Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos claimed victory for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain Sprint Series qualifying race at the Slovakia Ring, which was twice halted by red flags.
The first of those was after a large and dramatic crash on lap one for Tomas Enge. The Reiter Engineering Lamborghini driver made contact with two other cars exiting the first corner, and the second of those touches sent the Czech driver off track and into the armco barriers. The car then rolled over backwards several times, but Enge was able to escape unharmed.
The race needed to be stopped while the barrier was repaired, and heavy rain fell as the red flags were waved. Pole-sitter Vanthoor had dropped to fifth in the opening skirmishes, while Jeroen Bleekemolen led from Markus Winkelhock and Rene Rast.
After the restart, Rast made short work of the two drivers ahead of him to move into the lead. Conditions then took a turn for the worst just as the pit window opened, necessitating at first a safety car and eventually triggering the second stoppage.
Once the race got going again, Rast’s co-driver Enzo Ide held the lead from Bleekemolen’s Grasser Racing Lamborghini team-mate Hari Proczyk and Ramos.
Ramos moved up into second and put pressure on the sister WRT car of Ide, who buckled and spun with five minutes left.
Proczyk took second, holding off the HTP Mercedes of Nico Verdonck and Maximilian Gotz. Fourth was the Brasil BMW of Matheus Stumpf and Valdeno Brito, ahead of the similar ROAL Motorsport car of David Fumanelli and Stefano Colombo.
The Italian duo took Silver Cup honours after Vincent Abril went off in the WRT Audi he shares with Mateusz Lisowski on the final lap and fell from fourth to sixth. Caca Bueno and Sergio Jimenez were seventh in the second Brasil BMW ahead of the Phoenix Racing Audi of Marc Basseng and Alessandro Latif, the demoted car of Ide, and Alex Zanardi.