Jimmy Eriksson looking for top three finish as maiden GT season concludes
Going into the 2017 season, Jimmy Eriksson swapped from single-seater racing into GT competition. After an encouraging year in his new environment in the Blancpain GT Series, the Swede heads into this weekend’s finale in Barcelona in contention for a top three finish in the Endurance Cup standings.
As the field descends on the Iberian Peninsula for the tenth and final round of the year in eastern Spain, Eriksson and HTP Motorsport team-mates Franck Perera and Maximilian Buhk are eager to cap off the season in style in their Mercedes-AMG GT3. Hosting the concluding weekend of racing is well-known Grand Prix track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where a three-hour race is set to take place on Sunday.
Eriksson/Perera/Buhk currently sit fourth overall in the Endurance Cup – the intra-championship sub-series spanning the five longest races of the aggregate Blancpain GT Series campaign. The trio are just six points adrift of third-placed Ferrari rivals Victor Shaytar, Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon, and are hoping to bridge that gap on Sunday.
”I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” says Jimmy Eriksson. ”It’s the finale, it’s an interesting track and we’re in a good position in the championship. We’re fourth at the moment and we’re all pulling in the same direction; we all really want third. It’s an inspiring situation and I’m pleased to be at such a competitive level in my first year in GTs. I’d like to think that Barcelona will suit us well and that we can be in the running for victory in this race.”
The #84 HTP Motorsport crew not only bid for third overall in the Endurance Cup this weekend, but are also aiming to confirm their position as the leading Mercedes runners – although with the AKKA-ASP trio of DTM star Edoardo Mortara, Michael Meadows and Raffaele Marciello just three points behind, it will be a close-run thing.
”It would mean a lot to end the season as the top Mercedes car,” Eriksson admits. ”That’s how you make your mark and show that you’ve maximised the package. It would have been a significant achievement for us and we’ll do everything to attain it. In the best of worlds, we’ll end up third overall and as the leading Mercedes – then we have reason to celebrate on Sunday evening!”
Leading the Endurance Cup standings going into the finale are Bentley’s Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Vincent Abril. Running will get underway on Saturday with free practice and pre-qualifying (effectively another practice session), with qualifying proper taking place on Sunday morning and the Barcelona three hours being staged during the afternoon.
Blancpain GT Series | Rd. 10 (finale)
Endurance Cup | Rd. 5 (finale)
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
All times local – GMT+02:00
Free Practice: 09.00-10.30
TV / live stream
All Blancpain GT Series races are broadcast LIVE at www.blancpain-gt-series.com/live, with Eurosport also airing a highlights package in the days following each round.
Live timing for each session of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series is available at www.blancpain-gt-series.com/live#live-timing.