Cedric Leimer made it two Blancpain GT Sports Club victories in as many outings at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this afternoon thanks to another dominant performance in the championship’s final Main Race of the year. Meanwhile, Martin Lanting retained the Iron Cup title for drivers aged 60 and over by a single point from Stephen Earle, who won his second Main Race of the season.
Leimer lined up on pole position alongside Michal Broniszewski after winning the day’s opening race, but it was fast-starting Nicolas Vandierendonck who shot from fourth to first at Turn 1 with a brave move down the inside. The Corvette’s lead was short-lived, though, as a result of Leimer’s X Bionic Lamborghini Huracan cutting back underneath before Broniszewski also re-claimed second three corners later.
However, the race was neutralised just one lap after it had started as a result of Jean-Michel Baert’s accident. Having run wide exiting the final corner, his Audi skipped across the gravel trap and speared back across the circuit head-first into the pitwall.
Just 23 of the race’s scheduled 40 minutes remained when the Safety Car was finally withdrawn. Leimer’s accomplished re-start immediately helped him break the tow to Broniszewski and, as was the case earlier in the day, he steadily pulled clear thereafter to eventually complete his perfect debut 6.2 seconds ahead of the Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3.
Vandierendonck came home third, albeit almost four seconds adrift of Broniszewski. But there was plenty of action further back thanks to debutant Eric Cayrolle who hustled his Ferrari back ahead of Maurice Ricci’s fast-starting AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG just after racing resumed.
Ricci also dropped back behind Cordoni at one point but took the chequered flag fifth after re-passing the Italian with just one minute remaining. Jaime Font Casas finished less than three tenths further back after an inspired drive from 21st on the grid, while the top-eight was completed by Christoph Ulrich.
With just five Iron Cup-entered drivers taking the start, points leader Martin Lanting knew that merely finishing would be enough to give him the title regardless of what his sole rival Stephen Earle could muster after the American’s Qualifying Race puncture resulted in him losing further ground in the championship.
Earle was in fine form though and had soon passed Lanting for the class lead once racing resumed. After that he was reliant on the Monegasque failing to finish, which almost came to pass when his Ferrari spun as a result of contact with Daniel Vogt’s Mercedes. Both time and positions were lost while recovering but fifth in class was still enough to give him the Iron Cup title by just one point.
Cedric Leimer, #963 X Bionic Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3: “I am very happy, of course! I have only competed once this season in the Sprint Cup so did not expect to be so competitive this weekend. Clearly Michal Broniszewski has been very fast this year and I knew it would be tough to beat him. But I also raced here in Lamborghini Super Trofeo so at least had some track knowledge to rely on.