• Swiss aiming to maximise Monza promise
• German legend Bernd Schneider on-board for round two
Harold Primat’s Blancpain Endurance Series campaign continues next weekend (May 24/25) when he and HTP Motorsport will be aiming to maintain their positive start to the season at Silverstone.
Despite demonstrating strong pace in Monza’s opening round, an extremely tight qualifying session saw the Pro Cup-entered #84 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 line-up only 10th. However a superb drive to fifth alongside team-mates Nico Verdonck and Maximilian Buhk demonstrated Primat’s credentials in his relatively new surroundings.
Indeed, their pace at Italy’s grand prix venue – a circuit that masked the car’s true potential – means Primat is optimistic of another strong performance.
“I’m confident that we’ve improved the package we had in Monza for Silverstone,” admitted Primat. “The atmosphere within the team is great and we are quietly confident of challenging for a podium position. We’re looking strong and if we maximise our potential then I’m sure we can challenge for a top-three finish.
“We are all expecting the British circuit to suit our SLS AMG GT3 better than the last race, although we have to manage expectations as you can never be totally sure of your position relative to others. But we’re positive we’ve taken a step forward in performance since Monza.”
With reigning champion Buhk on ADAC GT Masters duty, Primat’s desire to become part of the championship scrap will be given further muscle by Bernd Schneider’s addition to the line-up. The German claimed victory in last year’s Bathurst 12 Hour and the 24 hour races at Spa, Dubai and Nurburgring behind the wheel of an SLS AMG GT3.
The Mercedes-Benz legend’s winning experience could prove crucial in enabling HTP Motorsport to challenge for honours, and Primat can’t wait to partner the five-time DTM champion.
“It’ll be an absolute pleasure to race alongside Bernd, someone I consider a motorsport legend,” beamed Primat. “In my opinion, he’s of similar stature to Tom Kristensen and everything he’s achieved at Le Mans. I can’t wait!”
The Swiss ace and HTP Motorsport’s Silverstone preparations began earlier this month with testing at Spa-Francorchamps and while it gave Primat a chance to re-acclimatise to the SLS AMG GT3 and ready himself for Silverstone’s sweeping curves, astonishingly it was also the first time he’d driven GT machinery in the wet.
This could prove advantageous with the notoriously fickle British weather but regardless, Primat is looking forward to tackling a venue he has enjoyed racing at in other forms of motorsport for many years.
“I’ve experienced Silverstone in single seaters, GT machinery and prototypes, and I really enjoy it. The layout has changed dramatically over the last few seasons, but I feel that I have a good understanding of the circuit, although the weather isn’t always favourable!”