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Blancpain Endurance Series <br /> A one-two-three and a precious podium for Ferrari at Paul Ricard

Blancpain Endurance Series
A one-two-three and a precious podium for Ferrari at Paul Ricard

Le Castellet, 29 June – The third round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, which took place on Saturday night at the Paul Ricard circuit, guaranteed plenty of spectacle and emotions and presented the Ferrari clients with a great series of successes. The Maranello company in fact left France by filling the entire podium in the Gentlemen Trophy and with a precious second place in the Pro-Am Cup category.

The latter podium was the second place taken by the 458 of the Scuderia Villorba Corse which had a long fight for victory. Andrea Rizzoli, Stefano Gai and Francesco Castellacci spent more than two hours of the three-hour race harassing the leading BMW of TDS Racing in the hands of Henry Hassid and Nicky Catsburg but in the end, instead of putting themselves at unnecessary risk the team preferred to settle for the place on the podium having made a precise strategic choice. The championship leading BMW of ROAL Motorsport had some problems so, taking into account yesterday's second place, the Scuderia Villorba Corse could head to the most eagerly anticipated race of the season, the 24 Hours of Spa at the end of July, in the lead of the title race. In the same category Ferrari missed out on another podium by a matter of seconds, with the AF Corse car number 50 of Danyliw-Knap-Sonvico which had to be content with fourth place just behind the gearbox of the Nissan run by team RJN and driven by Aksenov-Faisca-Chiyo.

The Ferrari dominance went undisputed in the Gentlemen Trophy category. Taking the chequered flag, for the third time in three races, was the 458 Italia GT3 number 458 of GT Racing by Rinaldi which was forced to work harder than usual to come out in front. Pierre Ehret, Alexander Mattschull and Frank Smickler took the lead only after the midpoint of the race, managing to get ahead of the car that started on pole, the number 51 of Barreiros-Mann-Guedes, only towards the end. In third place came the second Scuderia Villorba Corse car, driven by France's Cedric Mezard and François Perrodo, who ended up one lap behind.

The overall race win went to Bentley with the car run by M-Sport and driven by Guy Smith, Andrew Meyrick and Steven Kane. The next round will be the 24 Hours of Spa Francorchamps from July 23-27.

Related contents: Paul Ricard, GT Championships, Blancpain Endurance, 458 Italia GT3