Stephen Errity, GT Correspondent
The Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini duo of Harri Proczyk and David Mengsdorf finally capitalised on the promise they've shown so far in the GT3 European Championship, with a win in the second of the weekend's two races at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal.
Proczyk qualified the car in fourth place on the second row of the grid, but once the lights went out, he immediately surged into the lead. Race-one podium finisher Mika Vahamaki in the #2 Heico-Gravity-Charouz Mercedes SLS slid back from second on the grid to fourth, bringing up the rear of a four-car train that had Proczyk in the lead, race-one winner and #1 Mercedes driver Dominik Baumann in second and Gregory Guilvert in the Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 in third. Proczyk initially pulled out a bit of a gap, but the fast and determined Baumann was all over his back bumper by lap six. With the pit window rapidly approaching, Baumann eventually made a last-gasp dive under braking into turn five to clinch the lead.
Fourth-place Vahamaki was the first of the top four to pit, handing the Mercedes SLS over to Max Nilsson. The top three, along with fifth-place Cesar Campanico, left it until the very end of the pitstop window to come in. There was something of a reshuffle in the order once the stops were completed, with Campanico's co-driver Ni Amorim emerging in the lead, ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari of Gaetano Ardagna-Perez (which had stopped earlier), followed by third-place Mengsdorf the Leipert Lamborghini and fourth-place Marc Sourd in the Sainteloc Audi R8.
But the leading #1 Mercedes of Baumann and Max Buhk lost out hugely during the stops, as mechanics struggled to fix a problem with the car's battery. All chance of a repeat of Saturday's victory was lost, as Buhk exited the pits towards the back of the field. Meanwhile, there were order changes aplenty up front, as Mengsdorf completed an aggressive pass on Perez for second on lap 21, then muscled his way passed Amorim to take the lead through turn 14.
On the next lap, Sourd lost fourth then fifth place in quick succession to Michael Lyons' AF Corse Ferrari and Nilsson in the #2 Mercedes. Nilsson continued to chase Lyons for fourth in the closing stages, but spun dramatically at the last corner with less than 10 minutes to go when his left-rear tyre was punctured. As he pitted to change it, his recovering team-mate Buhk was promoted to sixth, which became fifth when he too passed Sourd with only minutes remaining. The veteran Frenchman was not having the best of stints, as he also surrendered sixth to one of the Russian Bears Racing Ferraris before the chequered flag fell.