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The GRT Grasser Racing Team Wins in Budapest

The GRT Grasser Racing Team won for the second time in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series season, capping it off with an impressive victory in Race 1 at the Hungaroring, Budapest.

Despite hot conditions on Saturday, Race 1 started on a wet track ten minutes later than planned due to the threat of heavy rain, so all three GRT cars used slick Pirelli tyres for their flying laps.

Engelhart took on the tough task of qualifying for Race 1 and put the #63 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 on P5 for the start grid. He took the lead just at the beginning of Lap 1 on a very slippery track. Bortolotti kept that position after the hand over at the mid-point and showed strong performance, finishing the day quickest after 60 minutes of racing to take home the well deserved victory.

Heavy rain delayed the green flag and Race 2 started behind the safety car. This morning it was Bortolotti’s turn to be first out at the wheel. The session got underway and a solid start saw Mirko hold third place, but due to an unfortunate pit stop infringement the #63 got a drive-through penalty, dropping the car down to P6 by the end of the race.

Franck Perera and Loris Hezemans in the #82 encountered a difficult Race 1 and could only finish in P13. Both drivers also showed strong performance and Franck set the fastest Lambo time of the day. Earlier today, Race 2 went much better and saw the #82 car cross the finish line in P5.

A disappointing first race for Andrea Caldarelli and Ezequiel Perez Companc seeing them finish P16 in Saturday’s race. Race 2 began in the worst way for car #19, when Caldarelli had made contact with another competitor resulting in a spin and unfortunately dropped the car to P11.

The next round of the Blancpain GT Series takes place at the Nurburgring circuit on 14 – 16 September, but before then the GRT Grasser Racing Team will make a stop at the Sachsenring for the ADAC GT Masters next week.   Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #63 (Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart) Race 1: 1st (1:45.255), 33 laps  Race 2: 6th (2:00.969), 28 laps

Mirko Bortolotti: « I’m very happy to be back on the top step of the podium, it feels really good. We had a perfect race yesterday and the weather helped too. We made no mistakes and we showed our best performance. Today we had a drive-through penalty for the pit stop infringement, which ultimately cost us another podium and the possibility to fight for the title at Nurburgring. It’s a shame but it’s a part of the game so nothing we can do about it. »   Christian Engelhart: « Overall it was a great weekend for us with a win yesterday. It’s a bit of a shame that we couldn’t maximise our potential today with the drive-through penalty for the pit stop. Without that we could have finished second today. But I’m proud of what we achieved and am looking forward to the next race. »   Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #82 (Franck Perera, Loris Hezemans) Race 1: 13rd (1:45.078), 33 laps  Race 2: 5th (2:01.900), 28 laps

Franck Perera: « Yesterday was a kind of unlucky race. Loris made quite a good start in tricky conditions, but unfortunately he had a spin so we lost the chance to finish in the top six. There was also some track limit penalties and I think it was just difficult to keep the car on the track. It’s a shame because my stint was very fast. I did four best laps in Race 1 and was the fastest GRT Lambo. But, congratulations to the #63 car for the win, I’m very happy for the team. Today we’ve had tricky conditions again and heavy rain. I tried to make a safe race, that’s why I wasn’t completely confident with the car. I just tried to keep the position during my stint. Then Loris did a great job, he improved us a lot. Now we are looking forward to the next race. »

Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #19 (Andrea Caldarelli, Ezequiel Perez Companc)

Race 1: 16th (1:45.666), 33 laps  Race 2: 11st (2:01.196), 28 laps

Ezequiel Perez Companc: « The weekend was quite tough for us with a few unfortunate incidents in both races. I’m quite disappointed, considering the potential we had. Now we are looking forward to the next race. »

Andrea Caldarelli: « It was a very disappointing weekend. It was difficult to describe and a very unlucky race today. Unfortunately, we had got a drive-through penalty because of contact with another. Honestly, it was discussible, and I personally think this is not racing. We probably could have finished in the top six. Ezequiel did a good a job in Q1. In Q2 we had a track limit penalty, otherwise I think we could have been in P8 with my lap time. It’s a great pity, because we didn’t score any points. However, I am looking forward to the next race and want to forget this weekend. »

Gottfried Grasser, the Team Owner: « I am still happy with the weekend. Saturday was great. Christian made a mega start, moving the car from P5 to P1 and also Mirko did a great stint aswell, saving P1 until the finish. I’m very proud of the guys and it was a great win. Today we had better start positions for all of our cars. Unfortunately the crew did make a small mistake during the pit stop – tyre wasn’t over the line. I think we could have scored a podium. I’m also happy for car #82. Franck did a very good race and Loris did a proper job too. Car #19 showed good performance, but it was an unlucky weekend for the guys. Generally speaking, we can be happy with a yesterdays win and P5, P6 today. We are looking forward for the next Blancpain GT race, but before that we have the ADAC race at Sachsenring next weekend. »

Press release Grasser Racing Team


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