Following hot on the heels of last weekend's Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe season-opener at Brands Hatch (4/5 May), the Silverstone contest will see the historic Northamptonshire venue stage its ninth event since the formation of the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2011.
Built on the site of a World War II bomber station, Silverstone began its new life as a race circuit in 1947. The modern 5.9km layout is known for its high-speed Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel sequence of corners, as well as the long run down Hanger Straight into a potential overtaking spot at Stowe.
Though passing comes thick and fast during Blancpain GT Series events, this is a race at which grid position is vital. In eight previous runnings the winner has always started from the first two rows, making Sunday morning's qualifying session particularly important.
With a hugely competitive grid ready to do battle, another gripping encounter is in store as the Endurance Cup resumes hostilities at Silverstone.
Unchanged Pro field ready to resume hostilities
There will be 18 Pro class cars on the grid at Silverstone, with the entry list featuring no changes to the top-tier field from the opening contest at Monza. The event will be particularly significant for leading British brands Aston Martin and Bentley, both of which will be in the hunt for Pro class victory at Silverstone.
Bentley celebrates its centenary this year and will once again launch a two-car assault run by the accomplished M-Sport squad, with British stars Steven Kane and Alex Buncombe among the driving talent. In a nod to its landmark anniversary, the Continental GT3s will compete as #107 and #108 as they go in search of Bentley's first win at this event since 2014.
A second Silverstone triumph would draw Bentley level with Aston Martin, which took overall honours in 2013 and repeated the feat last year thanks to the R-Motorsport squad. Aston will look to defend its win using a new car – the Vantage AMR GT3 – and has three Pro class machines entered for the race, with Garage 59 joining the two-car R-Motorsport effort.
Among the British marque's leading rivals, Porsche is in particularly strong form this year. Not only did Dinamic Motorsport's 911 GT3 R seal victory at Monza, the similar machines run by ROWE Racing also showed front-running pace throughout. Lamborghini began the season in style too, as series newcomer FFF Racing secured a superb runner-up finish with its Huracan GT3. As well as two Pro cars from the Chinese squad, the Italian marque will also be represented by 2017 Silverstone winner Grasser Racing.
There is significant strength among the Mercedes-AMG runners. Their effort is led by reigning overall champions AKKA ASP Team and reigning Endurance Cup champions Black Falcon, while local squad Strakka Racing will also field the AMG GT3 at Silverstone. In the Ferrari camp, SMP Racing will hope to secure the Italian marque's maiden series victory at Silverstone with its #72 488 GT3.
One of the most surprising statistics about this event is that is has never resulted in an Audi victory, and the German marque has a trio of entrants looking to put that right this weekend. Sainteloc Racing, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and Attempto Racing will all run the 2019-spec R8 LMS and complete a formidable Pro field.
Silver Cup, Pro-Am and Am Cup set for competitive class battles
In addition to the battle at the front, there are three competitive classes looking to steal the headlines at Silverstone. In the Silver Cup, the pre-event favourites hit the ground running at Monza as the #90 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG won (4th overall) from the #6 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG (5th overall).
A stellar 14-car field will tackle the Silverstone round, with ample competition for the Mercedes-AMG duo. Lamborghini will be represented by five cars, including efforts from local squad Barwell Motorsport and international stars Grasser Racing. There will also be four Audi entrants on the grid, two from the mighty Belgian Audi Club Team WRT.
Local fans will be particularly interested in the Jenson Team Rocket RJN squad, a collaboration between series stalwart RJN Motorsport and British racing icon Jenson Button. Fielding a Honda NSX GT3 in the distinctive livery that carried Button to the 2009 F1 title, the #22 car ran well at Monza and should be among the podium contenders at its home event. Rinaldi Racing (#333 Ferrari 488) and newcomer GPX Racing (#20 Porsche 911 GT3 R) complete a highly competitive Silver field.
The Pro-Am class will see Tempesta Racing looking to repeat its Monza triumph, but the crew of Chris Buncombe, Jonathan Hui and Chris Froggatt will face stiff opposition. They were joined on the podium in Italy by Sainteloc Racing (#26 Audi R8 LMS) and Oman Racing with TF Sport (#97 Aston Martin Vantage AMR), with both featuring strong combinations of professional and amateur racers.
