Blancpain GT Monza: Garage 59 McLaren holds off HTP Mercedes

The new Garage 59 McLaren squad took a narrow victory at the Monza Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup opener with Rob Bell, Come Ledogar and Shane van Gisbergen

Blancpain GT Monza: Garage 59 McLaren holds off HTP Mercedes

Van Gisbergen withstood a challenge from HTP Mercedes driver Maximilian Buhk over the final 20 minutes to take the flag 0.341s ahead after three hours of racing.

Bell had propelled the McLaren 650S GT3 up from 16th on the grid to third position before the end of his stint.

The McLaren with Ledogar behind the wheel emerged in the lead following the first round of stops after Jazeman Jafaar, who had taken over the Mercedes-AMG GT3 from Dominik Baumman, lost time leaving the pits with an ECU glitch.

Jafaar made inroads into the McLaren's lead, which stood at as much as 10 seconds, before hitting traffic in the final stages of the middle hour of the race and falling away.

Buhk was nine seconds behind after the final round of stops and was able to close that gap in just over half an hour.

The McLaren and the Mercedes then ran nose to tail to the chequered flag, but Buhk was unable to find a way past.

Van Gisbergen said: "It was pretty crazy and he had a couple of big goes.

"It was good to come away with a win at a circuit where we didn't think we'd be very competitive."

The best of the M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3s finished third, nearly half a minute behind, in the hands of Andy Soucek, Wolfgang Reip and Maxime Soulet.

Fourth place went to the RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 shared by Lucas Ordonez, Mitsunori Takaboshi and Alex Buncombe.

The Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 shared by Michal Broniszewski, Alessandro Bonacini and Andrea Rizzoli took pro-am class honours with fifth place overall.

The top Audi R8 LMS was the WRT entry shared by Will Stevens, Antonio Garcia and Nico Muller in sixth place.

