After finishing second in yesterday’s Qualifying Race, Maxime Martin and Dirk Mueller gave BMW Team Brasil its first Blancpain Sprint Series win, beating Audi at Nogaro in today’s Main Race.
Martin immediately overtook the No. 3 WRT Audi of pole-sitter Stéphane Richelmi at the start. The Monegasque driver later also lost a position to the sister No. 2 car in the hands of Christopher Mies.
By the time the pit window opened, Martin had built up a decent lead of five seconds, but a slow getaway in the pits by Mueller meant the No. 2 Audi took the lead with the fastest pitstop of the pack, now with Enzo Ide behind the wheel.
It didn’t take long for Mueller to position his yellow BMW under the rear wing of Silver-rated Ide, and with a bit of help of a lapped Attempto Racing Mclaren, the German retook the lead with an out-braking maneuver into turn 1.
Ide couldn’t keep up with Mueller, and when a fast approaching Stéphane Ortelli appeared in his mirrors, he immediately let him past.
Despite a late charge by Ortelli, Mueller managed to fend off the quicker Audi on the narrow and twisty French track, crossing the line with a margin of 0.368s.
“The overtaking move in opening lap was crucial, if I stayed behind it would have been a lot more difficult to take the lead,” said Martin.
“We lost a bit of time at the pitstop, but Drik did a good job to pass Enzo and keep Ortelli behind.”
Afterwards, Mueller admitted he made a mistake when firing up the car again; “I forgot to press one button,” he admitted.
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT completed the remaining podium positions, and couldn’t translate their role as race favorites into a win for the second year in a row.
The No. 84 HTP Benltey of Maxi Buhk and Vincent Abril recovered well from the first lap incident yesterday, and traded in their eighth slot on the grid for a good haul of points in P4 (+20.798s).
Marco Seefried and Norbert Siedler drove an anonymous race, only losing one position and ending up fifth with their Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia.
It was a race to forget for the No. 55 Attempto Racing McLaren 650S GT3 of Rob Bell and Kevin Estre. The British-French duo dropped to the last position after losing more than halve a minute in the pits, but fought back to P13.
Victory in the Silver Cup went to the Fjordbach brothers in the No. 74 ISR Audi, while Pro-Am honors went to Christophe Bouchut and Alexey Vasilyev in the No. 71 GT Russian Mercedes.
RESULTS: Main Race