02.04.2017 - The opening weekend of I.S.R. racing's season at Misano World Circuit, first round of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup 2017, ended with a top ten finish.

Expectations were high ahead of this opening race of the season and the Czech outfit showed a convincing crescendo of performance, since the free practices with both cars, that improved their laptimes by nearly one second in the two sessions.

The pairing made by Filip Salaquarda and Clemens Schmid has run an exciting qualifying, ending Q2 in fourth place less than three tenths off the fastest time. The number 75 Audi R8 LMS closed a very tight Q3 with a best lap of 1'33.004s, that earned Salaquarda and Schmid the fifteenth place on the starting grid. Kevin Ceccon and Frank Stippler were also very motivated and missed Q3 by a whisker, placing the number 74 Audi R8 LMS in seventeenth place with a best lap of 1'33.312s.

The overnight Qualifying Race run on Saturday April 1st has been quite spectacular and eventful. An avoidable incident early on (video: https://goo.gl/XaO29G) - caused by a mistake done by a rival, claiming Formula 1 experience on a Audi - involved and damaged several cars, among which the two Audi R8 LMS run by I.S.R. racing. The car driven by Kevin Ceccon was damaged in its right front but the team managed to fix it in a record time, getting the most of red flags. This cost the number 74 one lap of delay, which stripped it of any chance to go beyond the final P20. The car lapped on great laptimes anyway, thanks to Franck Stippler who managed very well his driving stint.

Filip Salaquarda run the first stint on the #75 car and, despite being involved in the initial incident, got away from it without damaging the car. The Czech driver managed to put in constant laptimes all the way to the driver change. Schmid, also delivering another great drive recovered then several positions in the final laps and crossed the finish line in tenth position.

The Main Race was run on Sunday April 2nd and turned out to be tough again for Stippler and Ceccon. The German was behind the wheel at the start and drove very effectively, handing the car over to Ceccon in a great position. After the pit stop the Italian slided in the fight for points, but had to serve some additional pit stops that prevented him to move an attack and relegated the lineup to the twenty-fifth position. On the number 75 Audi R8 LMS, Schmid run another strong stint before handing the wheel over to Salaquarda, who kept a n effective race pace eventually taking the flag in P15, due to a drive through penalty that did not allow them to aim for points.

Igor Salaquarda (I.S.R. racing, Team Principal):
"It has been a more difficult weekend than expected, but we scored the first points of the championship and displayed strong performances that unfortunately did not convert in results on the top of the standing. We have great cars and exceptional drivers. Some episodes did not allow us to express our full potential and to fight for the positions that count in the championship. The qualifying times put in by Salaquarda and Schmid and the grit of Stippler and Ceccon are a great signal in this first round of the season. We are already fully committed and focused to the next round, where we will try and get the most of the work completed in Misano, hoping that some supposed Formula 1 superstars avoid to provoke crashes with silly manoeuvre".