RESULT - 96 LAPS

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 Pro R.Bell, C.Ledogar, S.Gisbergen Garage 59 McLaren 3h00m16.723s
2 Pro M.Buhk, D.Baumann, J.Jaafar HTP Motorsport Mercedes 0.341s
3 Pro A.Soucek, M.Soulet, W.Reip Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley 29.623s
4 Pro M.Takaboshi, A.Buncombe, L.Ordonez Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 47.670s
5 Pro-Am M.Broniszewski, A.Rizzoli, A.Bonacini Kessel Racing Ferrari 58.047s
6 Pro A.Garcia, N.Muller, W.Stevens Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1m17.774s
7 Pro H.Haupt, A.Christodoulou, A.Simonsen Black Falcon Mercedes 1m21.561s
8 Pro J.Bleekemolen, M.Bortolotti, R.Ineichen GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 1m38.719s
9 Pro L.Vanthoor, D.Vanthoor, F.Vervisch Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1m40.618s
10 Pro-Am M.Ishikawa, L.Bontempelli, G.Fisichella AF Corse Ferrari 1m48.412s
11 Pro-Am S.Parrow, A.Mattschull, D.Keilwitz Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 1 Lap
12 Pro G.Guilvert, M.Parisy, C.Haase Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 1 Lap
13 Pro-Am A.Al Harthy, J.Adam, D.Modell Oman Racing Team Aston Martin 1 Lap
14 Pro S.Kane, G.Smith, V.Abril Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley 1 Lap
15 Pro-Am H.Hassid, P.Giauque, F.Perera ISR Audi 1 Lap
16 Pro R.Baptista, S.Jimenez, F.Albuquerque Team WRT Audi 1 Lap
17 Pro R.Salikhov, M.Seefried, N.Siedler Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 1 Lap
18 Pro-Am O.Morley, M.Toril, M.Engel Black Falcon Mercedes 1 Lap
19 Pro D.Zampieri, P.Niederhauser, F.Babini Attempto Racing Lamborghini 1 Lap
20 Pro L.Frey, S.Ortelli, A.Costa Emil Frey Racing Jaguar 2 Laps
21 Pro C.Schmid, I.Dontje, L.Bacheta HTP Motorsport Mercedes 2 Laps
22 Pro-Am M.Beretta, G.Berton, S.Costantini Ombra Racing Lamborghini 2 Laps
23 Pro-Am M.van Splunteren, J.Mul, L.Machiels Attempto Racing Lamborghini 2 Laps
24 Pro-Am M.Poole, R.Abra, J.Osborne Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini 2 Laps
25 Pro-Am R.Narac, T.Cornac, M.Jousse IMSA Performance Porsche 2 Laps
26 Pro A.De Leener, P.Kox, P.Kaffer Team WRT Audi 2 Laps
27 Am J-L.Beaubelique, M.Ricci, G.Vannelet Akka ASP Team Mercedes 2 Laps
28 Am P.Ehret, S.Vancampenh. Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 3 Laps
29 Pro-Am J.Haring, N.Armindo, C.Mateu Attempto Racing Porsche 3 Laps
30 Pro-Am R.Sarazin, M.Simmons, S.Walkinshaw Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 3 Laps
31 Pro F.Salaquarda, F.Stippler, M.Stockinger ISR Audi 4 Laps
32 Pro-Am L.Case, M.Magli, C.Passuti Antonelli Motorsport Lamborghini 4 Laps
33 Pro M.Meadows, S.Leonard, R.Frijns Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 4 Laps
34 Am M.Konopka, A.Lewandowski, T.Myszkowski ARC Bratislava Lamborghini 5 Laps
35 Pro-Am I.Loggie, C.MacLeod, T.O.-Cole Team Parker Racing Bentley 6 Laps
36 Pro A.Watson, S.Moore, A.Fontana Garage 59 McLaren 7 Laps
37 Am A.Moiseev, G.Kondakov, R.Ragazzi Spirit of Race Ferrari 7 Laps
38 Am T.Nicolle, N.Stievenart, J.Viebahn CMR by Sport Garage Ferrari 12 Laps
39 Pro-Am O.Grotz, K.Ojjeh, J.Darras Boutsen Ginion Racing BMW 13 Laps
40 Pro L.Stolz, M.Beretta, A.Piccini GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 15 Laps
41 Pro-Am L.Cazenave, M.Lyons, D.Perfetti Akka ASP Team Mercedes 15 Laps
42 Pro-Am L.Machitski, M.Attard, M.Mapelli Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini 16 Laps
- Pro-Am B.Lariche, T.Filler, D.Lunardi CMR by Sport Garage Ferrari Retirement
- Pro P.Lathouras, M.Rugolo, A.P.Guidi Spirit of Race Ferrari Retirement
- Pro P.Eng, A.Sims, D.Werner Rowe Racing BMW Retirement
- Pro S.Dusseldorp, K.Graf, L.Luhr Rowe Racing BMW Retirement
- Pro C.Zochling, J.Gounon, C.Bruck Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Retirement
- Am M.Zanuttini, L.Talbot, V.Gitlin Kessel Racing Ferrari Retirement
- Am S.Earle, B.Delhez, D.Perel Kessel Racing Ferrari Retirement
- Pro E.P.Companc, R.Giammaria, A.Balzan Spirit of Race Ferrari Retirement
- Pro-Am D.Cameron, M.Griffin AF Corse Ferrari Retirement
- Pro J-F.Laberge, A.Tagliani, D.O'Young Zakspeed Mercedes Retirement
- Am D.Pierce, C.Cooper, C.Harris Team Parker Racing Bentley Retirement
- Pro-Am C.Kelders, M.Rostan, M.Bonanomi Sainteloc Junior Team Audi Retirement
- Am P.Mann, F.Guedes, R.Mastronardi AF Corse Ferrari Retirement
- Pro-Am M.Koebolt, S.Colombo, G.Roda BMW Team Italia BMW Retirement
- Pro-Am J.Pisarik, M.Malucelli Scuderia Praha Ferrari Retirement


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