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GT World Challenge Europe

Misano Sunday Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Sunday Blancpain GT notebook from Misano…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

***Tristan Vautier posted the quickest time of the weekend, so far, in this morning’s warm up with the No. 88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3. The Frenchman put in a 1:32.972, almost three-tenths faster than Lauren’s Vanthoor’s pole time, whose teammate Frédéric Vervisch went second quickest in the session (+0.489s). The No. 84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, No. 12 Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3 and No. 99 ROWE Racing BMW rounded out the top-five. Click here to download the results.

***The warm up session was red flagged after 13 minutes and didn’t resume afterwards. Jack Falla crashed the No. 77 Attempto Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 at Turn 12, with the car sustaining damage on the right front.

***The Qualifying Race winning No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 of Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet was given a €1,000 fine for not changing all four tires during the pitstop last night. However the stewards deemed the team “did not gain a sporting advantage.” The lack of a more severe penalty caused some discontent with certain teams in the Misano paddock.

***Already on the grid, the M-Sport crew discovered the issue and tried everything to get the left rear wheel off the car. As they ran out of time, the team decided to start the race regardless. During the pitstop the mechanics tried again, but quickly gave up and only changed three tires.

***The No. 58 Garage 59 McLaren 650S GT3 of Alvaro Parente and Rob Bell that gave a spectacular fire show during last night’s Qualifying Race sustained no major damage. In fact, it was able to continue and was classified 9th overall. A temporary engine glitch meant the car lost some ground, but Rob Bell went on to post the fastest lap of the race.

***The sister No. 59 McLaren also experienced an issue and had to start from the pitlane after being pushed from the grid. A wiring loom had to be replaced. It’s been a challenging weekend so far for Martin Plowman and Craig Dolby, who had little to no prior experience with the McLaren, having switched over from the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of last year.

***The No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Clemens Schmid and Jazeman Jaafar experienced an engine failure during yesterday’s qualifying session. The German team replaced the engine and the car will be allowed to start the Main Race from the pit lane.

***The No. 28 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS of René Rast and Will Stevens got a 30-second time penalty, as the latter overtook under waved yellow flags during the Qualifying Race. The car finished 8th last night, but was relegated to P14 because of the penalty.

***It’s been a long and busy night over at WRT. Both the No. 2 car of Stuart Leonard and Michael Meadows and No. 3 entry of Felipe Albuquerque and Rodrigo Baptista sustained considerable damage in the Qualifying Race

***All 39 cars will start today’s Main Race. As mentioned above, the No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 will start from the pitlane. Click here to download the starting grid.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.


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