It was victories for the home drivers at the Blancpain Sprint at Brands Hatch last weekend as Will Stevens took the win in race 1 and Stuart Leonard took the honours in race 2.
Stevens co-driver Dries Vanthoor started race one from pole driving the number 2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS and had created a small gap from the chasing pack by the pit stop. Stevens found his stint a little more difficult as the number 66 Attempto Racing Audi of Kelvin van der Linde, as well as the number 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi of Christopher Mies and the number 88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes of Raffaele Marciello closed in on him and harried him to the end.
The British driver resisted the pressure to take the win whilst behind him van der Linde dropped through the pack on the final lap after a slow puncture nearly had him off at Paddock Hill Bend. Christopher Mies and Alex Riberas made it a one-two for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT while the Marciello/Michael Meadows Mercedes took the final podium place.
In race two it was more success for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT as Stuart Leonard and Frederic Vervisch took the win. Following a similar pattern to the first race, Vervisch started from pole and led to the pit stop before Leonard brought the car home. Mies and Riberas took P2 for the second time although a radio problem meant Riberas couldn’t hear warnings from the team that he was close to a drive through penalty for repeatedly breaching the track limits at turn 3. Riberas eventually got the message and backed off allowing Leonard a clean run to the flag.
Having finished race one in P8, Kelvin van der Linde and Steijn Schothorst made up for the late disappointment by taking the final spot on the podium. With Audi filling the podium it was up to the number 88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes of Raffaele Marciello and Michael Meadows to take P4 with the team recovering from Marciello running across the gravel on the opening lap from the front row of the grid and, somewhat bizarrely, managing to hit the barrier on the way into the pit lane.
Photos by Jurek Biegus.
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