Christopher Mies defended from Raffaele Marciello to win the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race at Misano on Saturday evening.
After taking over the No. 1 Audi R8 LMS GT3 from Alex Riberas, Mies exited the pits in the lead and held on for the remainder of the 60-minute sprint race to give Belgian Audi Club Team WRT its fourth win of the season.
Marciello attempted to close the gap during the last 15 minutes of the race but was unable to get his No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 into the lead, forcing AKKA ASP to settle for second by a margin of 0.6 seconds.
The Italian’s co-driver Michael Meadows will start Sunday’s Race 2 from pole.
A quick pit stop put Mies into first position after Riberas had run in second for most of the opening stint despite having a brief moment out front.
The Spaniard followed pole-sitter Nicolas Jamin for the first few laps until the No. 87 AKKA ASP Mercedes came to a halt on the pit straight after ten minutes.
This took Jamin and Denis Bulatov out of contention and called for the race’s only Full Course Yellow while the Silver Cup-entered car was collected.
Riberas ran wide on the restart, allowing Nico Bastian to assume the lead in his No. 90 AKKA ASP Mercedes which was also running in the Silver Cup.
The car stayed out front until the pit stops but dropped to third after Bastian had handed it over to Jack Manchester who was later unable to match the pace of Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli.
Manchester came home sixth with the Silver Cup class win while Sainteloc Racing’s Markus Winkelhock and Nyls Stievenart secured the Pro-Am honors.
Grasser Racing Team finished third and fourth with its No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart finishing on the bottom step of the podium ahead of Caldarelli and Ezequiel Perez Companc’s No. 19 entry.
Race 2 will take place at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday and will be streamed live on the series’ website and GT World YouTube channel.
RESULTS: Race 1