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Fassler, Vanthoor Survive Six-Car Lead Battle to Sweep Weekend

Fassler, Vanthoor win Main Race, lead every session in Budapest…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Marcel Fassler and Dries Vanthoor survived a six-car battle for the lead to sweep the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup round at Hungaroring, winning the Main Race on Sunday afternoon.

Vanthoor kept his lead in the closing stages of the race despite a close battle for the lead for most of his stint, completing a clean sweep of the penultimate Sprint Cup event of the season.

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT-run No. 5 Audi R8 LMS made series history by topping the timesheets in Free Practice 1, Free Practice 2 and warm-up, while qualifying on pole and winning both the Qualifying Race and Main Race.

They move up to third in the Sprint Cup standings, just four points behind leaders Maxi Buhk and Franck Perera, while Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti are in second with one point more than the Audi pairing.

Vanthoor finished 0.570 seconds clear of Jake Dennis in the No. 3 WRT Audi, while Bortolotti completed the podium in the No. 63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

WRT made it four cars in the top five with Robin Frijns and Will Stevens finishing fourth and fifth, while Mercedes-AMG HTP Motorsport’s Buhk finished sixth.

The top six cars were classified within 3.8 seconds at the line.

Engelhart started the race from second position in the Grasser Lamborghini but lost time with a slow pit stop and so co-driver Bortolotti exited the pits in third position with Dennis ahead of him.

Perera had a good start from fourth position and passed Pieter Schothorst for third on the opening lap, but his No. 84 Mercedes-AMG GT3 dropped down to seventh after an issue in the pits.

Contact between the No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 and Am Cup-entered No. 888 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 meant both Bentley Team M-Sport cars retired before the end of the race, while Buhk gained position in the No. 84 Mercedes.

Fabian Schiller and Jules Symkowiak took Silver Cup honors in their No. 85 HTP car, while Rinaldi Racing’s Alexander Matschull and Daniel Keilwitz topped the Pro-Am category.

The race had one neutralization period as the safety car was brought out after four minutes to collect Martin Kodric’s McLaren 650S GT3. 

The Croatian driver, on his debut with Strakka Racing, went off track on lap two, while contact between the Mercedes of Felix Serralles and Symkowiak occurred during the clean-up.

RESULTS: Main Race

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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