ART Grand Prix McLaren wins at Monza
Grégoire Demoustier, Alvaro Parente and Alexandre Premat dominated the first round of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series with their ART Grand Prix McLaren MP4-12C, leading from start to finish. The Sainteloc Audi R8 LMS ultra of Gregory Guilvert, Stéphane Ortelli and Edward Sandström finished second, with the second ART Grand Prix McLaren of Estre-Korjus-Soucek in third. Italian team ROAL Motorsport, with Eugenio Amos, Stefano Colombo and Stefano Comandini, claimed the PRO-AM win and scored the sixth overall place. Ehret-Mattschull-Schmikler won the Gentleman Trophy in the GT Corse by Rinaldi‘s Ferrari.
Polesitter Parente pulled away at the start, quickly increasing his lead. Behind him, Andy Meyrick in the 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 GT Corse by Rinaldi Ferrari and the Kessel Racing got by the Bentley, as did Sandström in the Sainteloc Racing Audi and Estre in the second ART Grand Prix McLaren. Contact between the Kessek Racing Ferrari and the McLaren of Estre resulted in an early pitstop for the Italian machine, but the damage was too important for the car to continue. The other Ferrari of Vadim Kogay, 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 Soucek tried to put pressure on second-placed Guilvert during the closing laps, while at the same time resisting the attacks of Laurens Vanthoor, who had an inspired last stint in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi.
In PRO-AM the early stages of the race were dominated by the Kessel Racing and GT Corse by Rinaldi Ferrari 458 cars, but once they dropped back, the fight for the lead was between the BMW of Roal Motorsport and the Nissan of Nissan GT Academy Team RJN. Nissan driver Alex Buncombe had shown blistering pace during the opening stint, climbing from 32nd on the grid to 12th in only a couple of laps. A perfect final pitstop for the Roal Motorsport team decided the fight in their favour however, so Amos-Colombo-Comandini had the pleasure of hearing the Italian anthem at their home track. A great final stint from Francesco Castellacci, who shared the wheel of the Ferrari of newcomers Scuderia Villorba Corse with Stefano Gai and gave them second place, in front of the Ferrari of another Italian team, AF Corse.