BMW sets Warm-Up pace, Audi threatens
Vita4One BMW continued to dominate at the Slovakia Ring with Michael Bartels (DEU) and Yelmer Buurman (NLD) setting the pace in the morning Warm-up session ahead of today’s Championship Race.
Bartels and Buurman in the No.18 BMW, the winners of yesterday’s Qualifying Race, set a time of 2:01.991.
Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) and Stephane Ortelli (MON) in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8 were second with a 2:02.095. The No.32 Audi finished fifth yesterday but was disadvantaged by a slow pit stop.
Vanthoor and Ortelli showed flashes of impressive race pace and are likely to challenge the front runners for a podium position in the main event today.
There was a return to form for Hexis Racing McLaren with Fred Makowiecki (FRA) and Stef Dusseldorp (NLD) setting the third best time of 2:02.498
Ferrari were also up the order with the No.3 AF Corse458 Italia of Filip Salaquarda (CZE) and Toni Vilander (FIN) fourth fastest with 2:02.683. Peter Kox (NLD) and Darryl O’Young (CHN) in the No.25 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini were fifth with a best lap of 2:02.902 just ahead of the second Audi of Oliver Jarvis (GBR) and Frank Stippler (DEU).
The session was relatively uneventful although Tomas Jager managed to beach the No.37 Mercedes in the gravel at T2 which meant the car completed only three laps.
This afternoon’s Championship Race looms as another battle between the championship contenders Vita4One Racing BMW and ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Mercedes.
A win for Bartels and Buurman in the Qualifying Race gave them eight points to take them to 96 points in the drivers’ standings – nine ahead of Mercedes No.38 pair Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock.
In the teams’ championship, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport are on 163 points with Vita4One on 126 and Hexis Racing, who have had a torrid time in Slovakia so far, third with 105.
The Championship Race starts at 13:15 local time.