Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blancpain Sprint Series: Audi ace Laurens Vanthoor wins Baku World Challenge and takes Blancpain GT Series title

By Tarek Ramchani

Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos made it double in Baku. The two Belgian Audi Club Team WRT drivers dominated earlier today the Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying race, they did the same in the main race.

The #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra was the best car this weekend in a very demanding Baku World Challenge field. Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos started from pole position and took a fine race win after a perfect pit-stop. In the first half of the race Cesar Ramos was able to resist the assaults of the second placed Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3. After the mandatory pit-stop, Laurens Vanthoor took over and crossed the finsih line victorious ahead of the Beechdean AMR entry.

It was a perfect weekend for Laurens Vanthoor. The Belgian Audi factory driver not only won the Baku World Challenge but took also the overall Blancpain GT Series title combining both Blancpain Endurance Series and Blancpain Sprint Series.

Behind, an all Audi battle raged for third place between the #9 entry from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and the #6 car from Phoenix Racing. Stéphane Ortelli and Markus Winkelhock battled each other really hard to take the final spot on the podium. Markus Winkelhock managed to overtake Stéphane Ortelli for the delight of the whole Phoenix Racing crew. Markus Winkelhock and his team-mate Niki Mayr-Melnhof finsiehd third. Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi were fourth.

The #4 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT finished in seventeenth place. The car driven by Mateusz Lisowski and Vincent Abril was fourth within the Sliver-Cup class. The two drivers are crowned 2014 Silver-Cup champions.

The #777 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Prosperia C.Abt Racing had an unfortunate last lap crash. The car driven by Kelvin van der Linde and Christopher Mies was running in a strong ninth place. In the very last lap, Christopher Mies crashed heavily the Audi.

Unfortunately the #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT with drivers René Rast and Enzo Ide was forced to retire after engine issues.

The Baku World Challenge ended the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series and the Blancpain GT Series. It was a great year for the Audi brand in the SRO orgnized series taking the Blancpain GT Series drivers' title with Laurens Vanthoor, the team championship in the Blancpain Sprint Series with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, the Silver-Cup title with Mateusz Lisowski and Vincent Abril.

Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series