Jimmy Eriksson ready for maiden Zolder visit
After a successful start to the Blancpain GT Series season, Jimmy Eriksson heads to Belgium this weekend as the championship hits its halfway mark.
With three podium finishes from the opening four rounds, Eriksson has belied his rookie status to establish himself as one of the outright frontrunners in the world’s largest GT series.
Coming tantalisingly close to a maiden category win last time out at Silverstone three weeks ago, the HTP Motorsport Swede will be bidding to again feature at the sharp end of the field as the pack descends on Zolder this weekend – a track all new to Eriksson.
“Things have been going really well so far, and I’m looking forward to Zolder,” says Jimmy Eriksson. “It’s a track I haven’t been to before and it’s always fun to try something new. It seems pretty tight and narrow in places, but I’ve driven it on the team sim and I don’t expect it to be too difficult to learn. Hopefully we’ll be fighting at the front again – that’s the aim.”
While the Zolder circuit marks unknown territory for Eriksson, it’s certainly not a venue lacking memoire. Opened in 1963, it was the home of Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix on ten occasions between 1973-1984, its past dressed in bright moments but tragically, too, in sorrow; the late Gilles Villeneuve lost his life here in 1982.
Zolder also holds a special place in the history of Swedish motor racing, with the 1977 Belgian Grand Prix being won by Gunnar Nilsson ahead of Niki Lauda and Ronnie Peterson. It remains the only time two Swedish drivers have shared an F1 podium. 40 years on, Jimmy Eriksson will be hoping for the blue and yellow flag to sway again on Sunday.
This weekend’s event is part of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, meaning Eriksson is reunited with Austria’s Dominik Baumann in HTP Motorsport’s #86 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
A total of 32 cars are entered for the meeting, which kicks off with two free practice sessions on Friday. After a day of qualifying on Saturday, the main race then takes place on Sunday afternoon.
Blancpain GT Series | Rd. 5
Sprint Cup | Rd. 3
All times local – GMT+02:00
Free Practice 1: 09.55-10.35
Free Practice 2: 14.20-15.40
Qualifying Race: 15.00-16.00
Main Race: 15.30-16.30
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.