By Tarek Ramchani
The Audi teams had a disappointing and frustrating Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying race at the Moscow Raceway. The R8 LMS ultras faced an unbelievable bad luck with contacts, punctures, spins, a stop and go penalty and even a DNF.
Right at the start of the 60-minute race two front running Audis were involved in incidents. Markus Winkelhock who started from the front row with the #6 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Phoenix Racing lost several positions following some contacts. Laurens Vanthoor was unlucky as well behind the wheel of #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. The Belgian ace had a puncture and the car did not finish the race.
The best Audi entry was the #2 R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in fifth place. The car driven by Enzo Ide and Christopher Mies. The latter had a great opening stint and proved again to be one of the fastest GT drivers in the field.
Behind there was train of Audi R8 LMS ultras. Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi (#3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) were ninth. Markus Winkelhock (#6 Phoenix Racing) was ninth after spinning in the closing stages of the race. James Nash and Frank Stippler (#4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) were eleventh. Marco Bonanomi and Filip Salaquarda (#75 ISR Racing) were fourteenth, they served Stop & Go penalty for exceeding the speed limit in pitlane.
Race victory went to the #88 Lamborghini Gallardo from Reiter Engineering. The #333 Ferrari 458 GT3 from Rinaldi Corse was second. Third place went to the #84 Bentley Continental GT3 from HTP Motorsport.
The main race will follow next.