A double ceremony took place in Paris on November 24th. Firstly, during the afternoon, the annual ceremony rewarding drivers and teams for their performances throughout the season took place at the Grand Palais Brongniart. This was followed by an evening event dedicated to celebrating 25 years of GT racing, bringing together GT competitors of the past quarter of a century. Some 500 people gathered at the Grand Auditorium at the Palais Brongniart in Paris for the Blancpain GT Series Awards 2017, following one of the liveliest seasons in the history of the SRO Motorsports Group. This was specially the case at the final European get-together of the year in Barcelona, which also hosted other well-known competitions, and had the highest ever number of cars competing, with a record 168 vehicles!
Winners by category:
Pro category drivers
This year, drivers Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart won the overall ranking of the Blancpain GT Series in Europe. They were also the winners, together with Andrea Caldarelli, of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance, while Robin Frijns and Stuart Leonard distinguished themselves by topping the overall ranking of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint. Finally, Hunter Abbott won the overall Blancpain GT Series Asia. Due to his consistent wins throughout the season, Anthony Pons carried off the overall ranking in the Blancpain GT Sports Club, while Rick Partfitt Jnr was the winner of the British GT Blancpain Gentleman’s Trophy championship.
These eight winning drivers were presented with a Blancpain L-Evolution Flyback Chronograph specially engraved for the occasion.
Pro-Am and Am category drivers
Kessel Racing can be proud of having three champions in the Pro-Am and Am categories. Alexander Mattschull in Pro-Am and David Perel in Am finished first on the podium of the Blancpain GT Series in their respective categories. The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup was won by Ahmad Al Harthy and Jonny Adam in Pro-Am and David Perel, Marco Zanuttini and Jacques Duyver in Am. The winners of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup in the Pro-Am category were Alexander Mattschull and Daniele Keilwitz. Stephen Earle is the new Blancpain GT Sports Club Iron Cup champion (over 60 category).
The Blancpain GT Series title was won by the GRT – Grasser Racing Team, largely due to Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Andrea Caldarelli trio having excelled themselves throughout the season. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT won the Blancpain GT Series Sprint title, while the Blancpain GT Series Endurance title went to Bentley Team M-Sport. Finally, Gruppe M Racing Team won the Blancpain GT Series Asia.
The Manufacture from Le Brassus would like to congratulate all those participating in the Blancpain GT Series and looks forward to seeing everyone in 2018 for another shared and emotion-filled experience.
A lively evening
The event celebrating 25 years of GT racing took place at the Palais Brongniart in Paris and was attended by more than 800 people. Attendees included drivers and major players in the GT universe over the past quarter of a century, along with Stéphane Ratel, founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group. Each one took turns at presenting a significant anecdote related to this sport.
Finally, the dinner ended with each guest being presented with an “Anniversary Book” in which Marc Hayek, CEO and President, Blancpain, discussed the links uniting Blancpain with the SRO Motorsports Group: “In truth, Blancpain is not merely a sponsor; it is a partner that has worked hand in hand with Stéphane Ratel to create this new championship and to define the rules. This partnership continues, and the championship is developing with each new year. The aim is not only to place a logo on cars, but to create GT races that are inspirational for the rest of the automobile world.”
Blancpain and Motorsport
Over the past nine years, Blancpain has continuously strengthened its commitment to motorsport and has thus created a prominent position for itself in this universe. The brand has also successfully positioned itself as a global reference in GT racing by partnering the most important championships, including the Blancpain GT Series, which consists of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance and the Blancpain GT Series Sprint, as well as the Blancpain GT Sports Club and the British GT Championship.