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Bortolotti, Engelhart Sweep Brands Hatch Weekend

Bortolotti, Engelhart win Main Race in impressive fashion…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart have swept the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup weekend at Brands Hatch, as the Grasser Racing Team drivers win Sunday’s Main Race with a 19-second lead.

Engelhart started from pole having won the Qualifying Race earlier in the day, and led a Grasser 1-2 for most of his stint before handing the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 over to Bortolotti.

While the Austrian team was unable to make it a 1-2 at the flag, it has now won three consecutive Blancpain GT races having also taken the Endurance Cup honors at Monza last month.

Bortolotti and Engelhart are now leading the overall Blancpain GT Series points standings heading into next weekend’s Endurance Cup round at Silverstone.

“I don’t know what to say,” Engelhart commented. “The team has given us a perfect car, all weekend long.

“I am very fortunate that I can drive for them in these circumstances, with such a great co-driver as Mirko.

“It was a good thing that teammate Ezequiel Perez Companc in the No. 19 car allowed me to create a gap in the opening half of the race. After that we could control the race until the finish.”

Ezequiel Perez Companc moved past Markus Palttala’s ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 at the start to put the No. 19 Grasser Lamborghini into second, and ran behind his team-mate until the pit stops.

However, a broken driveshaft later took he and Norbert Siedler out of the race, and denied them picking up their second podium finish of the weekend.

Robin Frijns was meanwhile able to take second for Team WRT in the No. 17 Audi R8 LMS he shares with Stuart Leonard, while fellow WRT driver Will Stevens completed the podium.

Fabien Schiller took the No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 to fourth at the line but was later penalized for contact.

Jesse Krohn therefore took fifth in the BMW that had started second with Palttala at the wheel, with Dries Vanthoor and Marcel Fassler slotting in fifth, making it three WRT cars in the top five.

While Felix Serralles was running a good race in his AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG, co-driver Daniel Juncadella collided with Phillipp Eng’s ROWE BMW while trying to avoid a dropped tire leaving the pitlane.

This left the BMW abandoned at pit lane exit, for which the Mercedes was awarded a drive-through penalty.

Another driver to serve a drive-through penalty was Kevin Ceccon, who had collided with Giovanni Venturini’s Attempto Racing Lamborghini.

While the race had its fair share of clashes, the only one serious enough to bring out the safety car was when Jules Szymkowiak and Clemens Schmid came together.

The clash sent the ISR Audi off into the gravel as Stirlings, while Szymkowiak and the No. 85 HTP Mercedes-AMG were given a 30-second time penalty for the contact.

The field ran behind the safety car for seven minutes while the ISR Audi was retrieved.

RESULTS: Main Race

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

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