The Heico Gravity-Charouz Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 pair of Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Maximilian Buhk (DEU) completed a lights-to-flag victory in Race Two at Navarra – their second win of the 2012 season.
It rounded out a solid weekend for the team from the Czech Republic as earlier in the day, the sister car of Mika Vahamaki and Max Nilsson scored their maiden win.
It was a commanding performance by Baumann and Buhk who took the chequered flag with 18 seconds to spare. The 25 points took the pair to the lead of the drivers’ championship.
“I tried to push at the start to make it easier for Dominik,” Baumann said. “I am really pleased with the win today but not so happy with the first race (eighth place). Today was really good. We had a good start and built a good gap for the pit stop and we used our tyres properly.
“It’s nice to be leading the championship but we could have scored some more points this weekend for sure. For the next round we are very confident of what we can achieve.”
Baumann added: “It was really a lot hotter than the morning so it was not easy to get the right pressure for the tyres but I think our team managed it really well.
“Max did a great job, he made a really big gap for us, and he made it quite easy from the pole position today. The track was a little cooler for me, and I didn’t really need to push that hard, so could save the tyres a little. It was the perfect race for us with a pole and a win.”
Second was the No.11 Rhino’s Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini of Hari Proczyk (AUT) and David Mengesdorf (DEU) after a strong drive from third place on the grid.
“We performed strongly this weekend, but after the Qualifying I was thinking that we were much more ahead. The pace from the Heico team was much better than I expected, they did a great job. We also did through all the weekend, with P2 and P3, it’s very good for us,” Proczyk said.
Third place went to the No.14 Team Novadriver Audi R8 LMS of Portuguese duo Ni Amorim and Cesar Campanico.
“It was a race that the Audis were not the most competitive car so we have to be happy with our best result of the season so far,” Campanico said.
“The Navarra circuit is close to our team base at Portimao so it is like a home race for us. Let’s hope we can be competitive in the following races as well.”
A miscommunication by the Sainteloc Racing team resulted in Dino Lunardi in the No.15 Audi R8 LMS missing the Pit Window.
The car was running a strong second at the time but after serving a stop and go penalty of 36 seconds Jerome Demay brought the car home in ninth place.
It was a disappointing end to a busy weekend for Lunardi, who combined GT3 duties with a stint in the Exim Bank Team China Porsche in GT1.
“Before the start we had a problem with the radio but during the race it was OK,” he said. “I don’t know what happened, it’s one of those things.”
Results and standings to follow ...