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WRT’s Vanthoor, Frijns Sweep Weekend at Brands Hatch

Vanthoor and Frijns claim pole, Qualifying Race and Main Race…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

Photo: Vision Sport Agency/SRO

Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns overcame a massive crash in practice to make it a clean sweep at Brands Hatch, claiming pole and winning both the Qualifying and Main Race in the second round of the Blancpain Sprint Series.

Frijns took the start in the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, keeping both BMW Team Z4s at bay.

As the white McLaren of a hard charging Kevin Estre started to bring down the gap, the Dutchman handed over the car to Vanthoor.

The reigning Blancpain GT champ was once again in a class of his own, as he immediately opened up a large gap, which he started to control once it reached 15 seconds.

“We have a great team. I destroyed the car yesterday and they repaired in a couple of hours in time for qualifying,” said a slightly ill Vanthoor.

“This victory is for [Belgian Audi Club chairman] J.G. Mal-Voy. He played a very big role in my career, from F3 to GT.”

Despite scoring no points at Nogaro, Frijns and Vanthoor now lead the championship by one point on the sister No. 3 Audi of Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi.

The battle for the remaining podium positions was closer, with both BMW Team Brazil BMW Z4 GT3s fighting it out with the Attempto Racing McLaren of Kevin Estre and Rob Bell.

Estre gained a position at the start and immediately started to hunt down the yellow BMWs. Caca Bueno was the first to give in under the pressure as he made a small mistake.

Atila Abreu followed shortly after, but with the Attempto Racing crew delivering a slow pit stop, the McLaren fell back to P3.

Rob Bell couldn’t catch Valdeno Brito in the No. 77 BMW and consolidated his third position, separating both Brazilian cars.

“This result is better than we expected”, Atila Abreu said. “If you told me yesterday we would have two second places I wouldn’t have believed you.

“The team did a great job, as we were able to pass the McLaren again in the pit.”

Nick Catsburg was the man on the move in the second part of the 60-minute race.

After taking over the No. 88 Reiter Engineering from Albert von Thurn und Taxis, he rejoined the track in seventh and went on to overtake Markus Winkelhock’s Phoenix Audi and Craig Dolby’s MRS Nissan, finishing eighth and sixth, respectively.

The Phoenix Racing Audi dropped back as it incurred a five-second time penalty for not respecting the track limits.

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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