Slovakia FIA GT: Pro-Am pair Afanasiev/Simonsen take outright win

Gravity Charouz Mercedes duo Sergei Afanasiev and Andreas Simonsen claimed victory in the championship race at the Slovakia Ring FIA GT Series event

Slovakia FIA GT: Pro-Am pair Afanasiev/Simonsen take outright win

Simonsen moved his Pro-Am class Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG into the lead on lap eight when the WRT Audi driven by Stephane Ortelli had to take a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

The Swede maintained the lead ahead of Ricardo Zonta's BMW Team Brazil entry until the mandatory pitstops, before the Charouz team turned the car around quick enough to give Afanasiev a five-second lead over Sergio Jiminez in the Brazilian BMW Z4.

Afanasiev said: "This guy [Simonsen] did an amazing job. I just had to keep it up front. I had a race against myself, because I was not so confident on this track."

Jiminez was unable to hold off the trio of WRT Audis, Rene Rast and Frank Stippler moving past on lap 20 and Laurens Vanthoor getting his chance on the following lap.

Rast and team-mate Niki Mayr-Melnhof ended up second to take maximum Pro Cup points, but Vanthoor was able to snatch third place overall in the delayed R8 LMS ultra he shared with Ortelli.

The Belgian moved past team-mate Stippler, who shared his Audi with Edward Sandstrom, on the final lap of the one-hour race.

Jimenez and Zonta ended up a distant fifth head of the second-placed Pro-Am car, the Grasser Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 shared by Hari Proczyk and Dominik Baumann.

Sebastien Loeb, who won the qualifying race with Alvaro Parente, went out on the opening lap after clashing with Peter Kox's Reiter Lamborghini.

The nine-time World Rally champion was engulfed away from the line after Ortelli jumped the start and was tagged by Zonta, which pushed him into the Lamborghini.

Results - 27 laps: Pos Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Simonsen/Afanasiev Gravity Charouz Mercedes 1h00m45.730s 2. Mayr-Melnhof/Rast WRT Audi +4.148s 3. Ortelli/Vanthoor WRT Audi +4.991s 4. Sandstrom/Stippler WRT Audi +5.422s 5. Zonta/Simenez Brasil BMW +15.356s 6. Proczyk/Baumann Grasser Lamborghini +22.783s 7. Zuber/Parisy Loeb McLaren +27.438s 8. Reip/Buncombe RJN Nissan +41.578s 9. Salaquarda/Onidi AF Ferrari +44.835s 10. Chandhok/Seyffarth Seyffarth Mercedes +59.922s 11. Sdanewitsch/Rugolo AF Ferrari +1m13.654s 12. Stumpf/Cunha Rodrive Lamborghini +1m55.441s 13. Michael/Haupt Seyffarth Mercedes +1 lap 14. Charouz/Stovicek Gravity Charouz Mercedes +1 lap Retirements: von Thurn und Taxis/Basseng Reiter Lamborghini 18 laps Vieira/Campanico Novadriver Audi  5 laps Kox/Rosina Reiter Lamborghini 1 lap Loeb/Parente Loeb McLaren 0 laps Day/Buhk Gravity Charouz Mercedes 0 laps 
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