Top 10 finish kicks off Christodoulou’s Blancpain season at Monza

Posted By Adam Christodoulou / AMG, Blancpain, Endurance, News / AMG, Blancpain, Career, news / No Comments

Adam Christodoulou made a strong start to his Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup campaign at Monza, securing a top ten finish for Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon after a red flag caused the race to be restarted.

The 2016 Nürburgring 24 Hour winner showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the ultra-competitive 50 car GT3 field this season as he brought the No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shared with co-drivers Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz home in tenth, the same position they started.

However, 28-year-old Christodoulou could count himself fortunate to finish at all, following a start-line accident which eliminated 10 cars immediately.

A collision between a Bentley and a Lamborghini on the run to the first corner forced Buurman to take avoiding action, but fortunately he emerged from the incident without damage.

“Yelmer did a great job staying out of trouble at the start of the race, he definitely had front row tickets to the chaos unfolding,” Christodoulou reported. “Lots of cars got collected, but Yelmer managed to get all the way through without a scratch.”

Once the race restarted after the extensive clean-up operation, Buurman focused on picking his way forward from 11th and made good progress through the traffic before handing over to Stolz, making his first appearance in the Mercedes-AMG GT3. The German driver continued Buurman’s good work and passed the Lazarus Lamborghini to hold sixth position into the final stint.

Christodoulou finally climbed aboard with just over an hour to go and despite losing time boxed in behind other cars in the cramped pitlane, caught the SMP Ferrari napping to steal another position after a brief Full Course Yellow period.

With 15 minutes to go, the AMG Driver faced enormous pressure from the Ferrari and defended his position into the tight first chicane. This was called into question by the stewards and the team received a penalty after the checkered flag.

It was a tough pill to swallow for Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon, althoughChristodoulou was pleased to take a point away from the historic Italian circuit, which has little in common with any other circuit on the Blancpain GT Series calendar.

“It’s been great to be back in action in the Blancpain Endurance Cup, it was an extremely tough weekend but a fun one,” said the Lichfield driver.

“Monza is always a tricky place – due to the nature of the track all the cars are extremely close, which we saw in qualifying with 32 cars inside one second.

“I believe this is one of our hardest tracks on the calendar now done and dusted, the next race on the calendar will be at Silverstone, which is my only home race of the year, so I’m really looking forward to it – hopefully racing at home will give us the advantage!”

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Christodoulou to commence Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup campaign at Monza

Posted By Adam Christodoulou / AMG, Blancpain, Endurance / AMG, Blancpain, Career / No Comments

AMG driver Adam Christodoulou will make his return to action in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this weekend as the new season gets underway at the famous Autodromo di Monza (April 23).

With 53 cars on the grid representing 11 manufacturers – including 31 entries in the Pro class – the Blancpain Endurance Cup is regarded as the most prestigious championship in GT racing and one that all drivers want to win.

This will be 28-year-old Christodoulou’s second full season in the Pro ranks with Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon, where he will be joined by team regular Yelmer Buurman and German driver Luca Stolz, who qualified on pole for the final Blancpain Endurance race of last year at the Nürburgring.

After a 2016 campaign that was frequently thwarted by bad luck, limiting the team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 to a single top 10 finish, Christodoulou has high hopes for the new season and is optimistic that podiums and race wins will be on the cards.

“The Blancpain Endurance Cup is known to be one of, if not the toughest championships for GT3 drivers in Europe and worldwide,” explained Christodoulou.

“It would be great to be able to add that to my CV if I can and I think this is the best opportunity I’ve been given. This will be one of the strongest Pro line-ups that Black Falcon have ever put together for a full championship in Blancpain, so it fills us all with confidence to be fighting for some silverware.

“Last year I think we were very unlucky. It was just little things, but it seemed to be one thing after another, so I’m hoping that all the bad luck finished at the end of last year and we’ll be able to hit the ground running this year.

“I’ve made a good name for myself at the Nürburgring and now I’m trying to prove to everyone else that’s I’m not just a one trick pony.”

A seventh place finish at Monza last year marked Christodoulou’s best result of the season and the Briton is looking forward to the unique challenge it posed by Italy’s 5.79 km cathedral of speed.

“Monza is always interesting, it’s very different to any of the other circuits we do,” he said.

“All the manufacturers trim out the cars so they have minimum drag and maximum top speed. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily our strongest track, but what we have found is our car is really good on tyre degradation, so hopefully that’s where the race comes towards us.

“Last year, qualifying wasn’t the best but we were still able to finish 7th overall, so I’m expecting to be able to improve on that and hopefully fight for a podium.”

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 proved to be the strongest package on the latest model Pirelli tyres in the opening round of the Sprint Cup at Misano and Christodoulou hopes Monza will continue to favour the front-drive 6.2 V8-powered machine.

“The new tyre seemed to work well with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Misano, so I’m hoping that we carry on that momentum going into Monza,” he said.

“It seems to be one of those cars that everyone can jump in and feel straight home – it’s very civilised, it’s got a lot of weight at the front, so straight away it fills you with confidence.

“Of course Monza will be different to Misano because it’s just the one Endurance race, rather than two Sprint races and everyone is still learning about the new tyre, but so far it’s looking fairly good. I’m really excited to see where we are.”

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Christodoulou concludes Nürburgring 24 preparations with top 10 finishes in VLN

Posted By Adam Christodoulou / AMG, News, Nurburgring, Team Update / AMG, Career, news, Nurburgring / No Comments

Adam Christodoulou completed his preparations for the 45th running of the Nürburgring 24 Hours with a pair of top 10 finishes in the opening rounds of the VLN Endurance Series at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

In 190-car fields, AMG driver Christodoulou brought finished ninth and seventh in the two races, but is confident that there will be more to come at the 24 Hours proper as he seeks to defend his 2016 victory.

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