Blancpain Sprint – Rinaldi Racing rewarded, Vanthoor damaged

Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried won their first Sprint Series race this season at Misano, Italy. The event was marked by the violent accident involving Laurens Vanthoor's No. 1 Audi.

Published on 03/10/2015 à 22:02

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Blancpain Sprint – Rinaldi Racing rewarded, Vanthoor damaged

The qualifying race Blancpain Sprint Series in Misano in Italy smiled on Rinaldi Racing. Norbert Siedler and Marco Seefried won the first event this weekend on the other side of the Alps.

Starting from pole position, the Ferrari 458 Italia n°333 was not worried throughout this race held at night and pocketed its first success of the year in the Sprint Series. Once threatened by the Always Evolving Nissan GT-R Nismo, the latter's loss of time in the pits to change the left front wheel made the task easier for the leaders.

But the image of this race will remain the accident involving championship leader Laurens Vanthoor, associated with Robin Frijns in the Audi R8 of Team WRT, and the No. 3 Bentley Continental GT83 of Jules Szymkowiak after contact between the two cars when Vanthoor attempted to overtake (video from 25:25). After a violent impact against the barriers (requiring the intervention of the Safety Car), the Belgian got out of his car and was helped by a marshal to walk, visibly injured in the left leg. The presence of the No. 1 remains uncertain for the main race.

Behind the victorious Ferrari, the arrival of the Lamborghini Huracán on the Sprint scene resulted in a solid first result. The No. 63 of Mirko Bortolotti and Patrick Kujala finished second after resisting the return of Maxi Buhk, associated with Vincent Abril on the No. 84 Bentley Continental of Team HTP, who expected to finish on the podium and regain important points in the fight for the championship against the unfortunate duo Vanthoor-Frijns.

But the Franco-German pair was penalized with a drive-through for an infraction in the pits (converted into a time penalty) and lost their third place to the benefit of the No. 8 Audi R2 LMS ultra of Enzo Ide and Christopher Mies. Christophe Bouchut and Alexey Karachev (Mercedes SLS GT3 – GT Russian Team) win in Pro-Am. The main race will take place tomorrow Sunday at 14 p.m. French time.

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