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Mikkel Mac Takes International GT Open Championship In Barcelona

Onslow-Cole and Pierburg take the PRO-AM title on count back

Rik Breukers took victory in the final race for the #25 Imperiale Lamborghini team, while Mikkel Mac took victory in the overall championship race by finishing second.

As the 60-minute race began, pole-sitter Fran Rueda (#47 Teo Martin BMW) lead the way, while Alessandro Pier Guidi moved up to third at the expense of Marcio Basso in the #7 Teo Martin BMW. Basso dropped through the order, having started the race instead of Guilherme Salas, who qualified the car.

Having started way ahead of where he’d normally be, Basso struggled in the early going. On lap two, at the exit of turn 7, Basso lost control of the car and backed the M6 GT3 into the barriers. This triggered a safety car.

The safety car only stayed out for one lap, releasing the cars just after the eight-minute mark of the race. On the first flying lap, second place Giovanni Venturini (#63 Imperiale Lamborghini) dived to the inside of Rueda at turn 5, making a gap to take the lead of the race. With Pier Guidi in third, Rueda was not in championship-winning position even while in the lead, but it would be extra pressure for the Spanish driver having the title-leading Ferrari in his mirrors.

With 20 minutes in the books, Venturini had built a 3.7 second lead over Rueda, who was holding second from Pier Guidi. The Italian sat directly beneath the rear wing of the BMW M6.
The pit window opened with 24 minutes of the race completed, and Rueda immediately pitted to hand over the #47 Teo Martin BMW to Andrés Saravia. Pier Guidi came in at the next opportunity to hand over to Mikkel Mac, who exited the pits with well over a half-dozen seconds over Andres Saravia.

Seconds before the end of the pit window, Damiano Fioravanti (#12 Ombra Racing Lamborghini) made a bold braking move at La Caixa. It proved too bold, as the Lamborghini made contact with the #3 Teo Martin BMW of Lourenço Beirão da Veiga. Fioravanti stopped just off-track, while the Teo Martin BMW retired in pitlane.

Once the race had reset itself following the pit window, Mac was leading the race ahead of Rik Breukers. Christian Hahn (#36 Drivex Mercedes) was third as PRO-AM leader, with Saravia in fourth.

Breukers was visually faster than Mac – however, the Dane held on, and defended his position hard at turn five with fourteen minutes to go. However, on the next lap, they touch and Breukers forces his way by. Mac is forced to yield and accept second, but since he was still ahead of Saravia, not only would the Dane win the title, but increase his gap in the points table too.

Further back, Tom Onslow-Cole had picked away at the field after receiving the #20 SPS Automotive Mercedes from Valentin Pierburg to move up to third in PRO-AM. Conversely, the #27 Daiko Lazarus Lamborghini, which led the championship before the start of the race, was driven by Fabrizio Crestani and only sat sixth.

Rik Breukers crossed the line after 60 minutes to take victory, 5.2 seconds clear of Mikkel Mac, who sealed the championship with a 12 point score. Christian Hahn finished third overall and took PRO-AM victory, while Andrés Saravia took the third spot in the PRO class.

Onslow-Cole retained third in PRO-AM, while Crestani took fifth after a penalty for Jiatong Liang in the #19 Imperiale Lamborghini. This result put Crestani and teammate Miguel Ramos on an equal 78 points with Tom Onslow-Cole and Valentin Pierburg, however, the SPS Mercedes duo would ultimately be rewarded the title on count back, having taken more victories across the season than the Daiko Lazarus team.

In AM, the #91 Target Racing Lamborghini of Stefano Constantini took the win, ahead of championship winners Andrzej Lewandowski and Giulio Borlenghi in the #66 Sospiri Racing Lamborghini.

When all was said and done, Mikkel Mac had 124 points to the 114 of Andrés Saravia and Fran Rueda in the #47 Teo Martin BMW. Meanwhile, the other half of the #51 Luzich Racing Ferrari line-up Alessandro Pier Guidi took third in the title with 108 points, having missed the Paul Ricard round of the season earlier in the year.

International GT Open will now go on winter break, before the season begins at Paul Ricard on April 27-28 2019.