By Tarek Ramchani
Circuit Paul Armagnac at Nogaro played host to a thrilling Blancpain Sprint Series main race today. Great battles on track for the overall win and the top spots with a very demanding field representing nine different brands.
The Audi Sport customer racing squad was very well represented with no less than six cars coming from three different teams. At the end of the a great 1-hour sprint race two Audi cars from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT made it to the podium.
The #3 Audi R8 LMS ultra driver by Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi ended in a very strong second place. The two drivers from Monaco battled hard for the race win and were just behind the winning #77 BMW Z4 GT3 from BMW Team Brazil with drivers Maxime Martin and Dirk Muller.
In the closing stages Stéphane Ortelli pushed really hard and was able to close the gap lap after lap. However time was running out and he could not manage to have a right oppurtunity to pass Dirk Muller and take race win.
Christopher Mies and Enzo Ide finished the main race in third place. Behind the wheel of their #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, the two drivers were among the fastest in the field and took a deserved podium.
Three other Audi cars made it into the Top 10 overall. James Nash and Frank Stippler took the sixth place with the #4 Audi from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. Marco Bonanomi and Filip Salaquarda were seventh with the #75 car from I.S.R. Racing. Niki Mayr-Melnhof and Markus Winkelhock were eighth driving the #6 R8 LMS ultra from Phoenix Racing. All these three Audi cars battled each other in the closing stages of the race for sixhth place.
The second entry from I.S.R. Racing won the Silver-Cup class. The #74 Audi R8 LMS ultra shared by Anders Fjordbach and Thomas Fjordbach won the class and performed well overall.
The #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT did not take part in the event after the big crash yesterday.
The next stop for the Blancpain Sprint Series will be at Brands Hatch, May 9th and 10th.