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Nogaro Blancpain Sprint: Buhk, Goetz take victory in main race

Maxi Buhk and Maxi Goetz kept their HTP Mercedes clear of the G-Drive Audi of Stephane Ortelli and Gregory Guilvert to win the Blancpain Sprint Series' main race at Nogaro.

Buhk took the lead six minutes into the one-hour race with a sublime move around the outside of Sergio Jimenez in the Team Brasil BMW at the first corner.

Jimenez had benefitted from formation lap contact between front row starters Cesar Ramos and Niki Mayr-Melnhof to get ahead at the start as the WRT Audi retired and the Mayr-Melnhof's Phoenix R8 struggled with front bodywork damage.

Guilvert needed a little longer to get around Jimenez, allowing Buhk's lead to grow to 10 seconds.

But while Buhk came in to hand over to Goetz as soon as the pit window opened, Guilvert left it until the last moment to give the Audi to Ortelli.

That brought the gap between the two cars down to four seconds, with Ortelli chipping away through the final stint to finish 1.7s behind Goetz at the flag.

Jimenez and team-mate Caca Bueno spent the whole race fighting a rearguard action, which looked set to at least keep them on the podium until first Vincent Abril's WRT Audi then Stef Dusseldorp's HTP Mercedes battled past in the closing minutes.

After finishing second on the road in the qualifying race, Enzo Ide and Rene Rast's WRT Audi was disqualified for a technical infringement, leaving them to come from the back to seventh on Monday, right behind Bueno and Jeroen Bleekemolen's Grasser Lamborghini.

Alex Zanardi ran as high as ninth on his first weekend back in motorsport, before fading to 13th at the finish.

Results - 41 laps:

Pos Driver                   Car                     Time/Gap
 1. Buhk/Goetz               HTP Mercedes            1h01m21.465s
 2. Guilvert/Ortelli         G-Drive Audi            +1.721s
 3. Lisowski/Abril           WRT Audi                +29.602s
 4. Afanasiev/Dusseldorp     HTP Mercedes            +30.677s
 5. Bueno/Jimenez            Brasil BMW              +32.513s
 6. Proczyk/Bleekemolen      Grasser Lamborghini     +33.589s
 7. Ide/Rast                 WRT Audi                +34.031s
 8. Onidi/Pantano            Bhaitech McLaren        +37.858s
09. Latif/Basseng            Phoenix Audi            +52.727s
10. Salaquarda/Montermini    Villorba Ferrari        +1m00.637s
11. Fumanelli/Colombo        ROAL BMW                +1m01.284s
12. Toril/Bastian            Fortec Mercedes         +1m01.559s
13. Zanardi                  ROAL BMW                +1m06.847s
14. Pentus/Lloyd             Bhaitech McLaren        +1m22.142s
15. Stumpf/Piquet            Brasil BMW              +2m12.774s
16. Enge/Halek               Grasser Lamborghini     + 4 laps

Retirements/not classified

Mayr-Melnhof/Winkelhock Phoenix Audi 21 laps Ramos/Vanthoor WRT Audi 0 laps Hayek/Kox Blancpain Lamborghini 0 laps


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