The opening event was characterised by misfortune for a number of Pro-Am squads. In particular, Silverstone offers a chance for Team Parker Racing (#31 Bentley Continental) and AF Corse (#52 Ferrari 488) to rebound strongly. Mercedes-AMG outfits Ram Racing and AKKA ASP Team also hit problems at Monza and will be looking to return to the podium this weekend.
A strong Am Cup category is led by British squad Barwell Motorsport, which enters its home race as reigning class champion and off the back of three successive wins. Among its leading contenders, the #188 Garage 59 Aston Martin crew of Chris Harris, Alexander West and Chris Goodwin will hope to repeat the triumph they secured last season.
The Am field will also feature a trio of Ferrari 488s, two from brand loyalist Rinaldi Racing and another from HB Racing. Raton Racing by Target will enter a Lamborghini Huracan, while Boutsen Ginion will split its strategy between a Huracan and a BMW M6. Finally, the Panis-Barthez/Tech 1 squad will make its second outing with the #23 Lexus RC F.
Like Monza, the Silverstone weekend will be preceded by official testing on Thursday and Friday. By Melissa Warren
1 2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT BEL Belgian Audi Club Team WRT BEL Dries Vanthoor BEL BEL Gold Ezequiel Perez Companc ARG ARG Silver Alex Riberas ESP ESP Gold Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 -
2 4 BLACK FALCON DEU BLACK FALCON DEU Yelmer Buurman NDL NDL Platinum Luca Stolz DEU DEU Gold Maro Engel DEU DEU Platinum Mercedes-AMG GT3 -
3 5 Phoenix Racing DEU Phoenix Racing DEU Kim Luis Schramm DEU DEU Silver Finlay Hutchison GBR GBR Silver Ivan Pareras ESP ESP Silver Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 Silver Cup
4 6 BLACK FALCON DEU BLACK FALCON DEU Hubert Haupt DEU DEU Silver Patrick Assenheimer DEU DEU Silver Gabriele Piana ITA ITA Silver Mercedes-AMG GT3 Silver Cup
5 9 Boutsen Ginion BEL Boutsen Ginion Racing BEL Philippe Steveny BEL BEL Bronze* Marc Rostan FRA FRA Bronze Karim Ojjeh SAU CHE Bronze BMW M6 GT3 Am Cup
6 10 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT BEL Belgian Audi Club Team WRT BEL Rik Breukers NDL NDL Silver Charles Weerts BEL BEL Silver Ricardo Sanchez MEX MEX Silver Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 Silver Cup
7 12 Ombra Racing ITA Ombra S.R.L ITA Denis Dupont BEL TBC Silver Dean Stoneman GBR GBR Silver* Stefano Gattuso ITA ITA Silver Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 Silver Cup
8 15 Boutsen Ginion BEL Boutsen Ginion Racing BEL Claude-Yves Gosselin FRA FRA Bronze Pierre Feligioni FRA FRA Bronze Renaud Kuppens BEL BEL Bronze* Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 Am Cup
9 17 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT BEL Belgian Audi Club Team WRT BEL Shae Davies AUS AUS Silver Paul Petit FRA FRA Silver Alex MacDowall GBR GBR Silver Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 Silver Cup
10 19 GRT Grasser Racing Team AUT GRT Grasser Racing Team AUT Arno Santamato FRA FRA Silver Gerhard Tweraser AUT AUT Silver Lucas Mauron CHE CHE Silver Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 Silver Cup
11 20 GPX Racing UAE Grand Prix Extreme UAE Benjamin Goethe GBR MCO Silver Jordan Grogor ZAF ZAF Silver Stuart Hall GBR GBR Silver Porsche 911 GT3 R Silver Cup
