The Blancpain GT Series is welcomed by the Italian night again as the Sprint Cup started with the Qualifying Race at Misano. In an impressive show of the Mercedes AMG GT3, HTP Motorsport made it a 1-2 finish with cars 84 and 85,
Once they passed the starting line the No. 66 Attempto Racing Lamborghini was holding the lead well, but once the cars passed the first five corners a massive crash took place in the middle of the field, taking out six cars at once, damaging a few more and brought the red flag with less than two minutes of racing.
After almost 20 minutes between course cleaning and Safety Car procedures the race was back and the No. 66 Attempto Lamborghini goes to the pits with no apparent reason, hading the lead to the No. 84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes. While that, a bit behind, HTP's sister No. 86 car got victim of a punt and spun on the first hairpin.
Initially it was time for Mirko Bortolotti to shine in the No. 63 GRT Lamborghini as he was closing the gap to Maximilian Buhk, but then he had to worry with Raffaelle Marcielo and Rob Bell closing in from 3rd and 4th places, but although both had the pace, they failed to capitalize the overtakes.
Once the Pit Window period got closed the lead stayed with the No. 84 HTP Mercedes but its direct contenders were all passed by the No. 85 HTP Mercedes, and while the podium places appeared to be secure, the No. 63 GRT Lamborghini had a hard time holding the No. 59 Strakka McLaren as the No. 7 M-SPORT Bentley was getting closer to the fight.
Andrew Watson was trying to find a way with his 59 to overtake Christian Engelhart in the 63, and with four minutes to go he found it before the last corner, but once the fighting cars went three-wide with the No. 24 REITER Young Stars Gallardo they got tangled and out of the track, leaving the fourth place for the No. 7 M-SPORT Bentley. Unlike the mess described, the top three Mercedes went until the finish in a clean way as Franck Perera crossed the finish line with the No. 84 HTP Mercedes. Behind the HTP pair, the No. 90 AKKA-ASP Mercedes completed the overall podium.
Pro-Am Cup honors went to the No. 11 Kessel Racing Ferrari.Blancpain GT Sprint Cup - Misano - Qual. Race Results