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Stevens Holds on for Brands Hatch Race 1 Win

Will Stevens defends close lead battle to win Blancpain GT Race 1 at Brands Hatch…

Photo: Olivier Beroud Images

Will Stevens successfully defended a tight lead battle to claim victory for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the first Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

The Brit survived a close last-lap battle for second to win in the No. 2 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 he shares with overall championship leader Dries Vanthoor.

The pair led the entire race from pole position but Stevens had to defend from Kelvin van der Linde, Christopher Mies and Raffaele Marciello who ran nose-to-tail for the final 15 minutes. 

Van der Linde dropped from second to fifth at Paddock Hill Bend on the final lap, allowing Mies to finish second and Marciello to move into third for AKKA ASP.

The South African, who came into the weekend as Sprint Cup points leader, lost further positions to cross the line eighth in his Attempto Racing Audi after picking up a puncture. 

Mies finished 1.195 seconds behind Stevens in a WRT 1-2 finish while Marciello was classified a further five-tenths behind in third.

Frederic Vervisch finished fourth in the No. 17 WRT Audi, meanwhile, with Felix Serralles completing the top five. 

Stephane Ortelli brought his Lexus RC F GT3 home in ninth with the Emil Frey Lexus Racing operation showing an improvement over the course the weekend.

The highest-placed Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 was the No. 63 car of Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart who finished tenth after starting from the back of the field.

Carlo Van Dam and Piti Bhirombhakdi picked up the Pro-Am Cup win for TP 12 Kessel Racing while 3Y Technology’s Andrew Watson and Lukas Moraes won in the Silver Cup. 

Jack Manchester and Nico Bastian were set to take the Silver win until Manchester spun into the gravel on the final lap. 

The safety car was brought out on the first lap while the SMP Racing by AKKA ASP Mercedes was collected from the gravel at Druids hairpin.

This was the only interruption in an otherwise clean race.

Race 2 will get underway at 4:30 p.m. local time and will be streamed live on the series’ website and GT World YouTube channel.

RESULTS: Race 1

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. jCsup

    May 6, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    I hate to bring up a BoP complaint, but it’s well past time the Audi was brought in line with its Lambo twin. Since the end of last year, it’s had a clear edge on the rest of the field.

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