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Blancpain GT Sprint Cup, Overall Titles to be Decided in Barcelona

A look at the Blancpain GT championship standings ahead of Barcelona….

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

With 34 points on offer at this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series season finale at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, both the teams’ and drivers’ titles in the overall and Sprint Cup standings are yet to be decided.

The Spanish Formula One venue hosts the tenth and final round of the championship, which combines five Endurance races with five Sprint events.

After nine rounds just five points separate the leaders in the overall drivers’ standings, with HTP’s Dominik Baumann and Maxi Buhk enjoying the small advantage over Garage 59’s Rob Bell.

Following their fourth place with the No. 84 AMG-Team HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Nürburgring, Baumann and Buhk fell one point short of the Endurance Cup drivers’ title, but they still managed to re-take the lead in the overall drivers’ standings.

The Austrian-German duo lost that lead at Paul Ricard when they were hampered with gearbox issues, while the AMG engine mapping saga at Spa also had an impact on their aspirations.

Scoring only two points in the last three rounds, Bell has seen his comfortable lead diminish.

The McLaren GT factory driver will share the No. 58 McLaren 650S GT3 with his regular Sprint Cup partner Alvaro Parente this weekend.

Laurens Vanthoor is the third and last man in the hunt, but the 2014 Blancpain GT Series champion has to make up a 29-point deficit sharing the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS with fellow countryman Frédéric Vervisch.

HTP leads the overall teams’ standing, with WRT 14 points down, while Garage 59 must make up 30 points to become champion.

While the gaps at the top of the points tables are bigger in the Sprint Cup standings, more drivers and teams are still in the running for these titles.

Enzo Ide and Christopher Mies have a 17-point lead over Baumann and Buhk, but with Mies chasing the ADAC GT Masters this weekend, Ide will be joined by 2015 Blancpain GT Series champion Robin Frijns in his No. 33 WRT Audi.

Besides Buhk and Baumann, HTP can also count on Jules Szymkowiak and Bernd Schneider in the No. 86 Mercedes-AMG GT3, who are only a further three units behind their colleagues.

McLaren duo Bell and Parente failed to score any points in Budapest and are now trailing the leader by 23 points, while Belgian Audi duo Vanthoor and Vervisch still have a mathematical chance of winning the title with a 33-point deficit.

WRT and HTP will also battle it out for the Sprint Cup teams’ title, with just nine points separating both GT3 heavy weights.

Track action at Barcelona kicks off on Saturday, with both the Qualifying Race and Main Race set for Sunday.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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