Weekend round-up: VLN, Blancpain GT, GT Open, ADAC GT

A full racing schedule last weekend at the European circuits. The VLN had their fourth round of the championship, while the Blancpain GT Sprint Series went to Moscow. The International GT Open was at the Red Bull Ring, while the ADAC GT Masters raced at the Lausitzring.

VLN – 46. Adenauer ADAC Worldpeace Trophy

It was very hot at the Nurburgring, with temperatures rising above 30 degrees. It became a special day for Team Walkenhorst Motorsport, taking their first victory in the VLN championship.

The win of the Team Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3, driven by Felipe Fernandes Laser, Jesse Krohn and Michele Cerruti, meant the second victory for a woman at the Nurburgring. The only woman before Cerruti, was Sabine Schmitz. Behind them, the Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R of Peter Dumbreck and Alexandre Imperatori finished in second, while Klaus Abbelen, Patrick Huisman and Sabine Schmitz in the Frikadelli Racing Porsche 911 GT3R finished third. The brand-new Mercedes AMG GT3 made its debut at the Adenauer ADAC Worldpeace Trophy with a pole position, but after one hour of racing the car had to make an unexpected pitstop for repairs, ruining their chances for victory.

Top 5 overall classification

1 #36 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 (M. Cerutti/F. F. Laser/J. Krohn)
2 #4 Falken Motorsports Porsche 997 GT3R (‘Gerwin’/M. Metzger)
3 #30 Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3R (P. Huisman/K. Abbelen/S. Schmitz)
4 #154 Wochenspiegel Team Manthey Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (G. Weiss/J. Krumbach/O. Kainz)
5 #92 Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MR (C. Breuer/M. Christensen/R. Lietz)

Blancpain GT Sprint Series – Moscow Raceway

It was a good day for Reiter Engineering and Bentley Team HTP at the Moscow Raceway. The #88 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo won the qualifying race, while the #84 Team HTP Bentley Continental won the main race of the Blancpain GT Sprint Series in Russia.

The qualifying race was a dominant performance from Nick Catsburg and Albert von Thurn und Taxis in the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini. The duo led the whole race and took the team’s first win since 2013. Behind, the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari of Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried finished the race in second after taking that position early in the race. Third position was taken by the #84 Bentley Team HTP Bentley of Maxi Bukh and Vincent Abril, after fighting their way up from eight on the grid.

Qualifying race: Top 5 overall classification

1 #88 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 R-EX (N. Catsburg/A. Von Thurn und Taxis)
2 #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia (N. Siedler/M. Seefried)
3 #84 Bentley Team HTP Bentley Continental GT3 (V. Abril/M. Bukh)
4 #0 BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil BMW Z4 GT3 (C. Bueno/S. Jimenez)
5 #2 WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra (E. Ide/C. Mies)

The main race was very short for the #88 Reiter Engineering Bentley, as they had a collision at the first turn and had to retire. The #84 Team HTP Bentley took the lead right at the start and Abril and Bukh never had to look back. The race for second was decided in pit lane. The #6 Phoenix Racing Audi took second place at the pitstops, but an unsafe release dropped them down. It handed second to the #77 Team Brasil BMW Z4 GT3 of Atila Abreu and Valdano Brito, while the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari of Seefried and Siedler.

Main race: Top 5 overall classification

1 #84 Bentley Team HTP Bentley Continental GT3 (V. Abril/M. Bukh)
2 #77 BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil BMW Z4 GT3 (V. Brito/A. Abreu)
3 #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia (N. Siedler/M. Seefried)
4 #3 WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra (S. Richelmi/S. Ortelli)
5 #1 WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra (R. Frijns/L. Vanthoor)

International GT Open – Österreichring

The International GT Open raced at the Österreichring last weekend. The #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and the #90 car from the same team proved to be victorious in the Austrian hills.

Pasin Lathouras and Michele Rugolo started the first race from pole position in their #51 AF Corse Ferrari. The #16 AERT Lamborghini Gallardo followed the Ferrari closely during the first stint, and took the lead after the mandatory driver changes, where the Ferrari had to serve a ten-second handicap. The AERT Lamborghini and the AF Corse Ferrari followed each other for several laps, but in the 39th lap, Lathouras passed the Lamborghini to win the first race of the weekend.

Round 7 – Top 5 overall classification

1 #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (P. Lathouras/M. Rugolo)
2 #16 AERT Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 (A. Nebylitskiy/A. Barba)
3 #3 Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (A. Balzan/N. Benucci)
4 #90 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (E. Pérez Companc/R. Giammaria)
5 #2 Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren 650S (M. Ramos/Á. Parente)

The #2 Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren of Álvaro Parente started the second race from pole, but a poor start gave the lead to the #3 Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari, followed by the #90 AF Corse Ferrari. Parente took second from AF Corse’s Raffaele Giammaria. The pitstops proved to be decisive. The #3 Scuderia Villorba Corse Ferrari did not return to action with a battery failure, while the #90 AF Corse Ferrari rejoined the track in front of the #2 Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren, giving Giammaria and Ezequiel Perez Companc their third victory of the season.

Round 8 – Top 5 overall classification

1 #90 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (E. Perez Companc/R. Giammaria)
2 #2 Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren 650S (M. Ramos/Á. Parente)
3 #52 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (D. Cameron/M. Griffin)
4 #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (P. Lathouras/M. Rugolo)
5 #56 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia (G. Roda)

ADAC GT Masters – Lausitzring

Just like the VLN, the ADAC GT Masters had its fourth round of the season under very hot conditions. The #80 Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 and the #21 Team Zakspeed Mercedes SLS GT3 divided the wins at the Lausitzring.

Despite having stopped the race for almost an hour, the #36 Schütz Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R of Martin Ragginger maintained the lead after starting from pole. He kept the lead for the whole first stint, but when teammate Klaus Bachler rejoined, he found himself behind both of the Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3’s. The #80 Team Schubert BMW of Jens Klingmann and Dominik Baumann drove away from the #19 Schubert BMW of Claudia Hürtgen and Uwe Alzen, who finished the race in third. Harold Proczyk and Allan Simonsen in the #47 HP Racing Mercedes passed the #19 in the last lap to finish second.

Round 7: Top 5 overall classification

1 #80 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 (J. Klingmann/D. Baumann)
2 #47 HP Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (H. Proczyk/A. Simonsen)
3 #19 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 (C. Hürtgen/U. Alzen)
4 #21 Team Zakspeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (L. Ludwig/S. Asch)
5 #36 Schütz Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (K. Bachler/M. Ragginger)

Championship leaders Luca Ludwig and Sebastian Asch started the second race from pole in their #21 Team Zakspeed Mercedes. The #66 Callaway Competition Corvette of Daniel Keilwitz took the lead from the start and held it until the driver changes. In the 26th lap, the Zakspeed Mercedes was able to pass the Callaway Competition Corvette to win its second race of the season by a margin of 2.6 seconds. The fight for third place was very exciting and won by the #36 Schütz Motorsport Porsche of Klaus Bachler and Martin Ragginger.

Round 8: Top 5 overall classification

1 #21 Team Zakspeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (L. Ludwig/S. Asch)
2 #66 Callaway Competition Corvette Z06.R GT3 (D. Keilwitz/A. Wirth)
3 #36 Schütz Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (K. Bachler/M. Ragginger)
4 #80 BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 (J. Klingmann/D. Baumann)
5 #100 MS Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra (D. Dobitsch/E. Sandström)

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Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.

Bjorn Smit

Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.