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Misano Pre-Race Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ Blancpain Sprint Misano pre-race notebook …

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

Photo: Brecht Decancq Photography

***After his heavy crash in the Qualifying Race last night, Laurens Vanthoor returned to Belgium overnight for further checks and treatment. The Belgian sustained a sprained foot in the incident. “Still in quite a lot of pain but all is ok,” he wrote on social media. “The goal is to be at Zandvoort to fight for the championship. Can’t promise anything, but for the moment chances are small.”

***It took the stewards until Sunday morning to make a decision on the incident between the Audi and Bentley last night. In the end both Laurens Vanthoor and Jules Szymkowiak got a five-place grid penalty for the Qualifying Race at Zandvoort, though Szymkowiak’s penalty was for making contact with the No. 19 GRT Lamborghini. The penalty will not apply to Robin Frijns and the No. 1 Audi if Vanthoor is not able to race at Zandvoort.

***Even though they are out for the weekend, Frijns and Vanthoor will still arrive in Zandvoort leading the Blancpain Sprint Series standings. If main rivals Maxi Buhk and Vincent Abril (HTP Bentley) win today’s Main Race and score full points, they’ll reduce the gap to one point heading into the season finale.

***The new Lamborghini Huracan didn’t miss its start in the Sprint Series, finishing second on home soil in the Qualifying Race. The other entry of Jeroen Mul and Alberto Di Folco failed to finish after a contact with the Always Evolving Nissan, with the GRT crew working on the car until 6 a.m. this morning to get it fixed. The Dutch-Italian duo was moved to the Silver Cup after the first practice session on Friday.

***Lazarus has announced it has ordered a Huracan GT3. The Italian GP2 team currently competes in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo and will enter the car in a yet-to-be-determined international series next season.

***Audi dominated the morning warmup, with the R8 LMS ultra taking up the top three spots. Marco Bonanomi went fastest in the No. 75 ISR Audi, followed by the WRT R8s of Christopher Mies and Stéphane Richelmi.

***As was the case last time out at Portimao, track limits are once again proving to be an issue at Misano. The Italian track, which was mainly designed for bike racing, features plenty of run-off areas on the outside as well as the inside of corners. Several cars already saw their times deleted in Qualifying, while the ISR and Phoenix Audis got drive through penalties during the first race.

***The Blancpain Sprint Series isn’t the only SRO organized series running on track this weekend. The GT Sports Club, which was exclusively designed for gentlemen racers, and the Ultracar Sports Club, for the owners of very rare and exclusive sportscars also share the track.

***Be sure to download the official SRO Spotter Guide, which features all 18 starters (minus the No. 1 WRT Audi and No. 83 HTP Bentley) for today’s pair of races, including the new livery for the No. 74 ISR Audi of the Fjordbach brothers. Click here to download the latest version.

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

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