– Stephen Earle takes fifth Iron Cup win of 2019 season
– Christian Hook claimed victory in the Titanium Cup, with second overall
Reno Racing’s Jens Reno Moller scored his third Blancpain GT Sports Club victory in an action-packed second race at the Misano World Circuit on board the #11 Honda NSX GT3 Evo, putting himself within reach of the title ahead of the penultimate round.
Elsewhere, Rinaldi Racing’s Christian Hook added to his race one win with the Titanium Cup class victory, as Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle made it two from two in Italy in the Iron Cup to extend his championship lead.
Race two from Misano got underway with Hook and Moller pulling ahead of the chasing pack. The #33 Ferrari 488 GT3 driver defended hard from the Dane, as AF Corse’s Mario Cordoni began to close the gap in third. However, the Italian was then handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the start, dropping him out of race-winning contention.
This left Moller and Hook to battle it out for victory, with the German able to fend off a series of challenges from the former touring car racer. The duo were losing time though, which allowed Kessel Racing’s Murad Sultanov to reel them in and soon two became three in the fight for the lead.
Coming out of Turn 2 with just over 10 minutes remaining Hook made a small error and Moller pounced, diving up the inside at the following corner to put himself ahead. Sultanov was next to try and get by the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup regular, but the #23 Ferrari 488 GT3 made contact with Hook’s car, sending him into a spin.
The Russian was handed a drive-through penalty, allowing Hook to retain his second position, albeit over 15 seconds behind Moller.
After that, there was no catching the Reno Racing driver, who picked up another 25 points to extend his championship lead and close on the title in his maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club campaign.
Hook was second and first of the Titanium Cup runners, with Sultanov eventually coming home in third. After taking his penalty, the Russian had initially lost out on a place to the impressive Dilantha Malagamuwa, who had made his way through to a podium position in what was undoubtedly his best performance in the series so far.
Unfortunately for the Sri Lankan, his #24 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 ran out of fuel in the closing stages, dropping him to the back of the field with just two laps left to run.
This allowed HP Racing International’s Coach McKansy, who had been battling with Malagamuwa for much of the race, to claim fourth and second in the Titanium Cup class on board the #17 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019.
Behind the German was the recovering Cordoni, who made several passes in the #51 Ferrari to pick up valuable points in fifth. StileF Squadra Corse driver Pavel Strukov was another to make up ground after an earlier spin to finish sixth on board the #777 Ferrari.
Seventh and first of the Iron Cup runners was Earle, who was unchallenged from his fellow class rivals, who were unable to match the two-time Iron Cup champion’s pace in the #111 Ferrari.
Team-mate Rick Peter Lovat took second in class and eighth on the road, ahead of AF Corse entrant Howard Blank, who picked up his first overall points and finished third in the Iron Cup, added to his podium from yesterday.
Malagamuwa was classified in 10th, rounding out the Titanium Cup podium, with AF Corse’s Louis Philippe Soenen suffering an electrical issue prior to the start and ERC Sport’s Lee Mowle unable to race, with his #44 Mercedes AMG GT3 sustaining too much damage after Saturday’s crash.
Next for the Blancpain GT Sports Club field is the blue-riband event, the SRO Speedweek at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, for which entries are still open.
Jens Reno Moller, #11 Reno Racing, Overall winner: « It was a beautiful race, a very good win for me. I was making sure to be patient, waiting for Christian [Hook] to make a mistake. Murad [Sultanov] was coming fast from behind, so I put the pressure on and forced a small error. In the last races we’ve had the pace for the win, but I made some silly mistakes at Paul Ricard and in the opener here yesterday. We had a serious talk last night with the team, who told me that I needed to be patient. To get this win is perfect for me. »
Christian Hook, #33 Rinaldi Racing, Titanium Cup winner: « The aim for me was to win both races overall, but I made a small error and then was pushed off. In terms of the pace I am very satisfied for sure. »
Stephen Earle, #111 Kessel Racing, Iron Cup winner: « The start for me was the key moment in taking the Iron Cup win. David [Perel] came over the radio to me and said I was two or three seconds faster than the guys behind so I was pleased with the pace. I am really looking forward to the next race at Spa. For me it’s the best circuit, even more so than Le Mans, and the whole event is something I am always excited for. »