Will Stevens opened his account in this year’s Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup by scoring a strong podium finish on “home” soil last weekend (7 May) – a result the British ex-Formula One driver hopes will kick-start his 2017 season. Will, co-driven by Markus Winkelhock (D), placed his Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entered Audi R8 LMS in third place at Brands Hatch. Stevens is now looking confidently ahead to the Blancpain Endurance Cup event at Silverstone next weekend (13-14 May).
Stevens, competing for the WRT Audi team for a second consecutive season having scored three podium placings in his maiden season of GT3 racing, took over from Winkelhock in the main race who had run inside the top-10, after an early pit-stop. WRT’s strategy and a fast stop got Will back out in the race placed second but slipped to third behind a “sister” WRT Audi which had the advantage of a new tyre stint left for the final driver change.
The Brands result comes as a timely boost for Stevens who was an innocent party in opening lap accidents in the first rounds of the Sprint and Endurance Cup events staged in Italy. He is placed fourth in the Blancpain GT Asia Series having placed 11th and fourth with Jeffrey Lee in the opening Sepang races last month, Stevens having started the second race from the front row of the grid.
Stevens’ next race at Silverstone will see him share a WRT Audi with Marcel Fässler (CH) and Dries Vanthoor (B). Will returns to the Silverstone GP circuit having raced in F1, LMP2 sports-prototypes and in GT3 sportscars there in the last three years.
Will Stevens (GB): Lives: Surrey, England. Aged 25.
“Considering that we started the qualifying race in P20, to come away with a podium in the main race, is extremely pleasing. Scoring some good points after what has been a disappointing start to the season through no fault of my own is an additional bonus. Both Markus and I struggled to find a good balance initially at the start of the weekend but made good progress and improvements for the second race. Big thanks to WRT for some great pit stops as that really helped us on the way to making up a lot of positions. Hopefully this can be a good kick start into a successful year. I like Silverstone a lot and all being well we can carry the Brands form onto there.”
Source. Martyn Pass/Photo. John Patterson