Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor completed a double win in the Blancpain Sprint Series round at Brands Hatch, taking another comfortable victory in the main race.
After the WRT Audi pair’s success in the qualifying race, Frijns remained out front during the first half of the race, although when he handed over to his team-mate Vanthoor, a charging Kevin Estre was just 2.7 seconds behind.
Vanthoor however was able to stretch the #1 car’s advantage to 14 seconds by the end to complete a dominant weekend that put the crew’s title challenge back on track after Frijns’ qualifying crash ruled them out in Nogaro.
In fact, claiming the maximum 34 points available at Brands Hatch moves Vanthoor and Frijns to the top of the standings after two rounds, a feat made possible by the Nogaro main race winners Maxime Martin and Dirk Muller being absent and a this being low-scoring weekend for the other frontrunners from the French event.
Estre had moved up from fifth to fourth at the start of the race and went on to pass the two BMW Team Brazil cars.
However, a slow stop from Attempto meant that Rob Bell emerged back in third behind the car of Atila Abreu and Valdeno Brito, remaining there until the finish.
Caca Bueno and Sergio Jimenez brought the #0 BMW home in fourth in front of an intense scrap for fifth in the closing stages.
After Albert von Thurn und Taxis had spent his stint scrapping with former team-mate Niki Mayr-Melnhof over sixth, Nicky Catsburg took over the Reiter Lamborghini and fought his way past Mayr-Melnhof’s Phoenix Audi in the hands of Markus Winkelhock and the MRS Nissan that Craig Dolby had taken over from Sean Walkinshaw.
A five-second penalty for abusing track limits dropped Winkelhock just behind the WRT-entered Audi of Stephane Richelmi and Stephane Ortelli, who sit just a point behind team-mates Vanthoor and Frijns despite a very low-key meeting.
The similar car of James Nash and Frank Stippler was ninth, while Bernd Schneider took tenth place for himself and Alexey Karachev with a move on the Audi of Filip Salaquarda and Marco Bonanomi on the final lap.