Another Double For Belgian Audi Club Team WRT
Having won the first race on Sunday Laurens Vanthoor and Stephane Ortelli also won the second race of the FIA GT1 World Championship. In the Championship Race at the Circuit Paul Armagnac in Nogaro the two Audi’s were in a league of their own. The other teams were unable to challenge the two Audi R8 LMS ultra’s.
Both Audi’s had a good start, but Toni Vilander still managed to get his Ferrari 458 Italia in between Ortelli and Stippler. Frédéric Makowiecki in the #1 Hexis Racing McLaren MP4-12C GT3 managed to get from 17th to 9th place on the first lap, but it was the only highlight for Hexis as Makowiecki retired after just four laps with electronical problems. The second Hexis McLaren retired just after the mandatory round of pitstops, making it a weekend to forget for the French squad.
After eight laps Vilander was just over a second behind Ortelli, but the race director decided to give the Finn a drive-through penalty for a false start. Mike Parisy in the Exim Bank Team China Porsche was given the same penalty – whilst being in fourth place. As a result the two Belgian Audi Club Team WRT’s were back in first and second.
Enzo Ide moved up into third place as Vilander and Parisy came in to serve their penalties, closely followed by the two All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport Mercedes. By lap 15 Ide made a mistake, allowing Basseng to finally pass the young Belgian.
Ortelli was the first of the leaders to make his mandatory stop after 19 laps, teammate Frank Stippler stayed out for two more laps. These two laps turned out to be just enough for Stippler’s co-driver Oliver Jarvis to return right in front of Laurens Vanthoor and take the lead of the race. The two All-Inkl.com cars returned in third and fourth place.
What then followed was a fight between the two Audi teammates. After 25 laps Vanthoor made his first serious attempt to overtake Jarvis, but after passing the British driver on the inside, he overshot the corner and Jarvis moved back into the lead. Four laps later Vanthoor made another attempt and passed Jarvis. Vanthoor immediately pulled away and the #32 Audi R8 LMS ultra disappeared on the horizon.
In the remaining laps Markus Winkelhock managed to close the gap to Jarvis, but he was unable to pass the Audi and as a result the race ended in another Audi 1-2 victory. All-Inkl finished in third and fourth.
(Image: © Markus Berns / SRO)