On a sunny Saturday morning in Zolder, Alex Buncombe and Lucas Ordoñez have finally made it to the top of the podium in their nr14 RJN Motorsport Nissan 350Z, and with a comfortable 10 second lead as well! After a tough start and a few close fights, Michael Mallock made it to second place in his nr32 RS Williams Aston Martin GT4. Lorenzo Casé came third in the nr40 AF Corse Maserati Gran Turismo MC GT4.
The Supersports category was won by Stephane Wintenberger in the nr102 Donkervoort D8GT, a good return after being absent for the past two rounds. Supersports points leader Augustin Eder keeps a good hold of his lead by finishing second in the nr108 KTM Xbow. Athanasios Lader was pleased with his third place on the podium.
There was a rush to gain advantage when the lights went green. Alex Buncombe, in the nr14 RJN Motorsport Nissan 350Z, managed to take the lead from his place in 4th on the grid, whereas pole sitter Nigel Moore, nr50 Team LNT Ginetta G50, fell back to 8th. By the first lap, the positions had shuffled around; the only one to have kept hold of his place was Hunter Abbott in the nr6 Ginetta G50, who was holding off strong competition for his place in 2nd. Sougnez, who started from 8th in the nr55 Ice Pole Racing team Porsche 997 GT3, took advantage of the hectic start and made his way up to 4th, and spent most of the race fighting for third with the nr6 of Abbott and Fletcher.
Buncombe managed to pull away, widening the gap to second with every lap. While he led the pack, there were notable fights for second between the nr6 and the nr55 and further back between Mallock in the nr32, Moore in the nr50 and Mena in the nr18. Though Sougnez did manage to claim 2nd place, Abbott came back strongls in the nr6 and set the fastest lap of the session and of the weekend(1:40.652) and took 2nd place back from him.
The pit window came, shuffling the positions as usual, but the nr14 kept his lead, with Buncombe handing the car over to Lucas Ordoñez, who took the car to the win, keeping hold of the impressive gap. The fight for second still carried on strongly, with four cars (6-40-55-32) fighting at one point. Mallock came out ahead, with Martin in the 55 falling back after contact, finishing his race in the pits. Casé, in the nr40 AF Corse Maserati, managed to keep hold of the third place until the flag. The nr6 fell back down a few places and after a strong race, finished 6th. Osborne in the nr50 Team LNT Ginetta G50 managed to climb back up to 4th after the pitstop.
Tom Dunstan, in the nr5 Ginetta G50, and Denis Donkervoort in the nr103 Donkervoort D8GT, both stopped by the side of the track, at turn 11, although on different laps. Kevin Veltman, in the nr17 Genpact BMW M3, who had been a strong contender for third, dropped back after an 8 second stop and go penalty.
1st Alex Buncombe, nr14 RJN Motorsport Nissan 350Z: “It's been a long time coming. We've been fast all year and now we've got our first win. I'm ecstatic! I'm looking forward to the next race and then the next two in Portugal.”
Lucas Ordoñez, nr14 RJN Motorsport Nissan 350Z: “It was a really tough race for me, because when Alex came in the pits in first position, he had done an amazing job at the start. We did a great driver change which we've been practising a lot since the last race because we've been having a lot of problems in that area. I tried to keep the first position and I'm really happy with my performance. I didn't make any mistakes. This is an important win in my first year. This is my first win as a Nissan GT Academy winner. I want to thank Nissan and Playstation for this and it's amazing, for the team, for Nissan, for the sponsors, for Playstation. Thank you so much and I hope to do the same thing again in the second race today!”
2nd Michael Mallock, nr32 RS Williams Aston Martin GT4: “It's great to get a second place. We knew we were going to struggle at this track. The start was horrendous. I got alongside the Maserati, and I guess he didn't see me. I locked all four wheels trying to avoid him and dropped back to about 10th place. So getting back to second is a good tribute to the team and to the work they've done on the car to get us this far.”
3rd Lorenzo Casé, nr40 AF Corse Maserati Gran Turismo MC GT4: “It was a good race. But I'm not so happy with the result. The tyres were too cold at the start of the race which made it difficult to brake. I needed three or four laps to warm everything up, which was like wasting a few laps. So I'm not so happy with third. I hope we'll finish higher up in the second race.”
1st Stephane Wintenberger, nr102 Donkervoort D8GT: “I'm happy to be back. The team has worked well on the car, it's been getting better from race to race. It's fun, all's going well.”
2nd Augustin Eder, nr108 KTM Xbow: “The race was fine. I was really okay, I'm happy with the result. We had a lot of problems during free practice, but we've managed to sort them out and the race went well. ”
3rd Athanasios Ladas, nr109 KTM Xbow: “We did better this time then in previous races. I think we're going to improve again for the next race too. ”