Connect with us

GT World Challenge Europe

Mies Looking to Scale Back; Full Blancpain GT Return Unlikely

Christopher Mies looking to do fewer race weekends in 2019, full Blancpain GT unlikely…

Photo: Audi

Christopher Mies says he’s looking to scale back his race program for the upcoming season after a busy year competing in 28 race weekends this year.

The German is unlikely to return for a full Blancpain GT Series program after finishing runner-up in 2018, and will instead focus on entries in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup and ADAC GT Masters.

“I asked Audi to scale back my races for next year,” he told Sportscar365. “I did 28 race weekends this year and, for me, I always think the perfect number of race events in 15.

“That’s not too much, it’s just the right number. I asked Audi if we could scale it back just a bit to 20 weekends, and I think that probably means that I don’t do [the full] Blancpain [GT Series].

“I think I’m probably going to do Endurance, I think that is the plan right now, but I have no confirmation yet.”

Mies partnered with Alex Riberas for both the Sprint and Endurance Cups in 2018, finishing runner-up in both the combined and Sprint Cup standings.

With Riberas set to focus on his new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program with Moorespeed, and thus not returning to Blancpain GT, Mies says he’d only consider a return to the Sprint Cup if it’s in a package with championship-winning potential.

“I don’t want to go in the Silver Cup or in Pro-Am, or whatever,” he said. “It’s a lot of race weekends, every year, the last five years. I’m not getting younger!

“If it’s worth it, if you can win a championship, I’d like to do it, but if you’re fighting for P10 or whatever, it’s not really satisfying.

“I think I’m probably going to do Endurance, I think that is the plan right now, but I have no confirmation yet.”

Mies’ season will get underway in mid-January at the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai with WRT before heading to the Rolex 24 at Daytona two weeks later to share Montaplast by Land Motorsport’s car with Dries Vanthoor, Ricardo Feller and Daniel Morad.

Mies Started “Questioning Everything” After Difficult GT Masters Season

The 29-year-old admitted that his difficult GT Masters season made him question his performance but since learned that Land’s poor showing in the German series was down to a hidden fault with its car.

He finished 18th in the championship with a best result of third at Zandvoort, and having three different co-drivers in Riberas, Alessio Picariello, Jake Dennis only made it harder to find a rhythm. 

“You start questioning everything when you do ADAC, and your best result is one time on the podium in P3, and the rest you’re P10, P15, P20,” he said.

“You’re asking, ‘How can this be, that I was fighting for the championship the year before and now I’m P15 in qualifying?’

“Then you still have Blancpain where it’s the goal to win races and fight for the championship, and I’m like, ‘OK, I can still drive’.

“If I wouldn’t have had the Blancpain success this year, I would have thought I was getting too old and too slow.

“Now, finally, we found something. The chassis went for a scan, and we found that it had a crack so wasn’t perfectly in shape. This explains the poor performance in ADAC.

“The field is so close together, and you have a little crack in the chassis that affects you by two, three, four or five tenths, which means you’re ten places further down.

“I was actually happy that we found something and that I had Blancpain to get through the season.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

Click to comment

More in GT World Challenge Europe