The fourth and penultimate event in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup will take place at the Hungaroring this weekend.
For the first time in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, fans will be able to see a Porsche among the competitors when Attempto Racing (#67) enters a Porsche 991 GT3 R for Kevin Estre and Klaus Bachler.
Will Stevens and Markus Winkelhock (#2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) will travel to Budapest in high spirits after their victory at the last Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race in Zolder in June. But so far, the championship has seen three different winners from the three race meetings: Franck Perera and Maxi Buhk (#84 Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport) in Misano, Christian Engelhart and Mirko Bortolotti (#63 GRT Grasser Racing Team) in Brands Hatch and Winkelhock and Stevens in Zolder.
Fierce competition is guaranteed as last year’s Budapest winner Maxi Buhk and his teammate Frank Perera (Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport) are leading the overall Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup driver’s championship with 49 points, followed by Markus Winkelhock and Will Stevens (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) with a gap of 5 points and 7 points ahead of Stuart Leonard (Team WRT) in third position.
Therefore, all of them have a good chance of turning the championship to their favour. HTP Motorsport (54 points) is leading the overall team’s classification for the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup ahead of Team WRT (49 points) and GRT Grasser Racing (49 points).
“So far the season had its ups and downs for me,” said Maxi Buhk.
“We could not achieve what we were aiming for because of tiny mistakes. This has to change for the remainder of the season. Last year we had a great weekend in Budapest and were victorious thanks to fantastic teamwork.
And despite travelling to Budapest as the leader in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup I’m still aiming for the overall championship. A deficit of 21 points sounds a lot at the moment, but as you can score 25 for a win everything is possible. Many things can happen, but we cannot afford to finish a race meeting without taking home some valuable points.”
But looking at the overall results in the Blancpain GT Series – with only three more rounds to go – GRT Grasser Racing Team is clearly one of the favourites. 121 points are in their account, followed by Bentley Team M-Sport on 116 points and HTP Motorsport with 111 points.
The overall leader in the Blancpain GT Series drivers’ standings is Vincent Abril (Bentley Team M-Sport, 110 points), but the GRT Grasser Racing Team duo of Bortolotti and Engelhart has a comfortable lead of 18 points on Buhk/Perera in third position who scored 89 points so far.
In the Blancpain GT Series Pro-Am Cup, Alexander Mattschull (#333, Rinaldi Racing) is aiming for the overall championship lead and to extend his lead in the Sprint Cup classification. Together with his teammate Daniel Keilwitz he will try to keep the driver pairing of Jules Gounon and Jean-Luc Beaubelique (#87, AKKA ASP), third in the overall classification, at bay.
But they have to watch out for the other aspiring leaders in the Sprint Cup classification, namely Carlo Van Dam/Piti Bhirombhakdi (#39, Kessel Racing TP12) and Michael Broniszewski/Giacomo Piccini (#11, Kessel Racing).
In the Am Cup, David Perel (#888 Kessel Racing) together with his teammate Stephen Earle will try to add some more points to their overall lead.