Published on April 15th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
McLaren Takes 1st Season Win In The 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series
Alvaro Parente, Grégoire Demoustier and Alexandre Premat dominated the 1st round of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series with their ART Grand Prix McLaren, leading from start to finish. It was only the second time in the history of the Blancpain Endurance Series that a McLaren managed to take the win. The Sainteloc Audi of Sandström, Ortelli and Guilvert crossed the line in second, with the second ART Grand Prix McLaren in third. Victory in the Pro-Am category went to the BMW of Italian team ROAL Motorsport, with Comandini, Amos and Colombo finishing sixth overall as well. A faultless drive by the GT Corse by Rinaldi drivers Ehret, Schmikler and Mattschull, in their Ferrari, gave them the win in the Gentlemen Trophy.
The first round of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series was started under a pleasant April sun. Polesitter Alvaro Parente pulled away at the start, quickly increasing his lead with his #98 ART Grand Prix McLaren. Behind him, Andy Meyrick in the #7 M-Sport Bentley surprised both the Ferrari cars in front of him on the starting grid to claim second spot. The Briton then defended his position, giving Parente the opportunity to increase his lead swiftly. Eventually the #333 GT Corse by Rinaldi Ferrari and the #11 Kessel Racing got by the Bentley, as did Edward Sandström in the Sainteloc Racing Audi #26 and Kevin Estre in the second ART Grand Prix McLaren.
Contact between the #11 Ferrari and the #99 McLaren resulted in an early pitstop for the Italian machine, but the damage was too important for the car to continue. The #333 Ferrari, now with Vadim Kogay at the wheel, dropped well down the order, which meant that both the ART Grand Prix McLarens were now in the top three, separated by the Sainteloc Racing Audi. The top three remained unchanged until the chequered flag, although Andy Soucek tried to put pressure on second-placed Gregory Guilvert during the closing laps, while at the same time resisting the attacks of Laurens Vanthoor, who had an inspired last stint in the #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi.