|Pirelli will continue as supplier to the Blancpain GT Series
Ahead of the final round of this year’s Blancpain Endurance Series at the Nurburgring, Pirelli was delighted to confirm that it has reached an agreement to supply the prestigious Blancpain GT Series for a further five years. This means that Pirelli tyres will continue to be seen on the entire range of competing cars until at least the end of 2020: a continuation of the strong relationship that began in 2012.
The Blancpain GT series includes both sprint and endurance races, and it has been created for road-going supercars, most of which are equipped with Pirelli tyres as original equipment. As such, it provides a direct link between Pirelli’s road car products and motorsport. Both professional and semi-professional drivers compete on the series – including stars such as Alex Zanardi – which takes place on some of the best-known tracks all over Europe, with the highlight of the championship being the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium. This is Pirelli’s biggest engagement in motorsport out of all the 300 or so championships that the Italian firm supplies worldwide, with approximately 9000 tyres taken to this one event alone.
Pirelli’s latest supply contract was announced at the SRO press conference prior to the Nurburgring race on Sunday, where next year’s calendar was also revealed. In 2016, there will be 10 rounds: five endurance and five sprint races. These will take place at classic European venues from Monza in April to Barcelona in October, showcasing more than 10 different manufacturers that use a wide variety of engines and different vehicles architectures.
One thing they will all have in common is their Pirelli tyres, developed to provide the perfect compromise between performance and durability: just as is the case with the corresponding P Zero road car tyres developed for the equivalent showroom models.
On top of this, Pirelli has also concluded a long-term deal to supply the prestigious British GT championship: one of the most popular domestic endurance championships in Europe.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “This agreement is of great significance to us at Pirelli, as the cars represented in the Blancpain GT Series form our key target market, as the world leaders in Ultra High Performance tyres and prestige products. This is the reason why Pirelli is chosen as original equipment by the vast majority of supercar manufacturers, with homologations of the P Zero tyre currently exceeding 2000, in the premium and prestige market. At the moment, around 85% of our homologations are for premium and prestige vehicles, for marques including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren. All these tyres are made to measure for the vehicles they are fitted to. For many years now, Stéphane Ratel from SRO has created the world’s leading GT championships, which have grown from strength to strength. We look forward to another five years of working together to create an even more compelling championship proposition that showcases sport and technology in the luxury and prestige sector.”
The final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Germany this weekend was won by Rob Bell, Kevin Estre and Shane van Gisbergen in a Von Ryan Racing McLaren, using Pirelli’s DHC compound tyres, which are ideal for providing consistent performance in the wide-ranging track and weather conditions that are typical of the Nurburgring. This year’s Blancpain Endurance Series champions are Alex Buncombe, Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip, who finished third at the Nurburgring in their Nissan GT-R, after one of the most closely-fought races of the year. The overall 2015 Blancpain GT Series champions and Blancpain Sprint Series champions will be crowned after the final two sprint races of the year, at Misano (Italy) and Zandvoort (Netherlands) in October.
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For Blancpain GT Series information: www.blancpain-gt-series.com