Qualifying Race Brands Hatch : Dominant win for Vanthoor and Frijns

10 May 2015 Qualifying Race Brands Hatch : Dominant win for Vanthoor and Frijns

Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns dominated the Qualifying Race for the Brands Hatch round of the 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series. With the #1 Audi they finished the race with a 26 seconds advantage over the #77 BMW of Valdeno Brito and Atila Abreu, with the #73 Nissan of Craig Dolby and Sean Walkinshaw close behind. The win in Silver Cup went to the #83 Bentley of Lombard and Szymkowiak, with the #70 Mercedes of Schneider and Karachev taking top spot in the Pro-Am category.

Sunny conditions for the qualifying race in Brands Hatch, with Laurens Vanthoor resisting pressure from Nick Catsburg in the #88 Lamborghini during the opening lap. Catsburg was able to stay close to the Belgian for a couple of laps, but halfway through the opening stint Vanthoor managed to create a gap. The positions remained constant until the pitstops, with Robin Frijns taking over from Vanthoor and holding on to the lead.

Behind, Albert von Thurn and Taxis came out of pitlane in second position, but the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini driver was penalized with a drive-through for speeding in pitlane. That made him drop to 8th and promoted Enzo Ide in the #2 Belgian Audi Club R8 to second. The Belgian came quickly under pressure from both BMW of BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil, both of them gaining a position during the pitstops by passing the #73 Nissan of MRS GT Racing. Atila Abreu in the #77 BMW tried to take second away from Ide, but had to defend his own position to Sean Walkinshaw in the #73 Nissan, who had passed Caca Bueno in the #0 BMW.

With Kevin Estre in the #55 Attempto Racing McLaren adding his wagon to this little train as well, the fight for positions two to six – five cars separated by less than two seconds – became the focus of attention of the many spectators on the Brands Hatch grandstands. Ide held on to his position and crossed the line in second, with Abreu and Walkinshaw hot on his heels. After the race the Audi-duo was penalized with a drive-through for a pitstop infringement (converted in a 30 second addition to their race time), which made them drop to 9th in the results.

In Silver Cup Jules Szymkowiak and Olivier Lombard had little trouble in keeping the class lead in their in #83 Bentley Team HTP Continental and tried to gain as many overall positions as possible. A spin after a contact with an Audi made the Bentley duo drop to 13th overall. They were classified one position higher than the #70 GT Russian Team Mercedes of Bernd Schneider and Alexey Karachev, who took the win in Pro-Am, despite coming to a halt during the last lap.

The Main Race starts at 15.25, and can be followed live on our official website or through the new app.