Blancpain Zolder: van der Linde and Schothorst take victory

Attempto Audi drivers Kelvin van der Linde and Steijn Schothorst started the 2018 Blancpain Sprint Cup season with a victory in the main race at Zolder

Blancpain Zolder: van der Linde and Schothorst take victory

Saturday race winners Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti were on pole position for the second event, with the latter establishing a comfortable seven-second lead in the first stint.

But when Bortolotti stopped with 34 mins to go to hand over driving duties to Engelhart, their #63 Grasser Lamborghini stalled in the pitbox for several seconds before it finally got going again.

To make matters worse, the defending Blancpain Endurance champions were handed a drive-through penalty for infringing the pitstop procedure, and dropped outside the top 10 as a result.

Grasser's troubles briefly gave the lead to the #2 WRT Audi of Will Stevens and Dries Vanthoor, which had jumped ahead of the #66 Attempto Audi of van der Linde and Schothorst, by pitting a lap earlier.

However, WRT's lead lasted just a few laps as the Belgian squad was also given a drive-through as Vanthoor had run over a cone while exiting the pits.

As a result, van der Linde and Schothorst claimed a comfortable victory in the season opener.

Raffaele Marciello's strong first stint helped give the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes he shares with Michael Meadows second place, as the duo ended up 6.980s behind the race winners.

The #19 Grasser Lamborghini of Ezequiel Perez Companc and Andrea Caldarelli took the final spot on the podium.

Nico Jamin and Felix Serralles were classified fourth in the second AKKA ASP Mercedes, ahead of the lead WRT of Stuart Leonard and Robin Frijns.

Frijns had originally qualified on pole position for the race, but his fastest lap was deleted for exceeding the track limits, which left his car 12th on the grid.

Gilles Magnus and Alessio Picariello finished sixth in WRT's #3 Audi, less than a second adrift of #25 Sainteloc Racing Audi duo Simon Gachet and Christopher Haase.

Engelhart and Bortolotti were eventually classified eighth, while the top 10 was completed by #35 and #90 AKKA ASP Mercedes cars - with Vladimir Atoev and Alexey Korneev finishing almost seven seconds ahead of Nico Bastian and Jack Manchester.

Results

Pos Driver Team Car Time
1 S.Schothorst, K.van der Linde Attempto Racing Audi 1h00m58.023s
2 M.Meadows, R.Marciello Akka ASP Team Mercedes 1h01m05.003s
3 E.P.Companc, A.Caldarelli GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 1h01m10.267s
4 N.Jamin, F.Serralles Akka ASP Team Mercedes 1h01m12.427s
5 S.Leonard, R.Frijns Team WRT Audi 1h01m22.157s
6 G.Magnus, A.Picariello Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1h01m22.599s
7 C.Engelhart, M.Bortolotti GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 1h01m26.696s
8 V.Atoev, A.Korneev Akka ASP Team Mercedes 1h01m37.764s
9 N.Bastian, J.Manchester Akka ASP Team Mercedes 1h01m44.755s
10 P.B.-Bhakdi, C.van Dam Kessel Racing TP12 Ferrari 1h01m48.089s
11 D.Vanthoor, W.Stevens Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1h01m51.337s
12 S.Gachet, C.Haase Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 1h01m53.506s
13 S.Ortelli, N.Siedler Emil Frey Racing Lexus 1h01m55.486s
14 P.Schothorst, P.Kaffer Attempto Racing Audi 1h02m04.097s
15 N.Stievenart, M.Winkelhock Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 1h02m06.084s
16 J.Caygill, A.T.-Smith Team Parker Racing Bentley 1h02m30.517s
17 A.Watson, L.Moraes 3Y Technology BMW 1h01m43.476s
18 M.Broniszewski, G.Piccini Kessel Racing Ferrari 1h02m11.866s
19 C-Y.Gosselin, P.Feligioni Boutsen Ginion Racing Lamborghini 1h01m05.911s
20 A.Costa, C.Klien Emil Frey Racing Lexus 51m30.244s
- A.Riberas, C.Mies Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 37m29.084s
- L.Hezemans, F.Perera GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 2m29.965s

shares
comments
Ex-Formula 1 driver Jenson Button second in 2018 Super GT opener
Previous article

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jenson Button second in 2018 Super GT opener

Next article

Vietoris to race Strakka Blancpain Mercedes alongside DTM roles

Vietoris to race Strakka Blancpain Mercedes alongside DTM roles
How to get the best out of amateur racers Plus

How to get the best out of amateur racers

Pro-Am GT racing is booming. But how should drivers approach working with an amateur? Autosport sought out a panel of experts to explain the pitfalls amateur drivers should avoid and how professionals can help them to achieve their goals

GT
Apr 3, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021