After topping every session on Saturday, Luigi Lucchini (#7 BMS Scuderia Italia SRL Ferrari 458 GT3) took a lights-to-flag victory in the Blancpain GT Sports Club Main Race at Misano, with Klaus Dieter Frers (#3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3) proving equally dominant in the Iron Cup class.
The titanic battle behind saw Karim Ojjeh (#2 Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3) cross the line in second place, with Coach McKansy (#17 HP Racing International Lamborghini Huracan GT3) hanging onto the final podium spot to round off his best-ever Blancpain GT Sports Club weekend.
In the Iron Cup, Klaus Dieter Frers capped off another perfect weekend with a victory, ahead of Stephen Earle (#111 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3) and Louis-Philippe Soenen (#50 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3), who all finished inside the overall top-10.
Karim Ojjeh collected the Titanium Cup win, ahead of Coach McKansy and Jürgen Häring (#66 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 R), who trailed his German compatriot by just 0.332 seconds over the finish line.
The 40-minute race got underway and Luigi Lucchini soon settled into a rhythm, as the chasing pack fought it out for best-of-the-rest. Mario Cordoni (#70 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3) was keen to make up positions, but spun as he tried to complete an overtake on Karim Ojjeh. The pair did not touch, but the Italian dropped to the back of the field.
Coach McKansy came under immediate pressure from Patrick Van Glabeke (#488 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3), but the Belgium locked-up and was sent into a half spin. This paved the way for Karim Ojjeh to try and pass the #17 Lamborghini, and with 15 minutes remaining the Saudi Arabian driver made a skillful move around the outside at Turn 8. However, yesterday’s Titanium Cup winner came back at the championship leader, but had to yield, as the BMW swooped passed to take the position.
Late in the race, Jürgen Häring caught the back of Coach McKansy, but was unable to find a way through as the pair crossed the line nose-to-tail in third and fourth. For a time, Klaus Dieter Frers also looked like he might challenge for an overall podium, but the experienced Iron Cup racer chose to conserve his tyres, as he finished fifth.
In sixth was Pierre Feligioni (#6 Boutsen Ginion Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX), who managed to overtake Stephen Earle earlier in the race, with the reigning Iron Cup champion coming home seventh overall.
Louis-Philippe Soenen was a season-best eighth, his highest finishing position since the Misano finale in 2015, with Mario Cordoni recording the fastest lap of the race, as he recovered to ninth.
Rounding out the points was Patrick Van Glabeke, finishing ahead of Iron Cup duo Bernd Kleinbach (#100 Attempto Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R) and Roberto Rayneri (#60 GDL Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3), with Boutsen Ginion’s Claude-Yves Gosselin (#4 Lamborghini Extenso R-EX) the only non-finisher after being forced to retire when his car slowed on lap five.
Up next for the Blancpain GT Sports Club will be the SRO Speedweek at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (21-22 July), which will once again be live streamed on our YouTube channel, Facebook page and website.
Overall winner, Luigi Lucchini, #7 BMS Scuderia Italia SRL, said: “Today was a little more difficult for me because of the extra 25kg on my car and of course the race was much longer, which meant I had to work harder. I started well and behind me they were fighting amongst themselves, so I just pulled a nice gap until the end. The track was a little bit cooler than it was yesterday and we had newer tyres so even with the extra weight the car still felt good. Overall I am happy with my performance throughout the weekend, it has been great.”
Titanium Cup winner, Karim Ojjeh, #2 Boutsen Ginion, said: “It was a good race today. Coach [McKansy] was difficult to pass, but I just waited and had to be extremely patient. I knew where his weaknesses were, and after that it was just a matter of making the move. I was very lucky in Turn 8, as I almost lost the rear and then we were side-by-side down the straight, but I knew I had him and two corners after I was later on the brakes and got through. It was a shame what happened to Mario [Cordoni] and Patrick [Van Glabeke], unfortunately they made mistakes and had to pay for it. It’s a shame because they were quick and it could’ve been a good race between all of us.”
Iron Cup winner, Klaus Dieter Frers, #3 Artega Rennsport, said: “Honestly, it was one of the best races I’ve ever had. I found a lot more pace compared to qualifying and yesterday’s race. First of all I have to say a massive thank you to the team though, they have been superb and the car has been perfect all weekend, with no problems whatsoever. So yes, thank you so much to them. I was fourth for a long time and I was closing the gap to third and started thinking about the overall podium, but my rear tyres were a little bit too hot, so I had to look after them by increasing the traction control. Amazing weekend and I look forward to the next one!”