12 22 Jenson Team Rocket RJN GBR Jenson Team Rocket RJN GBR Matt McMurry USA USA Silver Philipp Frommenwiler CHE CHE Silver Struan Moore GBR GBR Silver Honda Acura NSX GT3 2019 Silver Cup
13 23 Tech 1 Racing FRA Tech 1 Racing FRA Fabien Barthez FRA FRA Bronze - - - - Bernard Delhez BEL BEL Bronze Lexus RCF GT3 Am Cup
14 25 Sainteloc Racing FRA Sainteloc Junior Team FRA Simon Gachet FRA FRA Silver Steven Palette FRA FRA Silver Christopher Haase DEU DEU Platinum Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 -
15 26 Sainteloc Racing FRA Sainteloc Junior Team FRA Fabien Michal FRA FRA Bronze TBC Markus Winkelhock DEU DEU Platinum Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 Pro-Am Cup
16 27 Daiko Lazarus Racing ITA Lazarus SRL ITA Kris Richard CHE TBC Silver Nicholas Pohler DEU DEU Silver Fabrizio Crestani ITA ITA Silver Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Silver Cup
17 29 Raton Racing by Target ITA Target Racing SRL ITA Stefano Costantini ITA ITA Bronze Antonio Forne Tomas ESP ESP Bronze Christoph Lenz CHE CHE Bronze Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 Am Cup
18 31 Team Parker Racing GBR Team Parker Racing GBR Derek Pierce GBR GBR Bronze Rob Smith GBR GBR Bronze Seb Morris GBR GBR Gold Bentley Continental GT3 Pro-Am Cup
19 33 Rinaldi Racing DEU Rinaldi Racing DEU Steve Parrow DEU DEU Bronze Christian Hook DEU DEU Bronze Manuel Lauck DEU DEU Bronze Ferrari 488 GT3 Am Cup
20 43 Strakka Racing GBR Strakka Racing GBR Lewis Williamson GBR GBR Gold Dev Gore USA USA Silver Jack Hawksworth GBR GBR Gold Mercedes-AMG GT3 -
21 52 AF Corse ITA Spirit Of Race SA CHE Niek Hommerson NDL NDL Bronze Louis Machiels BEL BEL Bronze Andrea Bertolini ITA ITA Platinum Ferrari 488 GT3 Pro-Am Cup
22 54 Dinamic Motorsport ITA Dinamic Motorsport SRL ITA Klaus Bachler AUT AUT Gold Andrea Rizzoli ITA ITA Silver Zaid Ashkanani KWT KWT Silver* Porsche 911 GT3 R -
23 55 Attempto Racing DEU Attempto Racing DEU Steijns Schothorst NDL NDL Silver Pieter Schothorst NDL NDL Silver Mattia Drudi ITA ITA Silver Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 Silver Cup
24 59 Garage 59 GBR Garage 59 GBR Côme Ledogar FRA FRA Platinum Andrew Watson GBR GBR Silver Jonny Adam GBR GBR Platinum Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 -
25 62 R-Motorsport CHE R-Motorsport CHE Matthieu Vaxivière FRA FRA Gold Matt Parry GBR GBR Gold Maxime Martin BEL BEL Platinum Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 -
26 63 GRT Grasser Racing Team AUT GRT Grasser Racing Team AUT Mirko Bortolotti ITA ITA Platinum Christian Engelhart DEU DEU Gold Rolf Ineichen DEU CHE Gold Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 -
27 66 Attempto Racing DEU Attempto Racing DEU Clemens Schmid AUT AUT Gold Nick Foster AUS GBR Gold Kelvin van der Linde ZAF ZAF Gold Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 -
28 72 SMP Racing RUS SMP Racing RUS Miguel Molina ESP ESP Platinum Mikhail Aleshin RUS RUS Platinum Davide Rigon ITA ITA Platinum Ferrari 488 GT3 -
29 74 Ram Racing GBR Ram Racing GBR Remon Vos NDL NDL Bronze - - - - Tom Onslow-Cole GBR GBR Gold Mercedes-AMG GT3 Pro-Am Cup
30 76 R-Motorsport CHE R-Motorsport CHE Marvin Kirchhöfer DEU DEU Gold Jake Dennis GBR GBR Gold Nicki Thiim DNK DNK Platinum Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 -
