Brands Hatch sweep for GRT after dominant Main Race win

Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhardt were simply unstoppable in the No. 63 GRT Lamborghini, and they challenged the close conventions of short racing in GT3 by winning the Main Race of the Blancpain GT Sprint Cup at Brands Hatch for a huge margin of more than 20 seconds.

Once the race was on the No. 63 GRT Lamborghini secured first place while the sister No. 19 car settled for second, and to worsen things for the ROWE Racing side, the No. 98 was third and the No. 99 lost fourth place to the No. 88 AKKA-ASP Mercedes. While that the No. 75 ISR Audi was sent to a spin and stayed stuck in the gravel trap. A stopped car in the outside of a corner isn't exactly secure, so the Safety Car was called to track with just three minutes of racing.

12 minutes into the race and the restart came and the No. 63 GRT car opened the gap as the No. 19 acted as the shield. With so many cars bunched up, Felix Serralles brought the No. 88 car to third, and while the ROWE BMWs were side by side, Ben Barnicoat in the No. 58 Strakka McLaren was glued into their backs waiting for an opportunity to pass, and this came two laps later as he passed the No. 99 ROWE BMW for fifth place.

Once the pit window opened most of the leaders were in, and Grässer Racing's shielding ended as the No. 19 car stalled when was ready to leave the pitlane due to a broken driveshaft. Another car of the leading that was eliminated was the No. 99 ROWE BMW due to contact which stopped them just past the pits. When pit window closed the No. 63 was without shielding, but the messed up events in the middle of the field brought a gap of 20 seconds to the No. 17 WRT Audi.

With the first two cars simply too distant to see any moves happen, the action was seen from the third place as Will Stevens in the No. 2 WRT Audi was holding a considerable group behind him, with the No. 85 HTP Mercedes immediately behind while the No. 98 ROWE BMW, the No. 5 WRT Audi and the No. 84 HTP Mercedes some meters back, but the nature of the circuit simply didn't let anything happen, specially with HTP opting for the championship instead of in-race progress.

The No. 85 HTP Mercedes took the Silver Cup win and the No. 333 Rinaldi Ferrari completed the Brands Hatch sweep in the Pro-Am Cup with another win.

Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhardt lead the Blancpain GT Series with 61 points against 56 of Maximilian Buhk and Franck Perera, while their places in the Blancpain GT Sprint Cup standings are reversed, as Buhk and Perera lead with 41 points while Bortolotti and Engelardt have 36 points.

Next meeting will be on May 14th at Silverstone for the Blancpain GT Endurance, while Sprint Cup returns only on June 4th at Zolder, Belgium.

PHOTO: Blancpain GT Series