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Götz, HTP Motorsport Extend Championship Lead with Zolder Win

Götz, HTP extend BSS championship lead with Zolder win…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Blancpain Sprint Series points leader Maxi Götz and his teammate Maxi Buhk won the Zolder Main Race, extending both Götz and HTP Motorsport’s lead in the series.

Starting sixth on the grid, Buhk immediately gained two positions in the first corner, a position he held during the two safety car interventions caused by crashes of Enzo Ide’s No. 2 WRT Audi and Alexey Vasiliev’s GT Russian Team Mercedes.

Buhk couldn’t keep up with the leading Lamborghinis of Peter Kox (NSC) and Hari Proczyk (GRT) and battled for third with Cesar Ramos (No. 1 WRT Audi), but took the lead by staying out three laps longer than his competitors.

His HTP Motorsport crew then delivered a perfect pitstop, sending Maxi Götz back out in the lead, in front of Bleekemolen’s GRT Lambo, one of the first cars to visit the pit.

“It was a combination of the pace we had when we were driving alone and the fantastic pitstop,” Buhk said. “We were struggling when we were driving quite close behind each other. The car needs clean air.”

Götz went on to fend off Bleekemolen on his out lap, and then opened up a gap of 2,5 seconds he maintained until the end.

“When I saw him (Bleekemolen) behind me I thought it was going to get really tough, as he was already three laps out. I pushed a lot exiting the pits and in the end I immediately found good speed,” added Götz.

Bleekemolen only just lost out when Götz rejoined the track, something that could have been a consequence of his teammate Proczyk having to brake early when entering the pit, as the NSC Lambo he was chasing stayed out for an extra lap.

“Götz found pace quite quickly so I had no chance to overtake him. When you run close to someone here, the brakes get hot and you lose a little bit performance,” Bleekemolen said.

“We are not going to give up on this championship. To be honest if they (HTP) win it, they deserve it because they were always there, while we made a couple of small mistakes and missed points.”

Once again, Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos weren’t able to convert a Qualifying Race victory in a Main Race win on Sunday, as Ramos had a bad start and fell back to third, the same position the Audi duo would later finish in.

Stef Dusseldorp and Sergey Afanasiev put in a strong performance and took the chequered flag in fourth after starting in 11th.

Aston Martin Racing got off to a good start in the series, with the Beechdean V12 Vantage of Andy Soucek and Jonny Adam always on the pace and eventually ending the weekend with a fifth place in the Main Race.

Early leaders NSC Motorsports lost out during the pitstops as the Lambo experienced problems with its air jack system.

RESULTS: Main Race

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

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