The No. 28 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Hari Proczyk won a rain-soaked Blancpain Sprint Series Qualifying Race at Zandvoort, as Proczyk managed to fend off the championship leading HTP Motorsport Mercedes of Maxi Götz in a final two lap dash to the finish.
Bleekemolen converted his pole into the lead when the lights went green and started to open up a gap on the rest of the field, bar the No. 1 WRT Audi in the hands of Laurens Vanthoor.
Twenty minutes into the race, a downpour hit the track, but with five minutes to go until the opening of the pit window, the entire field stayed out on slicks.
Bleekemolen excelled in these conditions, but saw his lead reduced to none, as a spin by the No. 6 Phoenix Audi of Marcus Winkelhock caused the first safety car period.
Almost the entire field pitted for rain tires on the same lap, with the biggest loser being the No. 1 WRT Audi, which had problems getting the front tires off and fell back to P10 as a result.
Proczyk restarted the race in the lead and managed to fend off the championship leading HTP Motorsport Mercedes of Maxi Götz by a mere 0.408s.
Conditions once again worsened and contact between the No. 88 Reiter Lamborghini of Stefan Rosina and No. 90 Villorba Corse Ferrari of Filipe Salaquarda brought out the safety car for a second time.
Götz immediately put Proczyk under pressure at the second restart, but didn’t find a way to pass in the two laps that remained.
“I was hoping that they finish the race then under red maybe, but the last two laps were really close,” said Proczyk.
“I looked in the mirror, I see nothing, so I think I am safe and at that moment I hear the sound of the SLS and think… he’s really close to me! So it was a bit exciting at the end but Maxi was really, really fair. A perfect race for us.”
The No. 84 Mercedes retains its championship lead, with GRT Lamborghini only taking back two points in the standings.
“I was always behind Hari, I figured out that he was fast in the first sector and last sector, so I tried to push in the second one,” said Götz.
“I took no risk and we take the points, I think it was the right decision from the team.”
Cesar Ramos drove an impressive recovery stint in the difficult conditions and moved the No. 1 WRT Audi up from P10 to a podium position (+2.245s), as several of the cars in front of him made mistakes.
“Actually, I didn’t have much to lose, so I just tried to push and push more and then after the last safety car when I was fourth, I was also able to pass my teammate so we finished third,” said Ramos.
“It’s not what we really wanted, but I think we saved the race today and we are in a good position for tomorrow.”
Enzo Ide brought the No. 2 WRT Audi he shares with René Rast home in fourth (3.290s), while both series newcomers drove a solid race, with the No. 76 Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 finishing fifth and the Herberth Motorsport Porsche sixth.
Grasser Racing Team also claimed victory in the Pro Am Trophy with the No. 27 Lamborghini (P8), while Mateusz Lisowski and Vincent Abril won the Silver Cup (P11).
Only fifteen cars finished the race, with the other retirees being the No. 85 HTP Motorsport Mercedes and the No. 0 BMW Team Brasil Z4.
RESULTS: Qualifying Race