Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini are the winners of Round 1 of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup which took place this past weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. The team of Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli and Christian Engelhart piloting the #63 Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 crossed the finish line first with a massive 29s lead over their rivals.
Second place went to the #50 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 of Pasin Lathouras, Michele Rugolo and Alessandro Pier Guidi. The #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 moved to third place after the #75 ISR Audi R8 LMS retired with just 6 minute left on the clock. The Audi was forced out of the race when the left rear let go. The #84 Mercedes driven by Jimmy Eriksson, Franck Perera and Maximilian Buhk was elevated to third after the Audi’s fate. Fighting for third also was the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, the Russian fielded car had to serve a drive through penalty for overtaking under yellow before finishing fifth eventually.
Fourth place was yet another Ferrari, the #55 Kaspersky Motorsport 488 GT3 driven by Marco Cioci, James Calado and Giancarlo Fisichella.
The race suffered a huge turning point just moments after the start when the #7 Bentley Continental GT3 caused a ten plus car crash. The #19 Grasser Huracan GT3 spun in front of oncoming traffic after getting tapped, causing a huge confusion, more than ten cars were unable to take part in the restart after that incident. The Bentley was handed a 15s stop and go penalty which they failed to serve in time, forcing the stewards to black flag the car. Out of 52 cars on the starting grid, 17 did not finish or were not classified.
Ahmad Al Harthy and Jonny Adam from Oman Racing Team took the honors in the Pro-Am class by finishing first in the #97 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3. Second place in this class went to the #11 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Michael Broniszewski, Matteo Cressoni and Andrea Rizzoli. Third place went to the #53 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Niek Hommerson, Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini.
AF Corse celebrated victory again in the Am Cup thanks to Abigail Eaton, Alex Demirdjian and Davide Rizzo in the #961 Ferrari 488 GT3. Team HB Racing gave Lamborghini another win by finishing second in their #777 Huracan GT3. Only two cars finished the race in the AM Cup, the rest were not classified.
Brands Hatch is the next stop for the Blancpain GT Series drivers on May 7 for the second round of the Sprint Series.
Photos by Dirk Bogaerts, SRO/Vision Sport Agency