s pit stop went like clockwork and the drivers made no mistakes to produce an impressive result.

On a rain soaked Silverstone weekend, 50 cars were lined up for the main event. The battle between the Britons was intense with a total of 9 McLarens and 33 British drivers among an international field.

In the end it was the Belgian Marc VDS Racing team which prevailed in the PRO class.

In the PRO-AM category, Peter Kox (NLD) and Marc A. Hayek (CHE) combined for a brilliant win in the Blancpain-Reiter Lamborghini LP600. The pair were fourth overall.

The all-Swedish JB Motorsport Audi R8 LMS of Mikael Bender, Jan Brunstedt and Jocke Mangs won the Gentleman Trophy class.

Markus Palttala (FIN), Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4 No.3 (1st in PRO)

"For the first few laps I struggled with a lot with oversteer, but towards the end of the stint it was getting better. Yet again, two perfect stints from my teammates, amazing pit stops from the team and we were on top."

Bas Leinders (BEL), Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4 No.3 (1st in PRO)

"Statistics will say that we will not continue winning, of course not. The opposition is still there, the Audi cars are very strong, McLarens, Mercedes and others as well will come and challenge us, but at the same time I think the Marc VDS team are a very concentrated. We are focused on only one championship, which is the Bancpain Endurance Series. Every day we get a little bit stronger, we practice every day, we do a lot of simulation and a lot of testing. All the team work extremely well together."

Maxime Martin (BEL) Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4 No.3 (1st in PRO)

"It was good, the car was OK in my stint, but the team did a really good pit stop so we were able to pass the Audi in the pitlane, so that makes it easier for me. I would like to thank the whole team, Marc (van der Straten) and everybody, especially my team mates, for this fourth victory in a row."

Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra No.2 (2nd in PRO)

"It was quite a good day, I have never driven here in the wet before but we went quite well and we managed to make up a lot of places from Qualifying. We are still missing a little bit of pace to the BMW, and even more so in the dry, but we will continue to work to try and end the winning streak of the BMW for the next race.”

Andrea Piccini (ITA) Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra No.2 (2nd in PRO)

"I think we struggled a little bit in the dry during Qualifying, we were not the fastest car, but in the beginning, in the wet, we were there. We decided not to take any risks and we took it quite easy in the first hour and to try and go as far as possible to get the car in a good position for Laurens. Not so many risks, set-by-step and we were there."

Edward Sandstrom (SWE) Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra No.2 (2nd in PRO)

"For sure it is harder when you qualify in the pack, but we have to try hard and push to improve. I think Paul Ricard is a good track for this car, we will still need to find some pace in the dry but we can still compete."

Christopher Haase (DEU) Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra No.1 (3rd in PRO)

"It is a very good result for the whole Belgian Club Audi WRT Team, as a team they did a really great job over the whole weekend. We had a pretty constant pace in the race, and the pit stops were pretty good, and that gave us a chance to be on the podium. It is great to be up here with two cars and it is with thanks to the team.”

Stephane Ortelli (MON) Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra No.1 (3rd in PRO)

"I think we suffered a bit in the dry yesterday, but in the rain we were getting better and better. We were happy with the performance of the car in the race, but I still don’t think we have the pace in the dry, and both cars have suffered a lot because of this.

"The guys have done a great job though, and it is always good to race with them. We could have finished second because we had such a strong start, but I think the team are happy with third. A special day for Belgium; 1-2-3."

Christopher Mies (DEU) Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra No. 1 (3rd in PRO)

"Hopefully we can continue in the same way in Paul Ricard, we had a good pace in Monza, but here we had a few problems.

“We need to find a little pace, but team is in good shape. Before the next race we have a lot to do, but I feel confident."

Marc A. Hayek (CHE), Blancpain Reiter Lamborghini LP600+ No.24 (1st in PRO-AM)

“With two races now with so much rain, I am starting to get used to it. The car felt good, the handling was excellent and I was just trying to get some good lap times. It was a fantastic race, we had such a great pit stop and we are pleased with the result.”

Peter Kox (NLD), Blancpain Reiter Lamborghini LP600+ No.24 (1st in PRO-AM)

“To get fourth place overall is fantastic. We were holding our breath at the end. Marc did a very good job. He has obviously has a very busy other life away from the track. He has not done a lot of running so his performance today was impressive. It was the perfect result for the team.”

Giacomo Petrobelli (ITA), Vita4One Team Italy Ferrari 458 Italia No.57 (2nd in PRO-AM)

“We struggled in Qualifying but we knew we had a good car in the wet so we are able to have run well today. We were fighting with a lot of cars and for the class win. The difference between the PROS and the PRO-AMS, particularly with so many good PRO-AM teams, is small. It is great racing.”

Andrea Ceccato (ITA), Vita4One Team Italy Ferrari 458 Italia No.59 (3rd in PRO-AM)

“The start for me was very difficult because I had a lot of rain and I couldn’t see much in front of me. This was my first time with this car and I just tried to improve my confidence lap by lap and give the car to my team-mate in a good position. Thanks for Josh (Wakefield) and Michael (Lyons) for this result.”

Michael Lyons (GBR), Vita4One Team Italy Ferrari 458 Italia No.59 (3rd in PRO-AM)

“In my stint I was against the gold drivers so it was good to show that the level in the FIA GT3 European Championship is quite high. Neither of these guys have ever driven the car before this weekend and this is the first time Josh (Wakefield) has driven a GT3 car so to get so close so quickly was fantastic. To be two and three for the Vita4One Ferraris is fantastic.”

Josh Wakefield (GBR), Vita4One Team Italy Ferrari 458 Italia No.59 (3rd in PRO-AM)

“It was a great first time out for me. We all went home doing our rain dance last night and praying that it would rain and it did because we knew the Ferrari would be good in the wet. I am really pleased to get the result for the team.”

Jan Brunstedt (SWE) JB Motorsport Audi R8 LMS No.98 (1st in Gentleman Trophy)

"It is an honour to be racing here at Silverstone, the home of racing. Of course it was a challenge today, especially when the spray is so thick in the first three laps, we know we’re running for three hours and it’s important to make the flag. We were fighting for three hours and the result came in the very last lap."

Jocke Mangs (SWE) JB Motorsport Audi R8 LMS No.98 (1st in Gentleman Trophy)

"I think the track was slowest within my middle stint. The car was good, my aim was to do a strong and fast stint so the team can battle till the end and get a podium."

Mikael Bender (SWE) JB Motorsport Audi R8 LMS No.98 (1st in Gentleman Trophy)

"It was good fun to be chasing on the last lap, and to get the pass. It was difficult because of the lead cars, and trying to avoid being traffic, but that is racing, it was great to get the win."

Pablo Paladino (VEN) Kessel Racing Ferrari 430 Scuderia No.73 (3rd in Gentleman Trophy)

"It is our first time to be at the Silverstone and there is a lot to learn about the track and how the car handles in such conditions. We had a lot of problems trying to get the car to work on the track."


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