Kelvin van der Linde and Steijn Schothorst have taken their first Blancpain GT Series wins in Race 2 at Zolder on Sunday while also giving Attempto Racing its first series victory after drive-through penalties took rivals out of contention.
The Attempto drivers started from third on the grid in the No. 66 Audi R8 LMS GT3 but soon moved into second when the South African passed Will Stevens into the first corner.
He remained in position for the rest of his stint and Schothorst exited the pit stops still second but benefitted from drive-through penalties for Dries Vanthoor.
The young Belgian lost his lead shortly after taking over the No. 2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT car from Stevens to a drive-through penalty for leaving the pits in an ‘inappropriate manner’, by hitting cones at the end of the pit lane.
He was soon awarded another drive-through penalty after forcing Sainteloc Racing’s Simon Gachet off into the gravel on the exit of Turn 1.
Schothorst took the lead as a result and finished the race 6.980 seconds ahead of Michael Meadows who was second in the No. 88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Attempto’s first series win comes on the team’s maiden race weekend with Audi machinery.
“Kelvin did a great job at the start by getting ahead of Will for P2 and then drove a very strong stint,” commented Schothorst.
“There was not much in front of me or behind me during my stint, so I was able to focus on my own race and bring it home for the win.
“It’s a great way to start the season – I couldn’t have wished for much more!”
Grasser Racing Team’s Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart were unable to sweep the weekend after starting from pole because of a delay in the driver change pit stops and a drive-through penalty.
The No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 entered the pits with an eight-second lead but a problem with the seatbelts lost it time before Bortolotti served a penalty for the team having personnel in the working area after the car had been released.
Grasser did manage a podium finish with its No. 19 car of Ezequiel Perez Companc and Andrea Caldarelli, meanwhile, after running near the front of the field for the entire race.
Contact at the first corner affected several cars including the No. 82 Grasser Lamborghini and No. 1 WRT Audi, while Franck Perera was forced to come into the pits with a snapped rear-right axle.
TP 12 Kessel Racing repeated its Pro-Am Cup class win with its Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Carlo van Dam and Piti Bhirombhakdi.
Van Dam started from fourth on the grid and ran near the top of the overall standings throughout his stint.
Silver Cup honors went to Gilles Magnus and Alessio Picariello in the No. 3 WRT Audi, also sweeping the weekend.
RESULTS: Race 2