Nurburgring Blancpain: WRT Audi wins to crown Vanthoor champion

Laurens Vanthoor sealed the Blancpain Endurance Series title for himself and WRT Audi after winning the six-hour finale at the Nurburgring

Nurburgring Blancpain: WRT Audi wins to crown Vanthoor champion

The race began behind the safety car due to heavy rain and fog, but after 20 minutes it was finally able to get under way.

Vanthoor's title hopes were boosted in the early stages when his main rivals came together and eliminated each other from contention. In avoidng a spinning Bentley, Edward Sandstrom's Sainteloc Audi collected Alvaro Parente's ART McLaren, forcing Parente out of the race and costing Sandstrom four laps.

With a struggling Bentley of Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane not involved towards the front, the only real threat to Vanthoor came from Nico Verdonck.

In the second stint of the race, Verdonck's HTP Mercedes - in the hands of Bernd Schneider - led the race, but Vanthoor's team-mate Cesar Ramos was still running in third position.

Just past the halfway mark, the HTP Mercedes spun into the gravel at the final corner, leaving the door open for Vanthoor to cruise home to take victory and the title.

The sister HTP Mercedes of Sergei Afanasiev, Stef Dusseldorp and outgoing champion Max Buhk finished second.

The Black Falcon Mercedes SLS entry completed the podium, while a fortunate safety car period at one point saw Hubert Haupt, Abdulaziz Al Faisal and Andreas Simonsen lead the race from 19th on the grid.

Fourth overall went to the Pro-Am pairing of Henry Hassid and Nick Catsburg, as yet another impressive drive from Catsburg brought him through the order in the wet early stages, before Hassid consilidated fourth place at the finish.

They were not victorious in the overall Pro-Am championship however, as the Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari of Stefano Gai and Andrea Rizzoli finished ahead of their championship rivals, despite a spin and a drive-through penalty.

In the Gentleman Trophy, race honours were taken by the Team Parker Audi pairing of Ian Loggie and Julian Westwood, while victory in the two most lucrative races - Spa and Nurburgring - was enough for Peter Mann and Francisco Guedes to seal the overall Gentleman Trophy title.

Leading results - 158 laps: Pos Cls Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. PRO Ramos/Mies/Vanthoor WRT Audi 2. PRO Dusseldorp/Afanasiev/Buhk HTP Mercedes +57.089s 3. PRO Haupt/Al Faisal/Simonsen Black Falcon Mercedes +1m17.232s 4. PAM Hassid/Catsburg TDS BMW -1 lap 5. PRO Soucek/Korjus/Estre ART McLaren -1 lap 6. PAM Fjordbach/Lunkin/Modell Black Falcon Mercedes -2 laps 7. PAM Kemenater/Gai/Rizzoli Villorba Ferrari -2 laps 8. PRO Kane/Meyrick/Smith M-Sport Bentley -2 laps 9. PRO Firth/Hughes/Sims Triple Eight BMW -2 laps 10. PAM Wilson/Leonard/Meadows Leonard Aston Martin -2 laps Other classes: 17. GTR Westwood/Loggie Parker Audi -5 laps 
shares
comments
Nurburgring Blancpain: WRT Audi's Mies puts leader Vanthoor on pole

Previous article

Nurburgring Blancpain: WRT Audi's Mies puts leader Vanthoor on pole

Next article

Dunlop set to begin GT tyre testing ahead of 2015 return

Dunlop set to begin GT tyre testing ahead of 2015 return
Load comments

About this article

Series GT
Teams Team WRT
Author Jack Nicholls
How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations Plus

How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations

Time in a thoroughbred racer leaves you searching for time in yourself, especially when the rewards for total commitment are so high, as our man discovered at Snetterton

GT
Apr 28, 2021
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021
Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers Plus

Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers

The convergence between the World Endurance Championship and IMSA over LMDh regulations offers a bright future for sportscar racing, but the imminent demise of IMSA's GT Le Mans class creates wider issues to which no catch-all solution exists

GT
Feb 3, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Plus

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it

GT
Jan 23, 2021
Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65 Plus

Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65

There's a saying among retired folk that life begins at 60, but endurance specialist Alain Ferte has never used the 'R' word. Some 40 years since his crowning glory in F3, he's still a driver in demand and gunning for more 24-hour racing success this weekend

GT
Jan 15, 2021
How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT Plus

How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT

After two decades in touring cars, Rob Collard had an uphill battle to unlearn the tools needed to be quick in tin-tops and understand how to hustle a GT3 car. But he did so with aplomb to prevail alongside Sandy Mitchell amid a challenging year for the series

GT
Dec 17, 2020
The high-power solution to counter a dying breed Plus

The high-power solution to counter a dying breed

SRO boss Stephane Ratel was worried about the disappearance of the amateur - or 'gentleman' - drivers who used to be the bedrock of GT3. So he invented a new category that brings back a familiar name from the past

GT
Dec 6, 2020
The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good Plus

The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good

Despite (briefly) having its own F1 arm, Spyker's period in international sportscar racing was spent mostly propping up the grid. Its C8 Laviolette GT2-R stands as one of the last underfunded factory GT efforts that never got a helping hand from BOP

GT
May 21, 2020