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Blancpain Endurance Series - Race 1 - Monza

A promising weekend ends in disappointment for Nico Verdonck in Monza

After a good performance during the qualification for Race 1 at the Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza, Nico Verdonck experienced a disappointing end of the weekend. He finished in 14th place with his McLaren which made him the fastest –out of 10 cars!- for the British sportsbrand.

Last weekend, the first match of the Blancpain Endurance Series season took place on the legendary track in Monza Italy. With no less than 56 participants, this is the present standard in GT racing. Nico Verdonck and the Belgian Boutsen Ginion Racing team were out to get a first reference with their brand new McLaren MP4-12C.

Nico Verdonck team 2012

"We arrived at the start here with probably the least number of test miles to our name. Moreover, both the team & car are new and the weather conditions were extremely 'tricky'. Still, we were able to stand out - in the most positive sense of the word - during the free training sessions. Edouard Mondron and Jack Clarke were constantly checking our progression by comparing our information and sharing my knowledge and experience in order to make progress as a team." so says Nico Verdonck after the first training sessions on P14 and P8.

The qualifications were scheduled for Saturday and Boutsen-Ginion worked until late at night to make sure the car was in prime condition. Nico P14 & P8 were the best performances for McLaren compared to other cars with mulitple factory drivers:

monza

"We received a lot of support from the McLaren engineers who were constantly on the floor. They were surprised that this 'small' Boutsen-Ginion Racing team was capable of delivering such good performances. Especially considering that we were one of the least experienced teams. The car is fast, but there are other parameters, for instance the brakes, that we have to get ready on time. Despite this set-back – which easily cost us 1 second – I am happy with the performance in general and especially with the work by Boutsen Ginion who were constantly improving the car!" Nico continues.

The race on Sunday started and ended in a disappointment. Due to the huge amount of rain, the safety car was on the track for almost 40 minutes. During the restart, Nico's team mate – Jack – made an error and hit another participant. The radiator was damaged and the car had to leave the race.

Nico Verdonck team 2012

"The conditions were treacherous. For a piliot it's not easy to be out there in the centre of the field, in the midst of all the spray and then having to try to avoid aquaplaning. It's too bad, but we will consider this to be a lesson for our next competition, early June on another wonderful track, this time at Silverstone." Nico Ends.