Stefan Rosina held on under siege from local star Laurens Vanthoor to give himself, Peter Kox and the Lamborghini Blancpain Reiter team victory in the main race at Zolder on its first appearance in the FIA GT Series.
After Vanthoor and teammate Stephane Ortelli had won Saturday’s qualifying race to claim pole position for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Kox jumped into the lead at the start of Sunday’s encounter. The experienced Dutchman then opened up a good lead over Ortelli during the first stint.
When Rosina took over the reins to the Gallardo he rejoined into a smaller lead ahead of Vanthoor, and the Belgian driver was able to close up to the back of the Lamborghini in the closing stages.
As the final lap began, Vanthoor made a dive down the inside of the first turn and again at turn two, but Rosina stayed ahead. Vanthoor was again close enough to attack at the final chicane, but there was no way through and the Slovakian crossed the finish line with a margin of 0.448 seconds.
“Yesterday, I could not stand the pressure from Laurens because he really drove well,” said Rosina. “Today, when I saw the good job that Peter did, I knew it was going to be a bit easier. Obviously, when you have such a fast car flashing a lot behind you it is hard, but I tried not to look at the mirrors so much. It was a great drive from Laurens and I was happy to keep him behind today.”
Vanthoor added: “I want to congratulate Peter and Stefan, with whom I had a very good and fair fight, the way it should always be in motorsport. I will not lie, I am a bit disappointed, I did everything I could to pass Stefan, but in the end I could not succeed. It cannot always end the way we want. Our aim is to win the series and we always want to play it fair, so we did not want to take any risk there. We finished second, but it is good for the points and that is what matters.”
Nogaro race-winners Edward Sandstrom and Frank Stippler couldn’t match the pace of the leading pair in the second WRT Audi, but claimed another solid haul of points with third place. Andreas Zuber and Mike Parisy claimed fourth in their Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren, as Loeb and Alvaro Parente could only finish 14th after Loeb collided with the Mercedes Jan Seyffarth at turn two on the opening lap.
Niki-Mayr Melnhof went backwards in the third WRT Audi during the opening stint, but co-driver Rene Rast could be relied to charge back to fifth place. Belgians Enzo Ide and Anthony Kumpen took sixth in their Phoenix Racing Audi ahead of the winning Pro-Am car of Andreas Simonsen and Sergey Afanasiev, the HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes pairing going unmatched in their class all weekend.
Allam Khodair and Caca Bueno were eight in their BMW Team Brazil Z4, with the top completed by the remaining Pro-Am podium finishers – the Novadriver Audi of Cesar Campanico and Carlos Vieira and Grasser Lamborghini of Hari Proczyk and Dominik Baumann.