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Misano Blancpain GT: WRT Audi resists ASP Mercedes in evening race

WRT Audi drivers Christopher Mies and Alex Riberas took victory for the first time in the 2018 Blancpain GT Sprint Cup season in Misano's Saturday evening opener

Mies in the #1 Audi held off the #88 ASP Mercedes of Raffaele Marciello and Michael Meadows during the final third of the race.

Marciello slowly ate into Mies' lead, but during the final few laps lost a little ground to the Audi.

Riberas had started the race in second place and briefly led during the opening 15 minutes, then fell back down to second after a virtual safety car restart.

The VSC had been prompted by the polesitting #87 ASP Mercedes of Nico Jamin stopping on the start/finish straight while leading the race.

Team-mate Nico Bastian's #90 Mercedes grabbed the lead from Riberas at the restart, but then stayed out until the final minute of the pit window while WRT pitted the #1 car early.

A slow pitstop as Bastian handed over to partner Jack Manchester gave the lead to fellow ASP man Marciello, who had taken over from Meadows and then resisted Mies to the finish and won by six tenths of a second.

The podium was completed by #63 Grasser Lamborghini duo Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart, who ended the race 16s behind the leading two cars after starting the race in ninth.

Grasser's #19 car was fourth with Andrea Caldarelli and Ezequiel Perez Companc, who got past the #114 Emil Frey Lexus of Stephane Ortelli and Norbert Siedler and then Manchester.

Ortelli was also able to get around Manchester not long after to finish in fifth, with Manchester's #90 team finishing sixth overall but top of the Silver class.

Class rival Mikael Grenier in the #54 Emil Frey Jaguar that he shares with Alex Fontana was catching Manchester during the final laps in the race, but finished in seventh and 0.309s shy.

Markus Winkelhock and Nyls Stievenart topped the Pro-Am class in their #26 Sainteloc Racing Audi, finishing the race in 11th overall.

Race one result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 A.Riberas, C.Mies Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 37 1h00m15.012s
2 M.Meadows, R.Marciello Akka ASP Team Mercedes 37 0.642s
3 C.Engelhart, M.Bortolotti GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 37 16.760s
4 E.P.Companc, A.Caldarelli GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 37 20.650s
5 S.Ortelli, N.Siedler Emil Frey Racing Lexus 37 26.903s
6 N.Bastian, J.Manchester Akka ASP Team Mercedes 37 43.392s
7 A.Fontana, M.Grenier Emil Frey Racing Jaguar 37 43.701s
8 S.Leonard, S.van der Linde Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 37 48.461s
9 A.Costa, C.Klien Emil Frey Racing Lexus 37 50.741s
10 R.Feller, A.De Leener Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 37 57.551s
11 N.Stievenart, M.Winkelhock Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 37 57.845s
12 V.Atoev, A.Korneev Akka ASP Team Mercedes 37 1m00.979s
13 P.B.-Bhakdi, C.van Dam Kessel Racing Ferrari 37 1m16.281s
14 A.Watson, L.Moraes 3Y Technology BMW 37 1m34.389s
15 J.Caygill, A.T.-Smith Team Parker Racing Bentley 36 1 Lap
16 J.Malcharek, C.Malcharek Audi Sport Slovakia Audi 36 1 Lap
17 L.Hezemans, F.Perera GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 28 9 Laps
- S.Schothorst, K.van der Linde Attempto Racing Audi 22 Retirement
- D.Vanthoor, W.Stevens Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 18 Retirement
- P.Schothorst, P.Kaffer Attempto Racing Audi 9 Retirement
- N.Jamin, D.Bulatov Akka ASP Team Mercedes 5 Retirement
- S.Gachet, C.Haase Sainteloc Junior Team Audi 0 Retirement


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