Heico Gravity-Charouz Team wins Nogaro race 2

On a foggy Nogaro circuit Heico Gravity-Charouz Team won the second race of the FIA GT3 European Championship. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Maximilian Buhk and Dominik Baumann took the lead during the mandatory pit stops and maintained that lead until the finish of the race.

At the start Dino Lunardi passed his teammate Gregory Guilvert, but soon the Sainteloc Racing Audi’s swapped positions again. Baumann closed in on Lunardi and a lap later the Mercedes driver passed Lunardi as well. On lap 7 Lunardi also lost a position to AF Corse driver Giuseppe Ciro, but just before the pitstops the Frenchman moved back ahead of the Ferrari.

During the pit stops Heico Gravity-Charouz Team’s Maximilian Buhk took the lead and rejoined ahead of the two Sainteloc Racing Audi’s. Jerome Demay came back on the track in front of Marc Sourd, but the experienced French driver immediately put pressure on his young compatriot. That pressure was gone when Demay was given a drive-through penalty for crossing the white line at the pit entry. The AF Corse Ferrari of Michael Lyons and Stefano Gai was given the same penalty.

With fifteen minutes left in the race Buhk was sixteen seconds clear of the rest of the field. Behind him several teams were fighting for the remaining podium places. Gaetano Ardagna Perez managed to pass the Mercedes of Maxi Nilsson and then opened the attack on Marc Sourd’s Audi. A couple of minutes later the Ferrari went side-by-side with the Audi, but Sourd kept Ardagna Perez behind. On his next attempt Ardagna Perez was successful and moved into second place.

Despite the drive-through Ardagna Perez’ teammate Lyons was still in fifth place, still confident of scoring a top result. Nilsson made a mistake that promoted Lyons to fourth and in the penultimate lap he managed to pass Sourd and claim third place. Unfortunately there was no time left to overtake his teammate as the chequered flag came out.

After 40 rounds Buhk crossed the line in first place just over half a minute ahead of Ardagna Perez and Lyons. The difference between the two Ferrari team mates on the line was only two tenths of a second.