PIRELLI POWERS FERRARI TO FIRST BLANCPAIN GT ENDURANCE CUP WIN IN SIX YEARS
Ferrari scored its first victory in the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup in six years at the 3 Hours of Silverstone, with the #72 SMP Racing crew of Mikhail Aleshin, Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon using a long first stint on Pirelli P Zero DHD2 tyres to put themselves in a prime position.
The excellent tyre life of the P Zero DHD2 was key to the winning strategy on race day, as those who stayed out longer during their first stint were in a position to capitalise on a safety car deployed for a stranded car. The #563 Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini led more than once during the race but by stopping just before the safety car was deployed, its race strategy had been compromised.
Conversely, the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari had been on the fringes of the top 10 early on, jumping up to third place and then taking second on a pair of fresh P Zero slicks. Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini’s other car, the #519, had stayed out before the safety car had been deployed, though, and led for much of the race, with Rigon in the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari glued to his tail.
With a quarter of an hour left, Rigon made the race-winning move, sneaking past the Lamborghini at Luffield. Giovanni Venturini would still secure second in the #519 FFF Racing car, the team’s second podium this year, while the #43 Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG crew of Jack Hawksworth, Lewis Williamson and Dev Gore pulled off an incredible drive to go from 41st to third place, only to be denied by a collision with the #563 Lamborghini and hand the final podium position to the #2 Audi.
The big number
0.013. The winning margin in the Silver Cup class in seconds, with the #19 Grasser Lamborghini Huracan fending off Attempto Racing’s #55 Audi R8 LMS by the slimmest of margins. Pirelli’s high-performance P Zero tyre is homologated specifically for the road-going variants of both these cars.
Matteo Braga, Pirelli racing technical manager:
“Silverstone always gives our Pirelli P Zero tyres a thorough workout, but the DHD2 coped well with the high lateral loads that are a hallmark of fast corners like Copse, Maggotts, Becketts and Abbey. The safety car around the hour mark made a huge difference on the race and those who stayed out on the Pirelli slicks benefitted the most, especially in the case of the #72 Ferrari. Despite Britain’s reputation for rain, we didn’t get to see the wet-weather Cinturato tyre on Sunday, which was probably welcome news for the spectators!”
The next round of the Blancpain GT Series takes place at Paul Ricard in France from May 31-June 1: the third race of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
For more information about the Blancpain GT Series, please visit: www.blancpain-gt-series.com