After winning the championship in the Blancpain Sprint Series ProAm class at the Nürburgring, Rinaldi Racing celebrated the Blancpain GT Series ProAm title.
Rinaldi Racing went to the last run of the Blancpain Endurance Series to Barcelona. On the #333 in the ProAm class Alexander Mattschull, Rinat Salikhov, and Daniel Keilwitz. On the sister car with the #488 in the Am class Pierre Ehret and Rino Mastronardi.
After the first days with beautiful summer weather, the rain started on late Friday afternoon for the Pre-Qualifying. The rain continued until Saturday morning, until the Qualifying session. The trio on the #333 reached a good sixth position in class. Ehret and Mastronardi qualified on the second position in the Am class.
On Sunday afternoon, the final race of the Blancpain GT Series started. Until then, the weather was changing constantly. Just a few minutes before the start, the team decided to start on slicks. Salikhov had a good start and defended his position in class. Ehret took over the lead in the Am class. Until the pit stops, everything went well. Mattschull took over the #333 and with constant lap times, he claimed the fifth position in class. Mastronardi in the #488 convinced with a really good performance in the Ferrari 488 GT3. Until the change back to Ehret, he was able to extend the lead on the runner-up to a gap of two laps. Keilwitz drove the last stint on the #333. After a very good pit stop of the crew, Keilwitz got back on track as fourth in class. Now, the exciting catch-up race began, because the podium was within reach. Already after a few laps, he claimed the third position. Now, it was time to close the gap of 12 seconds to the second in ProAm. On the verge of the end of the race, Keilwitz was able to overtake his opponent and the weekend for the #333 was perfect. Also, the #488 could cheer. Ehret crossed the finish line with a comfortable gap and reached the first position in the Am class.
With this result, Rinaldi Racing won the ProAm overall team championship of the Blancpain GT Series. Also, Mattschull won the ProAm overall driver championship.
Michele Rinaldi: „That was a really exciting racing weekend. Two podiums at the final is a dream. We are really happy about the overall team championship in ProAm class.
Thank you very much to the drivers. Over the whole weekend, they did a great job and can be proud of their performance. Again, the team worked perfectly. They worked concentrated during the pit stops and did no mistakes.
Congratulations to Kessel Racing for the overall team championship in the Am class. The result was really tight, but it was always a great and fair fight.
Also, thank you to Ferrari and Michelotto. The Ferrari 488 GT3 went fine during the whole season. The racing car is absolutely great for customer sport and the support is unique.“
Also, in Barcelona the final of the Blancpain GT Sports Club took place, Christian Hook started in the Ferrari 458 GT3. At the Qualifying Race on Saturday, Hook claimed some position directly at the start and during the further race, he showed good overtaking maneuvers. At the end, it was just the 14th position, but the performance of the driver was convincing. The race on Sunday had to be started behind the safety car due to sudden rainfall. The weather turned into heavy rain and some racing cars ended up in the gravel. Therefore, the race was canceled and not resumed.
Rinaldi Racing is proud of his achievements during the 2017 Blancpain GT Series season:
1st position Blancpain GT Series ProAm Team
1st position Blancpain GT Series ProAm Driver Mattschull
2nd position Blancpain GT Series ProAm Driver Keilwitz
2nd position Blancpain GT Series Am Team
3rd position Blancpain GT Series Am Driver Ehret / Mastronardi
2nd position Blancpain Endurance Series Am Team
2nd position Blancpain Endurance Series Am Driver Ehret / Mastronardi
1st position Blancpain Sprint Series ProAm Team
1st position Blancpain Sprint Series ProAm Driver Mattschull / Keilwitz