28 July 2018

Bentley leads at the three-hour mark

Bentley leads at the three-hour mark

Eleven minutes before the two-hour mark, the race director called a first Full Course Yellow, as a consequence of the #89 Akka ASP Team Mercedes-AMG hitting the tyre barriers at the exit of Raidillon. The leaders in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Am Cup standings now face a long fight back up the order.

Most of the leaders took advantage of the FCY-period – which later evolved into a Safety Car-situation – to take a second pit stop. The order at the front did not change however, with the #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin still leading from the #2 Audi Sport Team WRT R8 and the #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini. Dominik Baumann in the Aston Martin managed to create a couple of seconds advantage during the third hour of the race.

The second half of the top-10 saw some furious action as well, with plenty of overtaking. The #72 SMP Racing Ferrari was the first to fall behind, when Mikhail Aleshin’s was spun round and suffered a puncture.

Meanwhile, Vincent Abril (#8 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental) joined the fight for the virtual podium positions, closing the gap towards the #63 Lamborghini of Christian Engelhart. The Grasser machine took its third pitstop just before the three-hour mark, quickly followed by the #62 Aston Martin and the #2 Audi.

With another Full Course Yellow-period called just before the three-hour mark, after the #97 Oman Racing Aston Martin hit the tyre barriers when exiting Combes, the #8 Bentley was actually leading proceedings.

After three hours of racing, the Silver Cup was still led by the #54 Emil Frey Jaguar, although it only had a 1.4 sec advantage over the #111 Aust Motorsport Audi.

In Pro-Am, the second placed #175 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG lost valuable time when Kenny Habul spun the car coming out of the so-called Speakers’ Corner, fortunately without damaging the car. After three hours of racing the Pro-Am class was lead by the #49 RAM Racing Mercedes, the polesitter of the category.

Due to an earlier pitstop for the #188 Garage 59 McLaren, the Am Cup lead at 7.30pm was in the hands of the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini, with the #488 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari close behind. In Groupe National the GDL Racing Lamborghini was still leading the SpeedLover Porsche.