Whilst the rallying season may have started a few months back the European circuit racing calendar is yet to really get going. Teams are still receiving cars and testing in preparation for the season openers.
This was one of those test sessions – I was flown out to cover the Blancpain GT Series test sessions at the wonderful Circuit Paul Ricard HTTT.
It’s one of those tracks that always seems to offer something slightly different every time I visit, OK yes the stripes can get a little bit repetitive but I’d take colourful stripes over the grey concrete and portaloos of Silverstone any day.
The most exciting bit of testing is seeing the new cars hit the track for the first time. GT3 is a constantly expanding category that seems to grow stronger and stronger each year (and certainly faster too!). The BMW M6 GT3, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 and Porsche 911 were all out playing during the test – the Merc being the most popular of the three with quite a few teams running them in. That said the now “old” cars like the Lamborghini, Audi and McLaren’s still look equally as stunning.
The livery front was perhaps a little more disappointing, whilst this isn’t Formula One where teams are expected to being running the final livery, it would have been nice to have seen a few more cars liveried up…you can only take so much of bare carbon fibre cars running around a track! I’m a big fan of colour in motorsport and black doesn’t really help to convey that. I’m hoping we’ll see some more impressive liveries by the time the season kicks off at Monza for the Blancpain Endurance Cup.
Both the Blancpain Endurance Cup & Blancpain Sprint Cup are both well subscribed for 2016 with impressive grids of up to 57 cars in the Endurance and 38 cars in the Sprint Cup. This should make for some very exciting racing!