Blancpain Misano: Weerts/Vanthoor win race two after Akka pit error

Audi's Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor made amends for their race one retirement by taking their first Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe win of 2019 in race two at Misano

Blancpain Misano: Weerts/Vanthoor win race two after Akka pit error

The pair qualified second on the grid and Vanthoor held that position behind the leading Akka ASP Mercedes AMG GT3 of Raffaele Marciello in the opening stint.

But Marciello and team-mate Vincent Abril were denied a shot at victory after a pit mix-up left them only 16th at the finish.

Race one winners Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli finished as close runners-up in their FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to close the deficit to Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (Black Falcon Mercedes) to just six points at the top of the standings.

Polesitter Marciello made the best getaway from the rolling start in the #88 Mercedes, beating the #2 Audi R8 of Vanthoor into the first corner.

Engel went backwards from 11th on the grid on the first tour as he was pushed onto the grass along the back-straight and slipped to 13th.

Out front, Marciello opened up a healthy one-and-a-half second margin over Vanthoor ahead of the mandatory pit-stops, but this was wiped out due to a full course yellow period that was activated so an errant sausage kerb could be removed.

The race restarted eight seconds before the pit window opened, leaving those behind the leading duo of Marciello and Vanthoor free to make their stops.

The Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini of Mirko Bortlotti was the first to dive in but a lengthy stop, and a later drivethrough penalty for a full course yellow curtailed any victory chances for that crew.

Marciello and Vanthoor made their stops a lap later, but radio problems meant the Akka ASP crew were not ready for the leading Mercedes.

The resulting 1m38 pit-stop time dropped Abril, who had taken over from Marciello, to the rear of the field.

Abril eventually recovered to 15th place at the end, two spots ahead of Christian Engelhart in the #63 Lamborghini.

As the key beneficiary of the Akka pit blunder, Weerts kept his nose clean for the remainder of the race and fended off a late charge from Caldarelli in the #563 Huracan to become the youngest Blancpain GT winner.

Caldarelli rejoined from the pit-stops in third place but had superior pace on the second-placed Sainteloc Audi of Simon Gachet and got ahed with nine minutes remaining.

But there was some joy for Akka ASP, as Nico Bastian claimed Silver honours after a race-long scrap with the Team WRT Audi of Rik Breukers.

Pro-Am spoils went the way of the AF Corse Ferrari of Andrea Bertolini and Louis Machiels for the second day in a row, while Am victory was taken by Ferrari's Wolfgang Triller and Florian Scholze.

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