WRT gets first win of the season after tight Zolder Qualifying Race


A Dutch-British pair carried the Belgian flag to a home race win as Robin Frijns and Stuart Leonard in the No. 17 WRT Audi won from green to checkered the Blancpain GT Sprint Cup Qualifying Race at Zolder while holding constant Mercedes threats through the race.

The green flag was out and the crashes were on as a little push in the back from the No. 74 ISR Audi triggered a chain reaction that sent the No. 43 Strakka McLaren and the winning No. 63 GRT Lamborghini straight into the home straight wall, ending both races and bringing the Safety Car in. To clean the whole mess and tow both cars 10 minutes were needed and then the race was properly on green.

Once the race got back it was typical Zolder traffic jam as the No. 59 Strakka McLaren was on full pressure over the leading No. 17 WRT Audi but was having to worry with the No. 90 AKKA-ASP Mercedes and the No. 84 HTP Mercedes right behind as a single mistake could give the position or bring chaos again. Although defending his position well, Andrew Watson had to bring the No. 59 to serve a drive through, losing the position in the rulebook as the McLaren 650S GT3 was out of position on the formation lap at the start line.

Since the penalty for the No. 59 things kept the same in the top 3 pack as the No. 17 was leading the Nos. 90 and 84, and so it was after the pit window, with Stuart Leonard having to continue the good work of Robin Frijns in the Audi while Leonard's former team mate Michael Meadows needed to keep pushing as Raffaele Marciello did in the No. 90 and Franck Perera took the wheel of the No. 84 from Maximilian Buhk.

From the pit window end on the 35th minute the Meadows was gaining on Leonard and eliminating the 2.5 second gap between them, and while that the gap between the No. 98 ROWE BMW and the No. 27 Lazarus Lamborghini got sim0ply too close as they had some contact that ended with Gustavo Yacaman in the No. 27 pushing Markkus Palttala in the No. 98 to a spin, and this resulted in a stop and go penalty for “Mr. Yac Attack”.

The second and third placed Mercedes weren't gaining on the No. 17 Audi and worse than that, the No. 2 WRT Audi and the No. 75 ISR Audi were closing in and joining a multi-car podium battle. To spice things up, the No. 84 received a drive through penalty in the highest point of Perera's charge due to the engine being started while the Mercedes AMG GT3 was still in the jacks during the pit stop, leaving Meadows as a lone Mercedes trapped between three Audis.

The track itself didn't give many opportunities to a change of position between the top 4 but once the No. 2 started attacking the No. 90 in the final moments, it created the gap for Leonard to breathe more and bring the No. 17 to the win, a very welcome first in the season for WRT.


The Silver Cup was dominated by David Fumanelli and Lewis Williamson in the No. 42 Strakka McLaren, while the No. 39 Kessel TP12 Ferrari counted with a penalty for the No. 333 Rinaldi Ferrari to win in the Pro-Am Cup.