Enzo Ide held off a hard-charging Tristan Vautier for the Qualifying Race victory at Hungaroring on Saturday evening, to take the win for himself and co-driver Christopher Mies.
Ide took his No. 33 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS across the line six-tenths, having defended attacks from a tightly-bunched top-four.
Felix Rosenqvist took an impressive lead off the start in the No. 88 Team AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 he would later hand over to Vautier, and further increased it to 3.4 seconds after a restart with eight minutes completed.
This came as the result of an incident between Edward Sandstrom and Daniel Zampieri on the first lap, which left the Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS in the barrier.
Following that, it was a clean race until the pit stops. The move of the race came during the stops, as Mies passed Vautier in the pits to take the lead.
Mies later pitted to hand the Audi over to Ide, who held off a series of attacks in the closing stages to take his third Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup win of the season.
“I am delighted!” Ide said after the race. “It was quite hot in the car and Tristan got very close to me. But I did what I could. I had some trouble with the heat but managed to stay in front, so that was really good.
“I think we won the race again thanks to our pit-stop crew and the team because we came in running second and went back out in first. So thanks a lot to them; they made us win the race again today.”
Frederic Vervisch and Maximilian Buhk joined the lead battle in the final few minutes but couldn’t pass Vautier for second, and took third and fourth for WRT and HTP Motorsport, respectively.
Laurens Vanthoor passed Dominik Baumann in the first stint for third, and both cars pitted as early as possible in the pit stop window from third and fourth. They remained in these positions as Vervisch and Buhk got behind the wheel.
Therefore, the only move at the front during the stops was between the leaders, as Mies made it past Vautier. The decision for Mies to stay in the car as long as possible before Ide got in proved successful.
Nicolaj Moller Madsen and Alessio Picariello were the Silver Cup winners for Phoenix Racing, while Michael Broniszewski and Giacomo Piccini were victorious in Pro-Am Cup for Kessel Racing in the Ferrari 488 GT3.
Earlier in the race, Morgan Moullin-Traffort had to take his AKKA ASP Mercedes into the garage, losing the Pro-Am lead.
AF Corse won in Am, with Claudio Sdanewitsch and Rino Mastronardi in the Ferrari F458 Italia GT3. It is Sdanewitsch’s sixth Sprint Cup win of the season.
The Main Race is scheduled for 12:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, and can be streamed live on the series’ website and YouTube channel. Eurosport will also broadcast live coverage of tomorrow’s race.
RESULTS: Qualifying Race