Laurens Vanthoor won the iRacing.com Nürburgring 1000 this weekend, the final round of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series and went ahead to become the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series Pro Cup champion. His team, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, took the Pro Cup teams title for third time in the last four years. Vanthoor shared his No.1 Audi R8 LMS Ultra with Christopher Mies and Cesar Ramos.
For Audi as a manufacturer, this was a truly spectacular weekend having won double podiums finishes in the FIA WEC 6 Hours of COTA and another two podiums in the FIA World Rallycross in Germany, all in one weekend! This being the final round of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series, the championship titles were awarded across all categories. Meanwhile, the Blancpain GT Series has two more rounds to go.
In the Pro-AM category, the Italian duo of Andrea Rizzoli and Stefano Gai in the No.90 Ferrari 458 Italia fielded by Scuderia Villorba Corse took the drivers title. They finished third in the final round. The Pro-AM team title went to the No.12 TDS Racing BMW of Nick Catsburg and Henry Hassid who finished first in the final round and ranked fourth overall. As for the Gentleman Trophy, the team title went to Ian Loggie and Julian Westwood driving a Team Parker Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra. The Gentleman Trophy drivers’ title was won by Francisco Guedes and Peter Mann in an AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.
The race started under heavy fog and rainfall with the safety car sticking around the track for twenty minutes. When the green flag was shown, drivers drove cautiously but incidents were inevitable. The No.98 ART Grand Prix McLaren and No.26 Sainteloc Racing Audi were the first to be involved in an incident. Meanwhile, Vanthoor had to maintain a shaky lead that was threatened by two Mercedes cars and a Bentley Continental GT3.
In the end, Vanthoor and his team crossed the line first and were followed by the No.85 HTP Motorsports Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 piloted by Stef Dusseldorp, Sergei Afanasiev and Maximilian Buhk. Third on the podium in the Pro-cup category was another Mercedes, the No.19 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 of Hubert Haupt, Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Andreas Simonsen.
The No.12 TDS Racing BMW Z4 GT3 of Henry Hassid and Nick Catsburg finished first in the Pro-AM category and fourth overall. They were followed by Devon Modell, Anders Fjordbach and Vladimir Lunkin in a Black Falcon Mercedes while the team of Thomas Kemenater, Stefano Gai and Andrea Rizzoli crossed the line in third.
Main Race: Video
Results: Top 15 Overall
Laurens Vanthoor (#1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, Pro Cup champion):
Just like after winning the Sprint title last year, I am sure it will take a while before I will fully realize that I am the new Pro Cup champion. This is the result of team work though, and I would like to thank all the team-mates that helped me to become champion. After winning the Total 24 Hours of Spa 2014 is really becoming a great season for me.
Stefano Gai (#90 Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari, Pro-Am Cup champion):
This was an amazing race, and thanks to Ferrari and the Scuderia Villorba we managed to take the title. It has not been easy this season, we had to overcome some difficulties, but that makes it even more satisfying.
Francesco Guedes (#51 AF Corse Ferrari, Gentlemen Trophy champion):
When I saw our car in the gravel trap early on in the race, I thought it was all over. But we managed to keep going, even though we were well down the order. We have been fighting hard all year, and in the end that gave us the title.