The 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup gets underway this weekend at the ferociously fast Monza Circuit in Italy. The first race of the season will see around 50 GT3 cars roar into the super tight first corner at Monza and fight to come out the other side unscathed. Once they’ve done that they have a three-hour race ahead of them at one of the most exciting circuits in Europe, nicknamed the ‘Temple of Speed’.
The Garage 59 PRO squad of Côme Ledogar, Jonny Adam and Andrew Watson will be up against 18 other PRO entries at Monza. The drivers of the #59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 are now all well-acquainted with the car, particularly Adam who has worked on its development as he is an Aston Martin works driver. Confidence is high, as one of his team mates Ledogar explains.
“At the last test at Silverstone I could see how busy the team has been,” said Ledogar. “We are now ready for the new season. We are learning more about the car every day and the progress we have made gives us a lot of confidence. I’m really happy to be working with Andrew, who I know from last year, and Jonny, who is one of the best drivers and he knows this car better than anyone. I’m feeling confident and the goal as always is to run a perfect race with no mistakes. From there we can see where we are in relation to the competition and then really start to push from there.”
In the AM class, Alexander West and Chris Goodwin are a duo this weekend as Chris Harris has filming commitments. Harris will be back for Round 2 at Silverstone and will be keen to see how his team mates fare at Monza. Pre-season testing has gone well but, as Goodwin explains, there are still some unknowns for the #188 crew.
“Monza is always a great place to start the season,” said Goodwin. “It’s one of the most atmospheric race tracks in Europe. The weather in springtime can go either way: beautiful sunshine or cold and wet, so that’s always a bit of an unknown. The other unknown is that we just don’t know who is going to be competitive. New season, new cars and new driver pairings. We’re no different. We have a tried and tested driver line-up in the 188 car but it’s a brand new car. It has gone well in testing and the team has gelled nicely so we feel very well prepared in ourselves. That’s a really good feeling but what we don’t know is how good everyone else is feeling . It’ll be interesting to find out what we’re up against when we get there.”
The three-hour race gets underway on Sunday (14 April) at 15:00hrs CET (14:00 BST) with Qualifying taking place on Saturday (13 April) at 09:40hrs CET (08:40 BST). Both the race and the qualifying session will be streamed LIVE at https://www.blancpain-gt-series.com