Grasser Racing duo Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti dominated the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup feature race at Brands Hatch in their Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Having converted pole position to victory in the qualifying race, Engelhart carried on where he left off in the main event as team-mate Ezequiel Perez-Companc played tail-gunner and held up the pack.
Despite an early safety car to retrieve Clemens Schmid's ISR Audi from the gravel at Stirlings that evaporated his early advantage, Engelhart had a 20-second lead when the pit window opened on lap 17, leaving Bortolotti with the simplest of tasks to bring the car home 18.9s ahead of the WRT Audi R8 LMS shared by Robin Frijns and Stuart Leonard.
It was Engelhart and Bortolotti's third win of the season and their fourth from six Blancpain races as a driver pairing, including the Endurance Cup finale at the Nürburgring last year.
Having passed the ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 of Markus Palttala at the first corner, Perez-Companc steadfastly defended second place from a train of cars headed by Felix Serralles in the AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The Mercedes was due to inherit second after the stops as Norbert Siedler could not get the Lamborghini to restart, but a loose wheel from the M-Sport Bentley team forced Daniel Juncadella to swerve into the path of Philipp Eng's BMW as he exited the pits, forcing the retirement of both cars.
Frijns and Leonard had run ninth before the pitstops, but typically slick pitwork from the WRT team raised them to third, before Frijns passed team-mate Will Stevens at Druids on lap 23.
Stevens and Markus Winkelhock narrowly held onto the final podium position from the charging HTP Mercedes of Fabian Schiller and Jules Szymkowiak, which had started the qualifying race from the back of the grid after a team error in qualifying meant both drivers participated in the Q1 session.
However, Szymkowiak was penalised 30 seconds after the race for the contact with Schmid, promoting Jesse Krohn and Palttala to fourth at the finish, with Dries Vanthoor and Marcel Fassler another to benefit from a fast WRT pitstop in fifth.
Misano double-winners Franck Perera and Maxi Buhk were the best-placed of the teams that were affected by punctures in the qualifying race.
Buhk was running fifth when suspected debris forced him to the pits with 10 minutes remaining and relegated him to 23rd.
They fought back in the main race to sixth, which was enough to retain their Sprint Cup points advantage, although they lose the overall championship lead to Engelhart and Bortolotti.
The #7 Bentley driven by Steven Kane and Vincent Abril came into the weekend second in points but could only salvage 12th from the main race after a left-rear blowout for Kane at Paddock in the qualifying race.
Christopher Mies and reigning Blancpain Sprint champion Enzo Ide were an equally disappointed 14th, following contact at the start with Christopher Haase's Sainteloc Audi.
RESULT - 41 LAPS:
|1||C.Engelhart, M.Bortolotti||GRT Grasser Racing Team||Lamborghini||1h01m21.411s|
|2||S.Leonard, R.Frijns||Team WRT||Audi||18.974s|
|3||M.Winkelhock, W.Stevens||Belgian Audi Club Team WRT||Audi||24.955s|
|4||M.Palttala, J.Krohn||Rowe Racing||BMW||25.909s|
|5||M.Fassler, D.Vanthoor||Belgian Audi Club Team WRT||Audi||26.343s|
|6||M.Buhk, F.Perera||HTP Motorsport||Mercedes||26.754s|
|7||M.Meadows, R.Marciello||Akka ASP Team||Mercedes||27.742s|
|8||R.Monti, C.Haase||Sainteloc Racing||Audi||30.931s|
|9||P.Schothorst, J.Dennis||Team WRT||Audi||31.616s|
|10||B.Barnicoat, A.Parente||Strakka Racing||McLaren||32.019s|
|11||D.Fumanelli, L.Williamson||Strakka Motorsport||McLaren||32.484s|
|12||V.Abril, S.Kane||Bentley Team M-Sport||Bentley||40.404s|
|13||G.Venturini, M.Mapelli||Attempto Racing||Lamborghini||41.082s|
|14||E.Ide, C.Mies||Belgian Audi Club Team WRT||Audi||41.733s|
|15||F.Crestani, G.Yacaman||Orange 1 Team Lazarus||Lamborghini||54.644s|
|16||A.Mattschull, D.Keilwitz||Rinaldi Racing||Ferrari||54.929s|
|17||J.Szymkowiak, F.Schiller||HTP Motorsport||Mercedes||55.306s|
|18||A.Soucek, M.Soulet||Bentley Team M-Sport||Bentley||56.502s|
|19||L.Case, P.Quaife||AF Corse||Ferrari||1m02.896s|
|20||P.B.-Bhakdi, C.van Dam||Kessel Racing TP12||Ferrari||1m04.212s|
|21||A.Watson, R.Bell||Strakka Racing||McLaren||1m05.492s|
|22||J.Eriksson, D.Baumann||Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport||Mercedes||1m06.248s|
|23||J-L.Beaubelique, J.Gounon||Akka ASP Team||Mercedes||1m06.730s|
|24||C.Bourret, J-P.Belloc||Akka ASP Team||Mercedes||1 Lap|
|25||M.Broniszewski, G.Piccini||Kessel Racing||Ferrari||1 Lap|
|26||M.van Splunteren, N.Pohler||Attempto Racing||Lamborghini||11 Laps|
|27||F.Serralles, D.Juncadella||Akka ASP Team||Mercedes||12 Laps|
|-||A.F.da Costa, P.Eng||Rowe Racing||BMW||Retirement|
|-||E.P.Companc, N.Siedler||GRT Grasser Racing Team||Lamborghini||Retirement|
|-||C.Wood, M.Helistekangas||Reiter Young Stars||Lamborghini||Withdrawn|
|-||L.Hezemans, J.Kane||Strakka Racing||McLaren||Withdrawn|
Autosport has produced a standalone special magazine to celebrate our 70th birthday. All current print subscribers will receive a copy for free. To order your copy of the 196-page Autosport 70th Anniversary issue, please go to: autosport.com/autosport70th