Yelmer Buurman and Michael Bartels notched up the Vita4One BMW squad's first FIA GT1 World Championship victory of the season in the main event at the Slovakia Ring.
The lead Vita4One Racing BMW Z4 took the lead of Sunday's championship race during the mandatory mid-race pitstops, vaulting ahead of the best of the Hexis Racing McLaren MP4-12Cs. Team boss Bartels, who took over from Buurman, was able to hold on to take BMW's first GT1 World win by just under three seconds.
Bartels, whose team won the inaugural GT1 World series in 2010 with Maserati, said: "This shows the spirit we had is back. After one year off, we are back in the rhythm."
The Hexis McLaren shared by Frederic Makowiecki and Stef Dusseldorp ultimately lost this race in the pits. The French team was not as quick as its German rival and Dusseldorp had to wait before leaving his pit box to let another car past, which accounted at least two of the seven seconds that he trailed Bartels after the stops.
Dusseldorp was able to make small inroads into the BMW's lead, but ultimately ran out of time. The Dutchman finished 2.9s down on the German at the chequered flag.
Third place went to the All-Inkl.com Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG shared by Markus Winkelhock and Marc Basseng. Winkelhock ran second in the early stages before dropping to fourth, but the fastest turnaround of the race got Basseng out in third place.
Fourth place went to the qualifying race winner, the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia shared by Filip Salaquarda and Toni Vilander. The Czech driver converted pole position into the lead of the race before dropping to third.
The two WRT Audi R8 ultras rounded out the top six positions. Oliver Jarvis and Frank Stippler took fifth place ahead of the sister car shared by Stephane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor.
Results - 29 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Buurman/Bartels Vita4One BMW 1h01m24.886s 2. Makowiecki/Dusseldorp Hexis McLaren + 2.951s 3. Winkelhock/Basseng Munnich Mercedes + 5.600s 4. Salaquarda/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari + 17.260s 5. Stippler/Jarvis WRT Audi + 30.511s 6. Ortelli/Vanthoor WRT Audi + 33.464s 7. Lauda/Mayr-Melnhof Vita4One BMW + 38.514s 8. Halliday/Parisy Exim Porsche + 47.568s 9. Ide/Castellacci AF Corse Ferrari + 50.789s 10. Jager/Pastorelli Munnich Mercedes + 1m24.629s 11. Rosina/O'Young Reiter Lamborghini + 1m33.829s 12. Pavlovic/Cressoni Sunred Ford + 1 lap Retirements: Demoustier/Parente Hexis McLaren 19 laps Enge/von Thurn und Taxis Reiter Lamborghini 2 laps