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COSTA-FROMMENWILER AGAIN AT THE TOP ON THE GT OPEN

Building up on the pole conquered in the morning, Albert Costa and Philipp Frommenwiler gave Emil Frey another Race 1 win to Emil Frey, making it a third success for the Lexus RC-F. In a sunny and very warm day at Spa-Francorchamps, the duo mastered a perfect race to beat the Teo Martín Motorsport BMW M6 of Victor Bouveng-Fran Rueda, who sign their maiden podium, and the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 of Mikkel Mac-Miguel Ramos. Costa-Frommenwiler now lead the championship standings.

Jordan Racing celebrated the first Pro-Am win for the Bentley Continental, which sported on its doors the hashtag #Manchester in support to the victims of the recent attack. Jordan Witt-Michael Meadows beat the McLren of Rob Bell-Shaun Balfe and the Drivex Mercedes of Marcelo Hahn-Allam Khoadair. In GT-Am, it was a successful return for the Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari of Alex Moiseev-Davide Rizzo.

THE RACE – 24 cars are on the grid, with the only absence of the Sports&You Mercedes of Basso-Figueiredo, damaged in Friday’s accident. It’s a quiet start in a very warm afternoon at Spa, with Costa keeping the advantage of the pole over Mac, Bell, Ledogar, Rueda and Dolby, who drops a few positions in the first lap, passed by Szymkowiak, Caldarelli and Liuzzi. In lap 3, at La Source, there is a contact in the group, as Konrad misses his breaking hitting Sini. The safety-car is out to allow recovering cars and debris.

The race resumes two laps later, but it’s again neutralized shortly after, as Szymkowiak attempts an unfeasible overtake on Ledogar on the inside of the first corner at the Combes chicane. The two cars collide and spin but the McLaren remains stuck in the middle of the track. During the SC period there is also a blown rear right tire for Liuzzi.

Lap 8 sees the second restart and an intense battle between Szymkowiak and Biagi, with also Dolby and Fontana passing. Further aback, Benham and Hahn are also having some rubbing.  In the lead, Costa, Mac and Bell are joined by Caldarelli, with Rueda keeping fifth, while the other Lexus Farnbacher stops with a technical problem.

The driver change opens and Rueda is the first one to stop, while Szymkowiak gets a drive-through for the earlier incident.  After all changes, Frommenwiler leads with 9 seconds on Bouveng, and 17 on Ramos. Then,  Postiglione and Cioci, while Piquet wins a short duel with Balfe and Meadows for 6th. Liberati, Enge and Venturini are in another fight right behind.

Venturini has a scary moment on a kerb, Fu Songyong goes off-track while the best duel is between Postiglione and Cioci for P4. The Ferrari won’t be able to pass and in lap 24, suffers a puncture which ruins its race. A similar misfortune occurs to Enge, while Pierburg retires.

The last big feats see Balfe and Postiglione getting a 5-second penalty for track limits, with the latter losing P4 to Piquet. Follows in P6 Meadows, who gives the first Pro-Am win to the Bentley, while Rizzo takes the Am honours.

Source, International GT Open

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