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Nogaro Blancpain Sprint: Vanthoor and Ramos lead all-Audi podium

WRT Audi, Nogaro Blancpain 2014

WRT Audi duo Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos dominated the Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying race at Nogaro in rainy conditions.

Vanthoor started the car and capitalised on a mistake by polesitter Jeroen Bleekemolen in the Grasser Lamborghini to take the lead.

He set about building a 14.3-second lead before handing over to Ramos with 26 minutes remaining. The Brazilian cruised home with a 17.677s advantage at the end of the race.

The fight for second was decided with 16 minutes to go, when Enzo Ide in the second WRT Audi made an ill-judged move on Hari Proczyk, sending him into the gravel trap.

Proczyk had taken over the Grasser Motorsport Lamborghini from Bleekemolen, but a poor pitstop destroyed any lead built up by the Dutchman over Ide's team-mate Rene Rast in the first stint.

Niki Mayr-Melnhof followed Ramos and Ide home in the Phoenix R8 to make it a one-two-three for Audi heading into Monday's championship race.

The highest-placed BMW driver Sergio Jimenez battled Mayr-Melnhof right down to the chequered flag, but could not make any move stick on the tight Nogaro circuit.

Gregory Guilvert made it four Audis in the top five for G-Drive in the car started by Stephane Ortelli, followed by Mercedes duo Maxi Buhk and Sergei Afanasiev, who are both competing for overall Blancpain GT Series honours.

Alex Zanardi had an eventful debut in the series, leaving the track on the first lap, before fighting back from last to 15th, passing ROAL team-mate David Fumanelli shortly before the end.

Results - 36 laps:

Pos  Drivers                  Team/Car               Time/Gap
 1.  Ramos/Vanthoor           WRT Audi
 2.  Ide/Rast                 WRT Audi               +17.677s
 3.  Mayr-Melnhof/Winkelhock  Phoenix Audi           +19.967s
 4.  Bueno/Jimenez            Brasil BMW             +21.797s
 5.  Guilvert/Ortelli         G-Drive Audi           +25.550s
 6.  Buhk/Goetz               HTP Mercedes           +39.984s
 7.  Afanasiev/Dusseldorp     HTP Mercedes           +50.851s
 8.  Lisowski/Abril           WRT Audi               +59.051s
 9.  Salaquarda/Montermini    Villorba Ferrari       +1m01.600s
10.  Enge/Halek               Grasser Lamborghini    +1m01.986s
11.  Latif/Basseng            Phoenix Audi           +1m32.250s
12.  Onidi/Pantano            Bhaitech McLaren       +1 lap
13.  Hayek/Kox                Blancpain Lamborghini  +1 lap
14.  Toril/Bastian            Fortec Mercedes        +1 lap
15.  Zanardi                  ROAL BMW               +1 lap
16.  Fumanelli/Colombo        ROAL BMW               +1 lap
17.  Pentus/Lloyd             Bhaitech McLaren       +1 lap
18.  Proczyk/Bleekemolen      Grasser Lamborghini    +1 lap
19.  Stumpf/Piquet            Brasil BMW             +2 laps
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Buhk, Goetz win main Nogaro race
Bleekemolen claims pole at Nogaro