Canadians Tagliani and Laberge ready for Blancpain Endurance Series' opener
Canadian road racers Alex Tagliani and Jean-Frederic Laberge took part in the final collective tests of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the Autodromo di Monza.
The opening round of the 2016 Endurance Championship will take place on the third weekend in April. Tagliani and Laberge will compete behind the wheel of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The team from Niederzissen already took part in the official testing sessions in Paul Ricard in early March. At that stage, the racecar was still new to ZAKSPEED and the drivers had to get to know the car first and foremost.
“We suffered a few problems in Paul Ricard, but the intensive testing program we have completed during the past few weeks is really paying off now. We know the car well and the drivers are doing a great job too. Tag is showing his speed already, we knew he was going to be a strong asset for our team, but he is quickly showing that he has great feeling for the car and is helping the engineers developing the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. For a guy without experience in GT cars he it’s quite impressive”, says Peter Zakowski, Team Owner Team ZAKSPEED, of his new driver.
From single seater to GT
Alex Tagliani, who is better known and appreciated all over the world from his many successful years racing in single-seater racing, is adapting to the GT car well.
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“Of course, it was quite a change for me after having driven Formula cars for so many years, but the car is lighter than a NASCAR with more downforce so I felt comfortable right away”, says Tagliani.
“The new Mercedes-AMG GT3 is a really great car to drive, the handling feels good, it’s the first time that I get in a race car with a roof over my head and I can challenge the braking zones, it’s fun! I am confident following the great test here in Monza to have an equally good race here in a few weeks. It is a new challenge, sharing the car with other drivers, it’s going to be important to improve as a group, driver change etc., extracting every second in every segment of GT racing become important, but I am very excited of working with the new engineering staff they are amazing, the AMG staff was very helpful during the test and obviously driving for ZAKSPEED is great and something special for a driver.”
The team of Peter Zakowski proved that it could drive right at the top with P3 on day 1 and the fifth quickest time on the second day of the test. The first race of the Blancpain Endurance Series will take place from April 22-24, 2016 in Monza.
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