Buhk Claims Blancpain Title With Magnificent Nurburgring 1000 Win

by Peter Allen
HTP Mercedes - Photo Credit: VIMAGES/Fabre

Maximilian Buhk has won the Blancpain Endurance Series Pro Cup title after a superb victory in the Nurburgring 1000 with Maximilian Gotz and Bernd Schneider in the HTP Motorsport Mercedes.

The #84 SLS, which also won the Spa 24 Hours in July, led much of the race but Buhk had to overhaul the #3 Marc VDS Racing BMW in the final hour in order to win the championship for himself.

The HTP car led from pole position but a late change of brake pads when Buhk took the wheel promoted the BMW into the lead with Maxime Martin behind the wheel. Buhk got down the inside at turn one only for Martin to move back ahead on the exit, but the Mercedes driver eventually took advantage of traffic to make a brave pass into the chicane and went on to win by 18 seconds.

The result gave Buhk the Pro Cup drivers’ title despite the German youngster only contesting three of the five rounds this season. As well as his Spa win with Gotz and Schneider, Buhk finished fifth in round three at Paul Ricard with Alon Day and Luca Ludwig.

The Nurburgring podium was completed by the ART Grand Prix McLaren crew of Andy Soucek, Antoine Leclerc and Mike Parisy with the Esta Motorsport Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Matteo Bobbi and Alexander Skyrabin the final car on the lead lap in fourth.

The #71 SMP Racing Ferrari of Kirill Ladygin, Anton Ladygin and Victor Shaitar took the Pro-Am honours in fifth overall. Ex-World Touring Car Championship driver Kirill and Shaitar were only narrowly denied the class title – despite only racing in the category at Spa and the Nurburgring – by Lucas Ordonez. The original GT Academy graduate’s #35 RJN Nissan struggled to 30th overall, 23 laps down, but eighth in class was enough to secure the Spaniard the title.

JRM‘s #23 Nissan of Peter Dumbreck, Steven Kane and Kazuki Hoshino took sixth overall ahead of the second Marc VDS BMW of Markus Palttala, Henri Moser and Nicky Catsburg, who helped the Belgian squad to claim the Pro Cup teams’ title. Black Falcon finished eighth with their Mercedes driven by Andreas Simonsen, Ludwig and Hubert Haupt ahead of the Prospeed Competition Porsche of Marc Hennerici, Maxime Soulet and Xavier Maassen and the Phoenix Racing Audi of Oliver Jarvis, Christopher Haase and Harold Primat.

The Pro-Am podium was completed by the ROAL Motorsport BMW of Michela Cerruti and Stefano Comandini – both of whom are only bronze-rated – and the other Black Falcon car of Klaas Hummel, Steve Jans and Adam Christodoulou in 12th and 13th respectively overall.

Gentleman Trophy honours went to the Sport Garage Ferrari trio of Justino Azcarate, Eric Cayrolle and Bruce Lorgere Roux in 18th overall. SOFREV ASP drivers Jean-Luc Blanchemain, Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Patrice Goueslard had already wrapped up the title in Spa prior to a tenth-place class finish in Germany.

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