Reiter Engineering broke through to claim its first Blancpain Sprint Series victory of the season following a dominant run in Saturday’s Qualifying Race at Moscow Raceway.
Albert von Thurn und Taxis held off the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Marco Seefried for top honors, in a race that saw the Reiter Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX lead from lights to flag.
Nick Catsburg translated his pole run into an early lead, bridging out a six-second gap over the Rinaldi Ferrari of Norbert Siedler prior to the mid-race pit stop.
Quick pit work by the Hans Reiter-led squad saw von Thurn und Taxis rejoin with nearly a ten-second advantage over Seefried, with the gap stabilizing in the second half of the rather uneventful 60-minute race.
It marked the German squad’s first series victory since Zolder 2013 and the first for the Gallardo R-EX in Blancpain GT Series competition.
The No. 84 Bentley Team HTP Bentley Continental GT3 of Vincent Abrill and Maxi Buhk completed the overall podium in third, benefiting from a slow pit stop for the No. 55 Atempto Racing McLaren 650s GT3, which had been running third in the hands of Kevin Estre.
Rob Bell rebounded to finish sixth overall and in class in the lone McLaren, behind the No. 0 BMW Sports Trophy BMW Z4 GT3 and No. 2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra, which completed the top-five.
It was a race to forget for championship leaders Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns, as Vanthoor sustained a right-rear puncture on the opening lap, leading to retirement for the No. 1 WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra and ending the pairings four-race win streak.
The No. 83 HTP Bentley of Max Van Splunteren and Jules Szymkowiak took Silver Cup honors with an eighth place overall finish, while the No. 70 GT Russian Team Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Alexey Karachev and Christophe Bouchut claimed the class win in Pro-Am Cup.
Fifteen of the eighteen starters took the checkered flag, with the No. 23 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 dropping out early with an oil leak and the No. 54 Attempto Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R not completing a single lap.
The 60-minute Main Race is scheduled for 4 p.m. local time.
RESULTS: Qualifying Race