Edward Sandstrom and Frank Stippler took the main FIA GT Series race win at Nogaro this afternoon after a post-race time penalty was imposed on their team mates, Rene Rast and Niki Mayr-Melnhof.
In a spectacular wet race at Nogaro this afternoon, Rast and Mayr-Melnhof won on the road but were later given a 30 second penalty for failing to switch their engine off at the mandatory pit stop, thus enabling their team mates Frank Stippler and Edward Sandstrom to claim victory in the #13 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra. The Rast/Melnhof Audi, after the 30-second penalty was demoted to 7th overall and 2nd in the PRO-AM Cup class.
Conditions were treacherous from the very start, which began under the Safety Car. The #12 Audi R8 LMS ultra, driven by Rene Rast, started from 2nd position on the grid and just like yesterday’s qualifying race; Rast became embroiled in an epic fight with the Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12C, which started form pole position in the hands of Sebastien Loeb.
The battle for the lead later came to a head after the pit stops, when Parente touched Rast, spinning the German. However, a retrospective penalty was then given to the #9 McLaren, as Loeb was earlier adjudged to have unbuckled his belts before his car came to rest at his pit stop. The McLaren re-joined and eventually finished in 5th position on the road and 4th in the PRO Cup class.
The #11 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra of Stephane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor finished 2nd overall, after two sensational late race overtakes by Vanthoor on Alon Day’s HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 and Enzo Ide’s Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Winning the PRO-AM class after the demotion of the Rast/Mayr-Melnhof Audi, was the Novadriver Audi pairing of Cesar Campanico and Carlos Vieira. The Portuguese duo drove a faultless race to claim maximum points in the PRO-AM cup class.
In the Gentlemen’s Trophy it was the SOFREV Ferrari 458 Italia of Fabien Barthez and Gerard Tonelli who took the silverware. The pair took the double after claiming the win in yesterday’s sprint race as well.
The tense battle between multiple supercar brands continues in three weeks’ time when the FIA GT Series re-convenes at Zolder in Belgium on the weekend of 20-21 April.
FIA GT Series