Bentley's Soucek and Soulet grab surprise Misano Blancpain win

M-Sport Bentley drivers Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet claimed a surprise victory in the Misano Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup qualifying race

Bentley's Soucek and Soulet grab surprise Misano Blancpain win

Soucek, who had qualified their Continental GT3 ninth, dropped to the lower reaches of the top 20 in the opening exchanges after starting on slicks on a damp track.

A charge through the field as the track dried brought him back into the top 10 before the pitstop window opened.

The Bentley made its stop right at the end of the window during a full-course yellow period to retrieve debris from the track.

A slow stop meant Soulet came out of the pits just behind Philipp Eng's Rowe BMW M6 GT3, another car to benefit from stopping during the yellows, before the Belgian got back ahead when the race went green.

Eng, whose team-mate Alexander Sims had started from 29th position on slicks, came back at the Bentley before another yellow period.

The Austrian dropped back in traffic with a couple of laps to go and finished just under three seconds behind at the end of the 60-minute race.

Soucek said: "I said to the team before the start, 'let's go on slicks', but after a couple of laps, I thought 'this is a joke'.

"Then, it started to come to us as the track dried."

Laurens Vanthoor had led on rain tyres until pitting in the best of the WRT Audis, but the time gained by the top two during their stops meant that he and Frederic Vervisch finished more than half a minute in arrears in third position.

Vanthoor said: "I came in with a lead of six or seven seconds and we had the quickest pitstop, but we ended up 30s behind.

"We had to pit earlier because we were on rain tyres and lost 40s, so we have to feel disappointed."

Fourth place went to the sister WRT R8 LMS driven Robin Frijns and and Dries Vanthoor.

The younger of the Vanthoor brothers overtook the HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 that Dominik Baumann had taken over from Maximilian Buhk in the closing stages.

Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried took sixth behind the Mercedes in their Rinaldi Ferrari 458 Italia after heading into the pitstops in third position.

LEADING FINISHERS:

Pos Driver Team Car
1 M.Soulet, A.Soucek Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley
2 P.Eng, A.Sims Rowe Racing BMW
3 F.Vervisch, L.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi
4 D.Vanthoor, R.Frijns Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi
5 D.Baumann, M.Buhk HTP Motorsport Mercedes
6 M.Seefried, N.Siedler Rinaldi Racing Ferrari
7 T.Vautier, F.Rosenqvist Akka ASP Team Mercedes
8 F.Stippler, F.Salaquarda ISR Audi
9 R.Bell, A.Parente Garage 59 McLaren
10 S.Dusseldorp, N.Catsburg Rowe Racing BMW

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Laurens Vanthoor tops Misano Blancpain GT qualifying for Audi

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