Max Paul and Pierre-Louis Chovet took a dominant win in Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring, their third of the season, at the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracán of Oregon Team. Starting from pole position, the German-French duo controlled the entire race beating the Motopark Mercedes of Diego Menchaca-Marco Siebert. The Latin American pair made a perfect operation towards the standings, which they now lead by 11 points on Fagg-De Haan (Optimum Motorsport McLaren), who today had to retire when they were second.
The young duo of Reece Barr-Mikaeel Pitamber took their maiden and well-deserved podium with the SPS Mercedes, in a podium that could actually be the ‘youngest’ in GT Open’s history, with the ages of the six drivers comprised between 19 and 28 years.
In Pro-Am, Marcin Jedlinski and Karol Basz (Olimp Racing Audi) took their second win of the year ahead of Rosi-Schirò (Kessel Racing Ferrari) and class leaders Marco Pulcini-Eddie Cheever (AF Corse Ferrari).
In Am, home and maiden success for Baron motorsport, with Ernst Kirchmayr and Philipp Baron (Baron Ferrari) preceding class leaders Heiko Neumann-Timo Rumpfkeil (Motopark Mercedes) and Giuseppe Cipriani (Barone Rampante Lambo).
THE RACE -After the two Oregon Team locked row 1, as Max Paul took his second pole of the season ahead of Daan Arrow, the start saw the Italian cars controlling the situation, although during lap 1, Siebert managed to get in between the Lambos. De Haan took fourth in the early stages, although fiercely challenged by Rueda, followed by Agostini, Montermini (first in Am), Pitamber and Jans, while Korzeniowski after a stellar start dropped to 12th, soon passed by Reicher, and Baron was tenth.
In lap 12, Montermini pits with a technical issue. In lap 14, Rueda manages to pass De Haan for fourth, while in the lead, Paul has a 5.5-second advantage on Siebert and 11 on Arrow.
The window for driver change opens in lap 19, with De Haan (who gets a 5-second penalty for track limits) and Reicher among the first to start, while Paul extends his lead to 7 seconds on Siebert, 15 on Arrow and 20 on Rueda.
After all stops, in lap 27, Chovet has managed to keep the lead despite the 15-second handicap, eight seconds ahead of Menchaca and Fagg, and 15 on Marinangeli, who has just passed Perolini although touching him. Follow Barr, Gilbert, Haase, Blom and Kirchmayr, who leads in Am ahead of Cipriani and Rumpfkeil.
By lap 35, Fagg has passed Menchaca for third and is closing on Chovet (the gap is 5 seconds), while Barr has climbed to fourth ahead of Marinangeli, Haase, Perolini (who stops along the track two laps later with a broken fuel pump), Basz (leading in Pro-Am) and Gilbert, who spins soon after.
The last laps see a ‘coup de théâtre’, as Fagg’s car stops with an apparent electronic issue in lap 42, losing P2 which goes to direct rival Menchaca, with Barr completing the podium ahead of Marinangeli and Reicher, and the top three in Pro-Am, Basz, Schirò and Cheever. In Am, Kirchmayr wins ahead of Rumpfkeil and Cipriani.