Bentley Team HTP won for the second time in a row at Round 5 of the Blancpain Sprint Series, which was held last weekend in Portugal. Maxi Bunk and Vincent Abril won the event’s qualifying race and are now in contention for the championship with two rounds remaining.
Bentley Team HTP was building of their success in Moscow, where Bunk and Abril won. During the first race of the weekend, the duo secured the pole position. From there, Abril would lead the first part of the race. At the halfway point, Buhk took over and a thrilling duel developed as he battled with an Audi R8 driven by points leader Robin Frins.
HTP’s other Bentley Continental GT3 was driven by Jules Szymkowiak and Max van Spluteren. Szymkowaiak and van Spluteren qualified well and would secure a top ten finish in the first race. It would also secure a class victory for them in the Silver Cup.
With both teams running so well, expectations were high coming in to the second event of the weekend. Bunk started the second race and continued to drive well, building up an eight second lead during this half. A caution grouped the field and following the driver change, the lead had been lost. Bunk and Abril would finish fourth. It was a respectable, but outside the podium finish.
“I’m very happy about our victory in the Qualifying Race, as I tried by all means to keep the lead. Maxi then performed great and saved the victory. In the feature we were not so lucky. But overall, I think we showed a great performance this weekend and can be confident for the next round,” said Vincent Abril after the second race.
The second race proved very difficult for Szymkowiak and van Splunteren. Instead of celebrating another Silver Cup win, they would have to withdraw from the race. With van Splunteren at the wheel, their Continental GT3 was hit and forced to retire early with damaged suspension.
“A weekend with very mixed emotions,” said Bentley Team HTP team boss Norbert Brückner. “Maxi and Vincent showed a impressive speed and our second consecutive win was the confirmation of our hard work this season. Our strategy for the feature race was to attack in the first part, but unfortunately this strategy was ruined when the Safety Car went out. It was too bad that Max van Splunteren was taken out of the feature race very early, as a top-five finished would have been possible.”
Buhk/Abril are second in the driver’s championship with two rounds to go. The next race will take place October 2-4th at Misano in Italy.
Quote Source: HTP Motorsport