Vanthoor And Ortelli Win Zandvoort Qualifying Race For WRT Audi

by Peter Allen
FIA GT Zandvoort - Photo Credit:

Laurens Vanthoor and Stephane Ortelli claimed victory for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the FIA GT Series qualifying race at Zandvoort on Saturday.

Starting third, Vanthoor went side-by-side with front-row starters Alvaro Parente and Andreas Simonsen into Tarzan for the first time. The latter two made contact, with Parente picking up race-ending damage to the McLaren he shares with Sebastien Loeb and Mercedes driver Simonsen being slapped with a drive-through penalty.

Further around the lap, there was contact lower down the order between the Lamborghini of Matheus Stumpf, the Corvette of Duncan Huisman and the Nissan of Wolfgang Reip, which brought out the safety car.

After the restart, Vanthoor led team-mate Rene Rast, and the German got past for the lead before Vanthoor handed over to Ortelli. Niki Mayr-Melnhof took over from Rast and rejoined in the lead of the race, but was unable to keep Ortelli behind for long.

Maximilian Buhk was on a charge in his HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes, passing the Audis of both Edward Sandstrom for third and then Mayr-Melnhof for second. The German youngster, who took over from Alon Day, chased Ortelli down but ran out of time and had to settle for second place.

Mayr-Melnhof finished with Frank Stippler‘s co-driver Sandstrom on his tail in the final podium spot, while the Brazilian BMW of Caca Bueno and Allam Khodair took fifth. The second Loeb McLaren of Mike Parisy and Andreas Zuber was sixth ahead of the Mercedes of Simonsen and Sergei Afanasiev, who recovered from their penalty to win the Pro-Am class.

The similar machine of Karun Chandhok and Jan Seyffarth was eighth ahead of the BMW of Armaan Ebrahim and Melroy Heemskerk and the Lamborghini of Dominik Baumann and Hari Proczyk.

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