Blancpain Sprint Algarve: Vanthoor/Frijns win main race

Blancpain Sprint Series championship leaders Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns took the main race victory after a slow pitstop ended any chances of a repeat victory for Vincent Abril and Maximilian Buhk

Blancpain Sprint Algarve: Vanthoor/Frijns win main race

The Bentley duo led the first half of the race and a bizarre safety car period caused by the removal of a drain hole cover at Turn 2 began their demise.

The safety car period continued right up until the pitstop window opened and not only eradicated their lead of several seconds, but proceed to lose more time in the pit lane and only Buhk opted to stay out a lap longer, aiming to avoid the pitstop chaos of the rest of the grid pitting simultaneously.

When he did stop, he was held up on entry by a Team Brasil BMW and lost several seconds, and Abril then stalled before rejoining in fourth.

With that car's victory hopes eradicated, Vanthoor cantered to victory by a comfortable margin ahead of the Phoenix Racing Audi of Markus Winkelhock, which benefited from a slick pitstop.

The Rinaldi Ferrari made up positions on track, with a fast start catapulting it into an early second before hanging onto third ahead of the sustained pressure from Abril.

Fifth was the reward for an impressive recovery drive from Stephane Richelmi and Stephane Ortelli, with the duo combining to rise from a 15th placed start.

Nicky Catsburg was another driver forced into making up places, after being pitched into a spin by the Team Brasil BMW of Valdeno Brito.

Brito's attempt to pass on the inside of the Reiter Engineering car led to a drive-through penalty for the BMW, and an eventful battle with Craig Dolby and Christopher Mies began.

Dolby managed to squeeze ahead of Mies briefly, before Catsburg managed to pass the pair for sixth place.

Dolby's Nissan would then edge the two GT Russian Mercedes, with Marko Asmer ahead of Christophe Bouchut.

RESULTS - 32 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 R.Frijns, L.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1h00m24.028s
2 N.M.-Melnhof, M.Winkelhock Phoenix Racing Audi 8.618s
3 M.Seefried, N.Siedler Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 15.399s
4 V.Abril, M.Buhk Bentley Team HTP Bentley 16.204s
5 S.Ortelli, S.Richelmi Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 22.783s
6 A.T.Taxis, N.Catsburg Reiter Engineering Lamborghini 28.516s
7 C.Mies, E.Ide Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 30.676s
8 S.Walkinshaw, C.Dolby Always Evolving Motorsport Nissan 48.682s
9 A.Vasiliev, M.Asmer GT Russian Team Mercedes 49.557s
10 A.Karachev, C.Bouchut GT Russian Team Mercedes 50.435s
11 F.Salaquarda, M.Bonanomi ISR Audi 53.315s
12 J.Nash, F.Stippler Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1m10.389s
13 V.Brito, A.Abreu BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil BMW 7 Laps
- C.Bueno, S.Jimenez BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil BMW Retirement
- M.van Splunteren, J.Szymkowiak Bentley Team HTP Bentley Retirement


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Algarve Blancpain Sprint: HTP Bentley wins after WRT Audi dice
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