Sunday, May 10, 2015

Blancpain Sprint Series: Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns won Brands Hatch qualifying race

By Tarek Ramchani 

Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns dominated the Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying race at Brands Hatch. The drivers of the #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra were unstoppable in the 60-minute sprint race. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT scored a fine 1-2 victory

Laurens Vanthoor started from pole position and was able to control the the first half of the race. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT ace had a seven second advantage ahead of the second placed Lamborhini Gallardo. Behind, Christopher Mies was running in a strong third position with the #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra.

The opening part of the race saw a great battles between two Audi drivers, Stéphane Ortelli with #3 R8 LMS ultra (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) and Marco Bonanomi with #75 R8 LMS ultra (ISR Racing).

Following the mandatory pit-stops, Robin Frijns took over from Laurens Vanthoor behind the wheel of the #1 Audi. The Dutch driver had a strong pace and performed very well. Meanwhile Enzo Ide who took over from Christopher Mies on the #3 Audi R8 LMS ultra chased the Lamborghini for second place. With eight minutes to go the second place Lamborghini was given a Drive Through penalty promoting the #2 Audi up to second place. Enzo Ide had to defend his position in the very closing moments pushing back the assaults from the third placed BMW Z4 GT3 from BMW Team Brazil.

At the end of the race Robin Frinjs crossed the finish line taking a comfortable race victory. A great result for Vanthoor and Frijns following the big crash at Nogaro and yesterday in the practice session too. Enzo Ide and Christopher Mies took a strong second place overall.

The lone Phoenix Racing ended in seventh place overall with their #6 Audi R8 LMS ultra. The car was shared by Markus Winkelhock and Niki Mayr-Melnhof.

The #4 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT was ninth overall with drivers James Nash and Frank Stippler.

The remaining three Audis were outside the Top 10. The #3 car from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT was twelfth with Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi. The best of the ISR Racing Audis was the #75 car of Marco Bonanomi and Filipe Salaquarda in twelfth place. Their team-mates Anders Fjordbach and Thomas Fjordbach were sixteenth.

The main race will follow next.

Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series