Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns took a dominant win in the Blancpain Sprint Series Qualifying Race at Brands Hatch, crossing the line with an impressive 26 second margin.
Vanthoor managed to convert pole into the lead of the race at the start, fending off Nicky Catsburg in the No. 88 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX at Druids.
The Belgian then opened up a gap of six seconds on the Lambo before handing his car over to Frijns, who finished the job in a dominant way, crossing the line with almost a 30-second lead.
“I learned a lot from Vanthoor,” said Frijns. “There wasn’t a lot of pressure on my shoulders, because we already had a 6 second gap. I took it easy and brought the car home.”
Although Albert von Thurn und Taxis was nowhere near Frijns’ pace, he was on his way to finish second, but a late drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding dropped the Reiter Lambo back to eight.
This meant the No. 2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8 LMS ultra moved up to second, but it didn’t come easy for Enzo Ide, as he had to fend off a train of four cars that bunched up behind him.
“The car wasn’t as good as yesterday,” said Mies. “We had a lot of oversteer, which made it very difficult for myself and Enzo.”
The No. 2 Audi’s pitstop will be investigated after the race though, with a penalty likely to follow.
Atila Abrue and Valdeno Brito finished third in their No. 77 BMW Team Brasil BMW Z4 GT3, keeping Sean Walkingshaw’s hard charging MRS Nissan behind.
The German-run GT-R Nismo GT3 was on form this morning. Despite a small gearbox issue, a slow pitstop and subsequently losing two positions to both Brazilian BMWs, ‘Godzilla’ was one of the fastest cars in the field.
Rob Bell and Kevin Estre finished sixth (+28s), the Attempto Racing run McLaren 650S GT3 showing good pace, with Estre catching up with battle for second in the final stages of the race.
RESULTS: Qualifying Race
UPDATE: The No. 2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra of Christopher Mies and Enzo Ide received a 30-second time penalty after the race for a pitstop infringement, as one of the team’s mechanics crossed the line before the car came to a full stop. Mies-Ide will start the Main Race from P9 on the grid.