The Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup 2016 came to an end today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Champions were crowned marking an end to another successful season of the Blancpain GT Series. First and foremost, winners of the final race were Tristan Vautier and Felix Rosenqvist in the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3. They finished runners up at the 24 Hours of Spa but this was their first overall win for AKKA ASP.
The duo had little to worry about as they were not contending for a title, after qualifying third, Vautier wasted no time when the race started and he immediately passed polesitter Enzo Ide in the #33 Audi R8 LMS of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. After the driver changes, Rosenqvist maintained the lead till chequered flag to claim their first win of the season.
In the meantime, Dominik Baumann and Maxi Buhk were eyeing for both the Blancpain GT Series title as well as the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup title. Driving the #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, Baumann and Buhk were not so lucky today as they faced a troublesome raced and at one time Buhk drove through the grass, this ultimately shrunk their chances of winning the Sprint Series title. Nonetheless, their 8th place finish was good enough to award them the overall Blancpain GT Series title. Archrival Rob Bell from Garage 59 finished outside the points in 13th place.
It was a moment of celebration for Baumann and Buhk who also won 2012 FIA GT3 European title together. As for Buhk, he became the first driver in Blancpain GT Series history to win an endurance title (2012), sprint title (2015) and overall title (2016). Additionally, HTP Motorsport claimed the overall team’s’ title.
Their 8th place finish meant that the Sprint Series title went to another driver, and it was none other than Enzo Ide in the #33 Audi R8 LMS. The Audi driver started from pole but used a risk free approach throughout the race. He drove an easy race and was never worried even when the #8 Bentley Continental GT3 of Maxime Soulet and Andy Soucek passed him. There was one scary moment though, when co-driver Robin Frijns went off the track while trying to pass the Bentley. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT claimed the Sprint Cup teams’ title.
The #8 Bentley would eventually finish the race in second place, followed by Ide and Frijns who rounded off the final podium of the season. Fourth place went to Laurens Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch in the #1 Audi R8 LMS, leading the #63 GRT Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Nicolas Pohler and Mirko Bortolotti.
The Silver Cup win went to the Phoenix Racing duo of Nicolaj Moller Madsen and Alessio Picariello in the #5 Audi R8 LMS while Rinaldi Racing won the Pro-Am Cup with Rinat Salikhov and Norbert Siedler in the #333 Ferrari 488 GT3. Claudio Sdanewitsch and Stephane Lemeret won the Am Cup in the #55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 GT3.