The #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes of Dominik Baumann and Max Buhk stormed through the field on the opening lap to win the Blancpain Sprint Cup’s Main Race at the Hungaroring Circuit, denying AKKA ASP the win from pole for the second race running.
“The start was not brilliant, I was on the outside and I saw Vautier and Ide touch each other,” said Buhk after the race. “The contact allowed me to gain something at Turn 2 when they went wide. From then on it was a joy to drive.
Finishing five seconds back after defending hard was Laurens Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch’s #1 WRT Audi, after Vanthoor had to hold off Qualifying Race winner Chris Mies in the #33 WRT sister Audi which came home third.
Fourth was the #28 WRT Audi of Will Stevens and Rene Rast, ahead of the pole-sitting AKKA ASP Mercedes of Felix Rosenqvist and Tristain Vautier which lost the lead heading into Turn 2 on the first lap.
The start was frantic, with both the #33 and #1 WRT Audis trying to take the lead AMG GT of Vautier into Turn 1. But Vautier wouldn’t give in, and rubbed doors with Vervisch heading into Turn 2 resulting in contact which allowed Buhk to squeeze past and take a clear lead in the run down to Turn 5.
After that the race settled down, following a full-course yellow period due to the #58 Garage 59 McLaren being stranded, Buhk took. It was a very messy FCY period though, which was called too late by the organisers, who left the corner at double-waved yellows while a snatch vehicle pulled across the circuit while the leaders came through.
“I must say that the truck was on the track at Turn 4 during the yellow, it was really dangerous,” Buhk pointed out after the race.
When the race went green, Vervisch and Enzo Ide scrapped for second place, with Vervisch taking the place running side-by-side down the pit straight with 44 left. Vautier sat fourth, with Bernd Schneider’s HTP Mercedes fifth, and Frank Stippler’s Audi sixth.
Further down the order Rob Bell was on a charge. The overall Blancpain GT Series points leader made a series of moves at the start to get up to 10th from 17th on the grid, before managing to make a move on Dries Vanthoor’s Audi for ninth spot before the stops.
It was a great stint from the Brit, though it would come to nothing as Alvaro Parente would eventually finish 17th after a setback in the pits cost them time, not good for the duo, who led the Blancpain Sprint Drivers Championship coming into the weekend and lost it to Mies and Ide after failing to score in the Qualifying Race.
After the stops, the leading AKKA ASP Mercedes would slip to fifth, allowing the Will Stevens to score a fourth place finish in the #28 car, resulting in a WRT 2-3-4 in the race which featured five Audis in the top ten.
Baumann in the leading HTP Mercedes cruised to the line while Vanthoor held off Mies and Stevens held off Rosenqvist for second and fourth respectively.
Sixth was the #86 HTP Mercedes with the #26 Sainteloc Audi of Christopher Haase seventh. Hasse inherited the place after Marlon Stockinger in the #74 ISR Audi had an off with 20 minutes remaining, which demoted him from seventh to 11th before he later pitted and crossed the line 25th.
Winning the Silver Cup class was the #2 WRT Audi of Stuart Leonard and Michael Meadows, which finished just outside the top 10 in 11th. The #89 AKKA ASP Mercedes won the Pro Am class, while the #111 Kessel Ferrari took the win in Am after David Perel collided with Rino Mastronardi’s AF Corse Ferrari 458 at Turn 1 which acted as a lead change in the final 15 minutes.
The final round of the 2016 Blancpain Sprint Cup season is set for the 1st and 2nd of October at Barcelona.