After finishing second in the Total 24 Hours of Spa last weekend, Stéphane Ortelli and Frank Stippler will head to the Nürburgring Blancpain Endurance Series season finale as points leaders in the Pro Cup.
No fewer than 17 drivers are still in the hunt for the Pro Cup title, with 25 points still on offer in the Eifel Mountains at the end of September.
Ortelli and Stippler started the season with new Audi R8 LMS at Monza, but switched to the ultra version for Silverstone and Paul Ricard, where they teamed up with Stéphane Richelmi.
The French-German duo has a nine-point lead on ROWE Racing drivers Stef Dusseldorp and Nico Bastian, who scored maximum points at the six and 12-hour marks at Spa.
If it wasn’t for their late retirement, Dusseldorp and Bastian would have led the standings right now.
Alex Buncombe, Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip came to Spa as championship leaders, and despite their troubled race, the trio still managed to salvage four points due to the high level of attrition towards the end.
Reip managed to repair a broken fuel relay fuse on the No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 trackside, following the instructions of a mechanic, driven to the scene on a scooter by Alex Buncombe.
The Nissan trio surprisingly faces the same 10-point deficit as Total 24 Hours Spa winners Markus Palttala and Lucas Luhr, who only competed at the Paul Ricard 1000km prior to Spa.
The Finnish-German Marc VDS duo might be able to repeat the performance of HTP Motorsport’s Maxi Buhk from 2013, who also missed the two opening rounds of the season, but went on to grab the title.
Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick will have to make up at least 15 points at the Nürburgring, after failing to score anything at all at Spa following their early retirement.
Defending champion Laurens Vanthoor hasn’t been in the points since Silverstone, and is right behind the Bentley Boys in the standings.
However, the 24-year-old still comfortably leads the Blancpain Sprint and overall Blancpain GT Series.
In the teams’ championship, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will head to the Nürburgring with a 13-point margin on M-Sport Bentley, with Marc VDS Racing, ROWE Racing and Nissan GT Academy team RJN also within striking distance.