1 #2 Ide/Rast - Belgian Audi Club Team WRT – Audi 31 laps
2 #76 Jäger/Baumann – BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert – BMW +1.366
3 #21 Renauer/van Lagen – Tonino Team Herberth – Porsche +20.732
4 #84 Götz/Buhk – HTP Motorsport – Mercedes +37.996
5 #28 Proczyk/Bleekemolen – Grasser Racing Team – Lamborghini +49.430
6 #27 Halek/Landmann – Grasser Racing Team – Lamborghini +49.901
7 #88 Rosina/Kox – Reiter Engineering – Lamborghini +50.135
8 #30 Stumpf/Piquet Jr – BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil – BMW +1:16.398
9 #4 Lisowski/Abril – Belgian Audi Club Team WRT – Audi +1:26.781
10 #1 Ramos/Vanthoor – Belgian Audi Club Team WRT – Audi +1:39.434
Sudden rain and rare mistakes from some of the top drivers turned the main race of the third round of the Blancpain Sprint Series at Circuit Park Zandvoort into a spectacular affair. In the end René Rast and Enzo Ide, driving the #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, took top spot, just holding off the Series newcomers Dominik Baumann and Thomas Jäger in the #76 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW. Dutchman Jaap van Lagen took third, at the wheel of the #21 Tonino Team Herberth Porsche he shares with Robert Renauer.
Vincent Abril and Mateusz Lisowski in the #4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi were again the quickest drivers in the Silver Cup, while Sascha Halek and Stefan Landmann in the #27 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini took their second Pro-Am Trophy win of the weekend as well.
The main race of the Dutch round of the Blancpain Sprint Series started with a twelve-minute safety car period, due to a crash at the start, involving the #3 G-Drive Racing Audi of Roman Rusinov and the #60 Bhaitech McLaren of Fabio Onidi. At the restart polesitter Hari Proczyk managed to hold off the #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes of Maximilian Götz, though the German in the #28 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini kept the pressure on. Proczyk was still in the lead when the pit window opened, but then it all went wrong for the team that had won the last three races. The mechanics had difficulties in putting the right rear wheel on the car, and once Jeroen Bleekemolen got going, the Dutchman spun, losing all hopes of a podium finish.
New leader Maxi Buhk – who had taken over from Götz – now had René Rast, in the #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, all over his back. Conditions changed suddenly, when a brief rain shower passed over the Zandvoort track. A couple of cars decided to pit a second time to take on rain tyres, but the leaders stayed out on slicks. On the wet track Buhk had difficulties holding René Rast behind him, and halfway through the stint, the Audi driver made an exemplary passing move to take the lead of the race. Soon afterwards Buhk dropped further down the order after spinning in the Mastersbocht.
That left René Rast in the lead with a rather comfortable margin, but Series newcomer Dominik Baumann put his #76 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW through its paces to close the gap from the leader completely. With five minutes to go the Audi and the BMW were nose to tail, but Rast increased his pace again and took the team’s first win of the season, earning the 30.000 euro bonus that goes with it.
Some twenty seconds behind the leading duo, Jaap Van Lagen got the Dutch fans on their feet when he stormed towards the front behind the wheel of his #21 Tonino Team Herberth Porsche. In their first Blancpain Sprint Series meeting of the season, Van Lagen and team-mate Renauer eventually ended up on the lowest podium step. Maxi Buhk and Jeroen Bleekemolen managed to cut their losses by finishing in fourth and fifth respectively.
In sixth were the winners of the Pro-Am Trophy. With their #27 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Sascha Halek and Stefan Landmann had a faultless race, leading the class from start to finish. Silver Cup winners Vincent Abril and Mateusz Lisowski were running in third overall for a while, the result of switching to rain tyres during the driver change. With the track drying quickly, the #4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi could not manage to match the pace of the cars on slicks however, dropping to ninth eventually. Their main contenders in the Silver Cup, the #34 ROAL Motorsport BMW of Colombo and Fumanelli had also switched to rain tyres and finished in 12th overall.
René Rast (#2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi): “There was a little hesitation when the rain came, but after radio contact with the team we decided to stay out on slicks. It wasn’t easy, but I had some practice yesterday, when the conditions were the same. Once I was right behind Buhk, it was difficult not to hit him, because our cars were all over the place. We never touched though, and when I made my move, he left me the space to pass. Towards the end, I thought I had enough of a lead, so I slowed down a bit. To my big surprise the BMW closed the gap in the space of one lap, so with five minutes to go I had to push again. Luckily the track had dried, so I could manage some good laps at the end of the race.”
Thomas Jäger (#76 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW): “This was my first start in a GT3 car, and I am so happy that I had a good one. After a few laps I managed to overtake the Porsche and was able to close the gap towards the Audi. Dominik drove an excellent second half of the race and the whole team is very happy to score a podium finish in our first race in the Series.”
Jaap van Lagen (#21 Tonino Team Herberth Porsche): “We had some issues throughout the weekend, because we never managed to find the speed on the dry. On a wet track our Porsche behaved marvellously though. So even though on Friday I thought we could never finish inside the top-10, the team did everything they could to improve the car and I am very happy to reward their hard work with a podium finish. The fact that I could do this in front of my home crowd is an added bonus.”
Stefan Landmann (#27 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini, 1st Pro-Am Trophy): “Just like during the qualifying race I had to drive in the wet with slick tyres. I had to tell myself to stay calm, because I knew the track would dry. I had never driven a single lap of Zandvoort before this weekend, and winning twice this weekend makes me pretty happy.”
Vincent Abril (#4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, 1st Silver Cup): ‘At the beginning of my stint, I really thought we could take the overall win in this race. We were one of only two or three cars on rain tyres and I was setting the quickest lap times. But the rain quickly stopped and I was surprised on how fast the track was drying up. Every lap there was a different line to take. In the end, the guys on slicks had no trouble in overtaking me, but fortunately we managed to hold on to first place in the Silver Cup.’
Next Race : Slovakia Ring - 22-24 August
Over 275 years of tradition in motion:
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit. From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past nine years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 32 new calibres.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.
Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.
Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
SRO Motorsports Group
SRO Motorsports Group was founded by Stephane Ratel and has specialised in the promotion, support and organisation of many national and international motorsport series since 1995.
In 2014, SRO promotes several championships and series, such as the Blancpain GT Series with the Blancpain Sprint Series and the Blancpain Endurance Series, including the iconic Total 24 hours of Spa, the Cooper Tires British F3 Championship, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship and has various franchise agreements including the GT4 European Series.
SRO has offices in London, Paris and Liège.