28 agosto 2017
Maranello, 28 August 2017 – Four wins out of four, Ferrari led the way at Budapest in the second to last round of the GT Sports Club championship. The Prancing Horse cars dominated both the Qualifying Race and the Main Race winning the overall standing but also the Iron Cup class for drivers over-60.
Qualifying race. AF Corse’s Patrick Van Glabeke enjoyed a successful Saturday at the Hungaroring, converting his first pole position of the season into a maiden win in the 2017 Blancpain GT Sports Club for the #488 Ferrari 488 GT3. In the Iron Cup category, Klaus Dieter Frers extended his points lead over title rival Stephen Earle with another class win aboard the #3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3.
The race. Lining up on pole, Van Glabeke led into the first corner ahead of overall points leader Anthony Pons and his #72 Akka ASP Mercedes. Pons launched an attack at the penultimate corner to edge past Van Glabeke and into the race lead. The Frenchman then steadily opened the gap up front, while his nearest rival found himself engaged in a closely-fought battle with his AF Corse team-mate Christoph Ulrich in the #51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. Right behind, Karim Ojjeh was showing strong pace as well in the #2 BMW when he hit the barriers on Lap 6 and had to withdraw. The incident brought out double yellow flags, with several cars not slowing down enough in the area. Among them was Pons who was ultimately handed a post-race 30-second time penalty. This demoted the Frenchman down to sixth and lifted Van Glabeke back to first place. The Belgian ace still had to fend off Ulrich’s strong challenge to pick up his maiden victory of the season. The latter would find solace in securing his first-ever podium in the Blancpain GT Sports Club.
Iron Cup. Third position overall went to Iron Cup charger Frers, who also claimed a fourth class victory this year to increase his points lead over Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle (#111 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) by two points. Earle finished fourth overall.
Main Race. Sunday’s Main Race went to AF Corse’s Christoph Ulrich who held off team-mate Patrick Van Glabeke to claim his maiden win in the championship. Having secured his maiden win of the season during the Qualifying Race, pole sitter Van Glabeke led the way at the start but fellow front row starter Ulrich was immediately on the move, surging ahead at the first corner. That would prove a pivotal moment in the 40-minute contest. Indeed, with overtaking opportunities few and far between at the notoriously tight and twisty 4.381km Hungarian Grand Prix venue, Ulrich managed to keep a charging Van Glabeke at bay throughout the race.
Iron Cup. Behind the battling AF Corse duo, there was a titanic scrap for the final step of the overall podium, which involved Iron Cup title contenders Earle and Frers. The mustachioed Texan enjoyed a strong getaway to move past his German rival right at the start as well. Frers actually lost another position to Luxemburg’s Alexis de Bernardi and the #65 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. The Artega Rennsport ace was soon back on Earle’s tail though, and he tried every move in the book to get past the #111 Ferrari, but to no avail. Louis Philippe Soenen grabbed the final point on offer in the Overall category, while also collecting another Iron Cup podium with the #50 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3. Anthony Pons is the new overall champion while the Iron Cup battle is going down to the wire as Earle leaves Budapest with three points in hand over Frers.