Zandvoort BSS: Bentley's Buhk and Abril win to take points lead

Bentley Team HTP drivers Maximilian Buhk and Vincent Abril dominated the Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying race at Zandvoort while Robin Frijns' championship hopes are in jeopardy

Zandvoort BSS: Bentley's Buhk and Abril win to take points lead

The #84 Bentley of Buhk and Abril, who started the day with eight-point deficit in the standings, led for the majority of the race from pole position.

They were followed for the most part by the #2 Team WRT Audi of Nicki Thiim and Frederic Vervisch, who eventually finished second, nearly six seconds behind.

The main story of the race was Frijns' spin at Turn 1, however.

He came into this weekend with a championship lead of eight points over the Bentley drivers, but heads into Sunday's race one point behind them.

Frijns is sharing his #1 Audi R8 LMS Ultra with Christopher Mies, who steps in as a result of Laurens Vanthoor's crash last Saturday.

Although he had started from second position, he instantly dropped a couple of positions and was fighting around the outside at Tarzan.

The possibility of contact between the Audi and Norbert Siedler's Ferrari was put under investigation after Frijns spun into the gravel on the outside of the corner.

A safety car period ensued, and the field - including Frijns - was back underway.

At the pitstops, the top positions remained the same, but there was drama for the #88 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini.

Nicky Catsburg had held off pitting for as long as possible, but when he did stop, and handed over the car to Albert von Thurn und Taxis, there was a delay due to what appeared to be a loose wheel.

Abril led the rest of the race in his Bentley, while Vervisch followed in his #2 Audi.

In the Rinaldi Ferrari with Siedler, Jerome Bleekemolen was running third until he was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for a pitstop infringement.

This cost the Ferrari a position to Phoenix Racing's Niki Mayr-Melnhof with the race in its final five minutes.

One lap down, Frijns and Mies persisted but could only finish 15th, ahead of the #4 Audi that had retired due to electrical problems.

The championship finale takes place on Sunday, and Buhk and Abril are now the favourites.

They have 110 points and will start from pole, while Frijns has one less point but starts from much further down the field.

RESULTS - 35 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 V.Abril, M.Buhk Bentley Team HTP Bentley 1h00m28.801s
2 F.Vervisch, N.Thiim Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 5.764s
3 N.M.-Melnhof, M.Winkelhock Phoenix Racing Audi 16.144s
4 J.Bleekemolen, N.Siedler Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 30.919s
5 S.Richelmi, S.Ortelli Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 31.741s
6 S.Walkinshaw, C.Dolby Always Evolving Motorsport Nissan 34.768s
7 M.van Splunteren, J.Szymkowiak Bentley Team HTP Bentley 35.030s
8 C.Bueno, S.Jimenez AH Competicoes Team Brasil BMW 35.797s
9 V.Brito, A.Abreu AH Competicoes Team Brasil BMW 44.836s
10 R.Mavlanov, M.Asmer GT Russian Team Mercedes 45.144s
11 M.Bonanomi, F.Salaquarda ISR Audi 46.566s
12 A.T.Taxis, N.Catsburg Reiter Engineering Lamborghini 52.612s
13 A.Karachev, I.Dontje GT Russian Team Mercedes 1m13.998s
14 M.Markussen, A.Fjordbach ISR Audi 1m22.070s
15 C.Mies, R.Frijns Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi 1 Lap
- J.Nash, F.Stippler Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi Retirement


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