Brands Hatch Blancpain: Mies, Ide take Sprint victory for WRT

WRT Audi pair Christopher Mies and Enzo Ide took the spoils in the Blancpain Sprint Cup round at Brands Hatch after a second-half safety car set up a thrilling conclusion

Brands Hatch Blancpain: Mies, Ide take Sprint victory for WRT

Mies was leading the race by a small margin from Jules Szymkowiak, in the HTP Motorsport Mercedes started by Bernd Schneider, when the WRT Audis of Michael Meadows and Sergio Jimenez, which had been battling for 14th place, smashed into the barriers at the high-speed Westfield bend and came to rest in a dangerous place.

The safety car was scrambled with 20 minutes remaining, only to pick up the wrong car. After five minutes sorting everything out and five more minutes clearing the incident, that left seven laps of racing.

Mies, who emerged in front from the pitstops after Schneider had comfortably led the opening stint, had to position his car perfectly to fend off the charging Szymkowiak.

Maxime Soulet was one of the stars of the first half of the race, storming his M-Sport Bentley from 10th on the grid up to third by the stops after electing to use new rubber for the start.

Andy Soucek took over the car and was right on the tail of Szymkowiak as he exited the pits, but on used Pirellis he had no answer to the pace of the leading pair.

An opportunist move in lapped traffic by Alvaro Parente, in the Garage 59 McLaren started by Rob Bell, moved him up to fourth ahead of the ISR Audi of Franck Perera.

Parente did his utmost to deprive Soucek of third, but ran out of chances to get ahead of the Bentley.

Behind Perera, Christopher Haase brought the Sainteloc Audi he shared with Mike Parisy home in sixth place.

Early contact caused a puncture for Frederic Vervisch when he was running fourth, and Laurens Vanthoor could not bring the #1 WRT Audi back into the points.

Another pre-race favourite, the HTP Merc of pre-weekend Blancpain GT points leader Maximilian Buhk and Dominik Baumann, finished well down in the qualification race after a drive-through penalty for Baumann, who had pushed off Bell's McLaren, then recovered to seventh in the final.

The qualification race earlier in the day provided a comfortable win for Szymkowiak and Schneider, the young Dutchman getting the jump on polesitter Perera and setting up a victory that Schneider eventually wrapped up by a gargantuan 21 seconds.

Mies held off Clemens Schmid for third. Schmid was running fifth in the main race, only to lose a stack of time at his pitstop, meaning HTP team-mate Jazemaan Jaafar was out of contention when he rejoined.

RESULTS - 39 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 E.Ide, C.Mies Team WRT Audi 1h00m18.769s
2 J.Szymkowiak, B.Schneider HTP Motorsport Mercedes 0.548s
3 M.Soulet, A.Soucek Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley 8.154s
4 R.Bell, A.Parente Garage 59 McLaren 8.338s
5 M.Stockinger, F.Perera ISR Audi 9.143s
6 M.Parisy, C.Haase Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 11.891s
7 D.Baumann, M.Buhk HTP Motorsport Mercedes 14.053s
8 V.Abril, S.Kane Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley 17.035s
9 T.Vautier, F.Rosenqvist Akka ASP Team Mercedes 19.444s
10 M.Beretta, L.Stolz GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 21.588s
11 N.M.-Melnhof, M.Winkelhock Phoenix Racing Audi 22.228s
12 D.Vanthoor, R.Frijns Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 22.483s
13 M.van Splunteren, J.Mul Attempto Racing Lamborghini 22.795s
14 R.Monti, E.Sandstrom Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 23.147s
15 F.Vervisch, L.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 23.863s
16 P.Eng, A.Sims Rowe Racing BMW 24.414s
17 S.Rosina, J.Bleekemolen GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 24.952s
18 A.Buncombe, M.Takaboshi Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 25.585s
19 C.Schmid, J.Jaafar HTP Motorsport Mercedes 26.306s
20 F.Stippler, F.Salaquarda ISR Audi 27.313s
21 M.Broniszewski, G.Piccini Kessel Racing Ferrari 30.034s
22 R.Sanchez, S.Walkinshaw Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 32.248s
23 J-L.Beaubelique, M.M.Traffort Akka ASP Team Mercedes 1m11.748s
24 M.Bortolotti, N.Pohler GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 1 Lap
25 M.Plowman, C.Ledogar Garage 59 McLaren 1 Lap
26 S.Parrow, D.Keilwitz Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 1 Lap
27 C.Bourret, J-P.Belloc Akka ASP Team Mercedes 1 Lap
28 D.Valsecchi, M.Mapelli Attempto Racing Lamborghini 2 Laps
29 C.Sdanewitsch, S.Lemeret AF Corse Ferrari 2 Laps
30 R.Giammaria, E.P.Companc AF Corse Ferrari 5 Laps
31 D.Gonzales, S.Asch Team a-workx Porsche 5 Laps
- R.Baptista, S.Jimenez Team WRT Audi Retirement
- S.Leonard, M.Meadows Team WRT Audi Retirement
- S.Dusseldorp, J.Krohn Rowe Racing BMW Retirement
- N.M.Madsen, M.Pommer Phoenix Racing Audi Retirement
- D.Zampieri, P.Niederhauser Attempto Racing Lamborghini Retirement
- M.Seefried, N.Siedler Rinaldi Racing Ferrari Retirement


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