HTP Motorsport drivers Maxi Buhk and Dominik Baumann held on for their first Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup win of the season in the Main Race at Hungaroring on Sunday.
In the No. 84 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Buhk took the lead from pole-sitter Enzo Ide after a fourth-place start, and stayed out front for the remainder of the race, aided by a nine-minute Full Course Yellow period in the opening stages.
This was to recover the No. 59 Garage 59 McLaren 650S GT3 and No. 5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS, which both went off track on the first lap, with Martin Plowman and Nicolaj Moller Madsen at the respective controls.
In a repeat of the latter stages of Saturday’s Qualifying Race, there was a close battle between Ide and Tristan Vautier at the start, which resulted in light contact.
Vautier then clashed with Frederic Vervisch, in a similar Belgian Audi Club Team WRT car to Ide, but this sent Vautier’s Mercedes into the grass, demoting him to fourth.
After the restart, Vervisch made his way past Ide for second, with Buhk still leading and Vautier holding onto fourth.
Ide and Vautier elected to take their pit stops as early as possible, but their co-drivers Christopher Mies and Felix Rosenqvist ended up in third and fifth as it all settled down afterwards.
Baumann kept the Mercedes out front after the stops, followed by Laurens Vanthoor who had taken over the No. 1 Audi from Vervisch. Will Stevens slotted into fourth, after his co-driver Rene Rast came into the pit lane in seventh.
From there on, the order at the front remained the same, and Baumann extended his lead to over five seconds by the time he crossed the line.
“We put new tires on at the start of the second stint and tried to push at the beginning,” Baumann said.
“But we needed some time before they came in and got the right balance, which is why I dropped back a bit. I just tried to remain consistent before the lap times started to come down. At the end we had quite a nice gap.”
After a sub-par weekend thus far for the British crew, Bentley Team M-Sport finished 9th and 10th, but as the highest-placed non-Audi or Mercedes runners, in a weekend dominated by the two German brands.
Michael Meadows and Stuart Leonard took Silver Cup honors for WRT, while AKKA ASP’s Jean-Philippe Belloc and Christophe Bourret won in Pro-Am.
Kessel Racing pair Stephen Earle and David Perel were the Am victors.
The Sprint Cup returns in October for the final round, to be held in Barcelona, while the Endurance Cup finale at Nürburgring is set for Sept. 18.
RESULTS: Main Race