Friday, July 13, 2012

Drawing a Blanc over Blancpain Endurance series...

Netherland’s Race Art BMW Z4 Blancpain GT3 Challenger. (Image courtesy of Robert Nearn)
Unless I’d been alerted to a certain driver’s latest gig by London ‘Lass Tricia, I’d never have known about the fairly new Blancpain Endurance series which is in its sophomore season...

Have Y’all heard of it? As apparently Blancpain is an exquisitely high end (luxury) Swiss watch maker that was originally founded in 1735; Aye Karumba! Yet apparently the company went into bankruptcy followed by a long production break before being saved and is now owned by the Swatch Group...

Reputedly the company produces fewer than 10,000 wrist watches per year, although their chronographs have been selected by the US Navy and Jacques Cousteau... Whilst the company also sponsors the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo - which serves as a support series to the top flight endurance series, along with sponsoring GT1 and GT3 racecars. While apparently there’s also a Blancpain Revival series as well...

Yet apparently the Blancpain Endurance Series is fashioned to become Europe’s leading Grand Tourmiso racing series utilizing production based chassis for its various GT3 & GT4 classes, having kicked-off in 2011, albeit a bit like the ALMS and ACO with its multi-class structure of Professional and Amateur drivers

As the Pro ranks include the likes of Karl Wendlinger, David Brabham, Duncan Taffy, Marc Goosens’ and a cast of others...

While such awesome cars as the McLaren MP4-12C, Audi R8, Mercedes SLS AMG, Ferrari 458 Italia, BMW Z4 and Porsche 997 are the types of cool cars that can be seen pounding around selected European venues; with the season’s six races having begun at Monza, followed by Silverstone, Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps, (24-hours) the Murburgring and finishing at Spain’s Circuito de Navarra.

Thus I wasn’t too sure of what to make over the fact when hearing that Robert Nearn had won his respective class in the Abu Dhabi 24hrs race earlier this year, since I had NO idea of what type of race it was, albeit I think it’s the same race that Mikey “Aw Shucks” Waltrip contested previously and obviously I was happy for Robert’s success...

Yet thanxs to Tricia, I was informed Robert would once again be competing at the Silverstone round of the Blancpain series with the same team and thus inquiring with said competitor I discovered that he was co-driving the No. 70 Race Art BMW Z4 which ran as high as tenth before sliding backwards to finish 18th in class. As Robert next plans to contest the Spa 24hrs round with the same team, as this is the only 24-hour event in the series with the rest all being three hours in duration.

For some more pictures of the fabulous looking BMW Z4 “Art Car” you may wish to check out; click here.

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