R-Motorsport scored a maiden Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe victory in the second race at the Nürburgring on Sunday afternoon, taking advantage when the two leading Belgian Audi Club Team WRT cars collided.
Teammates Ezequiel Perez Companc and Charles Weerts, driving the Nos. 1 and 2 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos, came together at the first corner with 15 minutes remaining, allowing Ricky Collard to move through into the lead.
Collard remained out front of the rest of the race, taking the No. 76 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, which he shares with Marvin Kirchhoefer, to victory.
It was R-Motorsport’s first Blancpain GT sprint win and only second overall after the Jota/Arden-run squad took victory in the Endurance Cup round at Silverstone last year.
Collard crossed the line 1.6 seconds ahead of Sainteloc Racing’s Simon Gachet, who finished as the unlikely highest-placed Audi driver when Perez Companc and Weerts had to retire their WRT cars.
The two championship protagonist cars finished third and fourth, with Race 1 winners Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli holding onto a podium finish in third for Orange 1 FFF Racing Team while Black Falcon’s Maro Engel and Luca Stolz came home fourth.
This narrowly increased the Italian pairing’s lead in both the combined Blancpain GT and GT World Challenge Europe sprint tables heading into next weekend’s GT World Challenge Europe finale at the Hungaroring.
Those two cars swapped positions in the pit lane, with the FFF Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo able to get past Black Falcon’s Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Engel was third before the stops, with Caldarelli fifth, while Dries Vanthoor was leading in the No. 1 Audi he went on to hand over to Perez Companc.
First lap drama effectively ended Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril’s distant title hopes when Marciello had a coming-together with David Perel. Both drivers got going again.
WRT did have some saving grace despite its intra-team clash, with Oscar Tunjo and Rik Breukers claiming the Silver Cup win from sixth overall, meanwhile.
Pro-Am honors went to Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini, while Wolfgang Triller and Florian Scholze took another Am Cup class win.
RESULTS: Race 2