The Mercedes side somehow compensated for losing in the pit stops the Blancpain GT Sprint Qualifying Race at Hungaroring by holding an on-fire WRT squad on its key point, although the ones responsible for that were the HTP Motorsport team thanks to the events in the first lap, which opened the way for Maximilian Buhk and Dominik Baumann their second Blancpain GT win in the season.
The start was all about defending for Enzo Ide, but Tristan Vautier in the No. 88 AKKA-ASP Mercedes tried a late brake maneuver in the first corner, which left an opening for a full WRT attack with the No. 1 and the No. 33 Audis, and while the leading trio seemed to go a bit overboard with its defending tactics, the HTP Motorsport joined the show with the Mercedes Nos. 84 & 86, and the 84 one took advantage of the mess along with the lead.
Crowded packs sometimes lead to some sort of disaster, and the McLaren No. 59 from Garage 59 was one of the involved, as it joined the barriers with the No. 5 Phoenix Racing Audi, ending the races of Martin Plowman and Nicolaj Moller Madsen and bringing the first full course yellow.
Green flag came back only with 15 minutes of racing, and as in the Qualifying Race the leading Mercedes took a good lead while Frederic Vervisch in the No. 1 WRT Audi passed Enzo Ide in the No. 33 WRT Audi for second place. We had 8 minutes with any significant changes until the engine of the No. 100 Attempto Racing Lamborghini said goodbye to Jeroen Mul and the car stopped in the grass a bit after the start/finish line, calling out a local yellow flag, with indications of oil on track.
Different from Saturday, all the frontrunners went to early pit stops,a nd the No. 84 HTP Mercedes conquered a personal victory as they kept the lead against the quick pit strategy from WRT, with Laurens Vanthoor leaving the pits with the risk of getting an unsafe release penalty when side by side with a Lamborghini Huracán from Grässer Racing.
Although Christopher Mies started his stint with a hard charge, he still had Vanthoor ahead of him, and with none of them pushing enough to challenge Dominik Baumann, positions stayed the same for a long time. Mies still tried a last push into Vanthoor but simply couldn’t find an opening to overtake, so Baumann just kept going away from them, eventually getting the checkered flag for HTP Motorsport while the WRT contenders completed the overall podium.
As a relief today, WRT conquered the Silver Cup victory with the No. 5 Audi, while AKKA-ASP made a 1-2 in the Pro-Am class with Mercedes Nos. 89 & 87, while the No. 111 Kessel Racing Ferrari took the Am Cup win.
Now we go to a three week stop until the next Blancpain GT meeting, as the full Nürburgring GP circuit will host the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup finale on September 17th-18th.
PHOTO: Blancpain GT Series