WRT Audi resists HTP Mercedes for Misano Blancpain GT Sprint win

WRT Audi drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch claimed victory in the main event at the opening round of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at Misano

WRT Audi resists HTP Mercedes for Misano Blancpain GT Sprint win

Vervisch moved his Audi R8 LMS into the lead of the full-points race approaching one-third distance and had a lead of nearly two seconds when the pitstop window opened.

A quick turnaround by the WRT crew gave Vanthoor an advantage of nearly six seconds, but the Belgian's lead was slowly eroded by the HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Maximilian Buhk.

Buhk, who shared the car with Dominik Baumann, ended up just 1.6s behind at the end of the one-hour race.

Vanthoor said: "Maxi was quick in his stint: it was not easy to fight and he was getting closer."

Vervisch added: "We weren't the quickest today, but everything fell into place and WRT had a great pitstop."

Third place went to the Rowe Racing BMW M6 GT3 shared by Philipp Eng and Alexander Sims, which ended up more than 20s in arrears.

Eng had led from the first corner before losing out to Vervisch and Baumann on the same lap.

Sims subsequently lost third to Felix Rosenqvist's ASP Mercedes, but retook the final podium position when the Swede retired in the closing stages.

Rob Bell and Alvaro Parente took fourth place in the best of the Garage 59 McLaren 650S GT3s ahead of the ISR Audi of Frank Stippler and Filip Salaquarda.

Sixth place went to the Rinaldi Ferrari 458 Italia of Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried.

The M-Sport Bentley that had won Saturday's qualifying race spun on the opening lap after receiving a tap from Dries Vanthoor's WRT Audi.

Maxime Soulet dropped to the back of the field, but he and Andy Soucek were able to work their way back to an eventual 11th-place finishing position.

Victory in the pro-am class went to the Kessel Ferrari 488 GT3 of Giacomo Piccini and Michal Broniszewski, while Silver Cup honours were taken by Phoenix Audi drivers Markus Pommer and Nicolaj Moller Madsen.

RESULTS - 38 LAPS

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 F.Vervisch, L.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1h00m50.289s
2 D.Baumann, M.Buhk HTP Motorsport Mercedes 1.626s
3 P.Eng, A.Sims Rowe Racing BMW 23.374s
4 R.Bell, A.Parente Garage 59 McLaren 30.611s
5 F.Stippler, F.Salaquarda ISR Audi 39.485s
6 M.Seefried, N.Siedler Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 52.368s
7 J.Szymkowiak, B.Schneider HTP Motorsport Mercedes 52.693s
8 E.Ide, C.Mies Team WRT Audi 53.542s
9 R.Giammaria, E.P.Companc AF Corse Ferrari 55.019s
10 D.Zampieri, P.Niederhauser Attempto Racing Lamborghini 59.721s
11 M.Soulet, A.Soucek Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley 1m00.857s
12 M.Bortolotti, N.Pohler GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 1m12.994s
13 M.Broniszewski, G.Piccini Kessel Racing Ferrari 1m14.789s
14 M.Takaboshi, A.Buncombe Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 1m18.586s
15 N.M.Madsen, M.Pommer Phoenix Racing Audi 1m19.059s
16 R.Monti, E.Sandstrom Sainteloc Racing Audi 1m19.495s
17 V.Abril, S.Kane Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley 1m19.897s
18 S.Leonard, M.Meadows Team WRT Audi 1m20.283s
19 C.Schmid, J.Jaafar HTP Motorsport Mercedes 1m23.368s
20 M.van Splunteren, J.Mul Attempto Racing Lamborghini 1m25.386s
21 R.Baptista, F.Albuquerque Team WRT Audi 1m26.735s
22 D.Vanthoor, R.Frijns Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1 Lap
23 L.Stolz, M.Beretta GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 1 Lap
24 J-L.Beaubelique, M.M.Traffort Akka ASP Team Mercedes 1 Lap
25 M.Henkola, M.Martin Boutsen Ginion Racing BMW 1 Lap
26 M.Plowman, C.Dolby Garage 59 McLaren 1 Lap
27 N.M.-Melnhof, M.Winkelhock Phoenix Racing Audi 1 Lap
28 R.Sanchez, S.Walkinshaw Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan 1 Lap
29 S.Dusseldorp, N.Catsburg Rowe Racing BMW 1 Lap
30 C.Sdanewitsch, S.Lemeret AF Corse Ferrari 1 Lap
31 D.Gonzales, S.Asch Team a-workx Porsche 1 Lap
32 T.Vautier, F.Rosenqvist Akka ASP Team Mercedes 2 Laps
33 L.Jenny, C.Leimer X-Technology Lamborghini 2 Laps
34 C.Hook, S.Parrow Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 2 Laps
35 M.Stockinger, F.Perera ISR Audi 5 Laps
36 W.Stevens, R.Rast Team WRT Audi 16 Laps
37 J.Bleekemolen, S.Rosina GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini 24 Laps
- D.Valsecchi, J.Falla Attempto Racing Lamborghini Not started
- M.Parisy, C.Haase Sainteloc Racing Audi Retirement


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