Vanthoor wins FIA GT World Cup Main Race after a flip

You can become history by winning a race in many ways possible, but the FIA GT World Cup Main Race had one of the most bizarre winners seen, as Laurens Vanthoor was on the top step of the podium even after a horrific crash and flip for the Audi of the Belgian driver.

Race is on and Laurens Vanthoor resists the pressure of the Porsches of Earl Bamber and Kevin Estre while Maro Engel was also following them closely. Drama started a bit later on Lap 2, with Australian Ricky Capo sending his BMW Z4 GT3 to the barriers, which called the first visit of the Safety Car to the track in this Main Race. The contenders kept going behind the Safety Car until Lap 4, when the red flag was brought as the interruption was needed to make extensive barrier repairs in the crash area.

The blocking move from Bamber in Engel brought a 5 second penalty to the Porsche driver, but due to limited track time for the race the penalty was converted into added time to Bamber’s final time. After 30 minutes stopped, the cars were back to action, now going for a timed race with only 15 minutes remaining.

Bamber needed the overtake into Vanthoor to neutralize the penalty and win the race and he did so into a nice slipstream maneuver, but once they past the Mandarin corner, Vanthoor’s Audi R8 LMS got unbalanced, slid with the rear end going first into the guard-rail and crashed heavily. The car’s speed was so high that it took air and flipped, keeping movement with its roof in the asphalt for a long time. Vanthoor was OK and left the car on his own power immediately, but the the back wing, the engine cover and a good chunk of the diffuser were ripped off, which is a scary aftermath.

Due to schedule problems and extensive track work due to the crash, the race control opted to not restart the race, basing the results in the last lap raced, which gave the win to the flipped Laurens Vanthoor, with only 4 laps raced only a single lap raced in green flag. Kevin Estre and Maro Engel jumped to second and third following Bamber’s penalty.

FIA GT World Cup – Main Race results

During the press conference, Vanthoor mentioned that it was very awkward to win the way he did, and he couldn't find more words to explain that. Both Vanthoor and Estre said that they would like to have given a better show to the spectators.

PHOTO: Audi Sport