PRESS RELEASE: 12th September 2021
VICTORY AND SECOND PLACE AT THE RED BULL RING CONTINUES VSR'S RUN OF SUCCESS IN THE GT OPEN
Sep 12, 2021
Red Bull Ring win extends Beretta & Schandorff’s Championship lead as Moulin & Nemoto return to the podium
International GT Open, Round 5
The Red Bull Ring hosted this weekend’s double header International GT Open Championship event and VSR were present with two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evos. Both cars were entered in the Pro category with the number 19 driven by Baptiste Moulin and Yuki Nemoto and the number 63 by Championship leaders Michele Beretta and Frederik Schandorff.
Beretta and Nemoto qualified the cars for Saturday afternoon’s race and locked out the second row in a close session that saw the top four cars covered by just 0.187 seconds. Beretta got the jump on Championship rival Soucek at the start and battled with the Spanish driver for most of the opening lap before consolidating second behind Osborne. Nemoto slipped back to sixth, losing out to De Haan and Bastian as the lights went green. By lap five Beretta had a two second margin over Soucek and Nemoto had made it past Bastian’s Mercedes. The Japanese driver was quickly all over the Aston Martin of De Haan but couldn’t find a way past until lap ten. By then Beretta had a four second cushion over Soucek and when the pit window opened on lap nineteen he had extended it to seven seconds. Beretta was the first to pit, handing over the 63 Lambo to Schandorff after discounting a hefty twenty second success penalty. Nemoto, one of the fastest men on track, had closed to within three seconds of Soucek when the Spaniard pitted. Al Zubair took over the Porsche and exited just behind Schandorff. Nemoto came in at the end of the window and Moulin took over the 19 car. On lap thirty the two VSR cars swapped places leaving Schandorff in second, hunting down Moss’s McLaren, and Moulin third. On lap thirty rain began to fall at the back of the circuit but Schandorff was relentless and five laps later caught and passed Moss to take the lead of the race. As the race entered the final fifteen minutes the rain increased and on lap thirty-eight Moulin pitted for wets. A lap later Al Zubair stopped but remained blocked in the pits with a wheel issue. On lap forty-one the a deluge hit the first corner and Schandorff skated off the road into the gravel. As the VSR driver niftily reversed his way back on to the circuit he was joined off track by the rest of the field with the exception of Moulin on wets. Inevitably the race was red-flagged and not restarted as there were only four minutes left on the clock. The final classification saw Schandorff and Beretta as winners with Moulin and Nemoto in fifth.
On Sunday morning it was the turn of Moulin and Schandorff to qualify the cars. Schandorff lined up for race two on the second row and Moulin on row four. Al Zubair qualified second but at the start both Schandorff and Basz passed him. After ten minutes there was status quo amongst the front runners and the closest battle was for fifth with Carroll, Millroy, Moulin and Paveraud covered by just 1.5 seconds. By lap eleven Moulin could no longer keep the Honda at bay and Paveraud gained a place. On lap sixteen the pit window opened and Moulin stopped so Nemoto could take over the number 19 Lambo. A lap later Schandorff followed him in and after discounting their twenty second success handicap Beretta rejoined the track just behind Nemoto. Al Zubair pitted next and his team-mate Soucek took over and was soon trading fastest laps with the VSR Lamborghinis – a battle which would ultimately be resolved in Beretta’s favour. When the pit window closed Soucek was running in third with Nemoto and Beretta behind him in fourth and fifth. All three gained rapidly on Jedlinski in second but just after Soucek passed the Mercedes his Porsche picked up a puncture and he was forced to pit. Nemoto and Beretta both passed Jedlinski in the closing stages of the race and on the final lap Bastian took third from Beretta, allowing the Championship leaders to finally reduce their handicap for the next race.
A win and a fourth place leaves Beretta and Schandorff with an eighteen point lead whilst today’s podium finish pushes Moulin and Nemoto into third place in the standings. The penultimate round of the Championship will see the teams reconvene at Monza in a fortnight’s time.