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Bortolotti, Engelhart Break Winless Streak in Race 1

Bortolotti, Engelhart give Grasser its first Blancpain GT win since April in Budapest…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart took their first Blancpain GT Series win since the season-opener in Race 1 at the Hungaroring on Saturday.

The Grasser Racing Team drivers led most of the 60-minute Sprint Cup race after a rapid start from Engelhart who propelled into the lead from fifth on the grid.

Bortolotti held off a charging Raffaele Marciello in the closing stages but the AKKA ASP driver was unable to pass, despite closing the gap by over ten seconds during his stint.

This gave the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 its first win since the opening race at Zolder in April, ending a nine-race winless streak for the Austrian team and its drivers.

Denis Bulatov looked set for a second-place finish in his Silver Cup-entered AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 but spun in the last few minutes, allowing the sister car through.

The Russian recovered to finish third after his co-driver Nico Jamin put in an impressive performance earlier in the race, running second for most of his stint.

Marciello’s runner-up finish is enough to move him into the overall Blancpain GT points lead ahead of Alex Riberas and Christopher Mies who didn’t finish.

Their race ended prematurely when Riberas spun into the wall while trying to overtake Andrew Watson’s BMW M6 GT3 on the pit straight.

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT drivers still lead the Sprint Cup standings but Marciello now has a two-point lead in the overall championship.

Watson showed considerable pace early on in the drying conditions, after electing to start on rain tires, with which he passed several cars to run in second at the end of the first couple of laps.

However, the tire performance on the 3Y Technology car soon dropped off as the track began to dry following an earlier downpour, losing the Northern Irishman many positions.

Bulatov and Jamin picked up the Silver Cup class win from third overall in their Mercedes, while another AKKA ASP car, the SunEnergy1 Racing-backed entry, claimed Pro-Am honors.

Kenny Habul and Tristan Vautier led their class for the whole race in the No. 751 car, which is new to the series this weekend, despite the Australian-American spinning on a wet section of track.

Race 2 is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, with Marciello on pole.


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

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