31 77 Barwell Motorsport GBR Barwell Motorsport GBR Adrian Amstutz CHE CHE Bronze Leo Machitski RUS RUS Bronze Miguel Ramos PRT PRT Bronze Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 AM Cup
32 78 Barwell Motorsport GBR Barwell Motorsport GBR James Pull GBR GBR Silver Jordan Witt GBR GBR Silver Sandy Mitchell GBR GBR Silver Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 Silver Cup
33 87 Akka ASP Team FRA Team AKKA ASP FRA Jim Pla FRA FRA Silver Mauro Ricci ITA BEL Bronze Jean-Luc Beaubelique FRA FRA Bronze Mercedes-AMG GT3 Pro-Am Cup
34 88 Mercedes-AMG Team Akka ASP FRA Team AKKA ASP FRA Raffaele Marciello ITA ITA Platinum Michael Meadows GBR GBR Gold Vincent Abril MCO MCO Gold Mercedes-AMG GT3 -
35 90 Akka ASP Team FRA Team AKKA ASP FRA Nico Bastian DEU DEU Silver Timur Bogulavskiy RUS RUS Silver Felipe Fraga BRA BRA Silver Mercedes-AMG GT3 Silver Cup
36 93 Tempesta Racing GBR Spirit Of Race SA CHE Chris Buncombe GBR GBR Bronze Jonathan Hui HKG HKG Bronze Chris Froggatt GBR GBR Silver Ferrari 488 GT3 Pro-Am Cup
37 97 Oman Racing with TF Sport OMN OMAN RACING BY T OMN Salih Yoluc TRK TRK Bronze Ahmad Al Harthy OMN OMN Bronze* Charlie Eastwood IRL IRL Silver Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Pro-Am Cup
38 98 ROWE Racing DEU ROWE RACING DEU Sven Müller DEU DEU Gold Romain Dumas FRA FRA Platinum Mathieu Jaminet FRA FRA Gold Porsche 911 GT3 R -
39 99 ROWE Racing DEU ROWE RACING DEU Dennis Olsen NOR NOR Gold Dirk Werner DEU DEU Platinum Matt Campbell AUS AUS Gold Porsche 911 GT3 R -
40 107 Bentley Team M-Sport GBR Bentley Team M-Sport GBR Jordan Pepper ZAF ZAF Gold Jules Gounon FRA FRA Gold Steven Kane GBR GBR Gold Bentley Continental GT3 -
41 108 Bentley Team M-Sport GBR Bentley Team M-Sport GBR Alex Buncombe GBR GBR Gold Andy Soucek ESP ESP Platinum Maxime Soulet BEL BEL Gold Bentley Continental GT3 -
42 188 Garage 59 GBR Garage 59 GBR Alexander West SWE GBR Bronze Chris Harris GBR TBC Bronze Chris Goodwin GBR GBR Bronze Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 AM Cup
43 333 Rinaldi Racing DEU Rinaldi Racing DEU Rinat Salikhov RUS RUS Bronze Denis Bulatov RUS RUS Silver David Perel ZAF ZAF Silver Ferrari 488 GT3 Silver Cup
44 444 HB Racing AUT Team HB Racing AUT Florian Scholze DEU DEU Bronze Andrzej Lewandowski POL POL Bronze Jens Liebhauser AUT AUT Bronze Ferrari 488 GT3 Am Cup
45 488 Rinaldi Racing DEU Rinaldi Racing DEU Pierre Ehret DEU DEU Bronze Martin Berry AUS SGP Bronze Jose Manuel Balbiani ARG ARG Bronze Ferrari 488 GT3 Am Cup
46 519 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team CHN Orange 1 FFF Racing Team CHN Franck Perera FRA FRA Gold Phil Keen GBR GBR Gold Giovanni Venturini ITA ITA Gold Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 -
47 555 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team CHN Orange 1 FFF Racing Team CHN Michele Beretta ITA ITA Silver Taylor Proto USA USA Silver Diego Menchaca MEX MEX Silver Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 Silver Cup
48 563 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team CHN Orange 1 FFF Racing Team CHN Andrea Caldarelli ITA ITA Gold Dennis Lind DNK DNK Gold Marco Mapelli ITA CHE Gold Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 -