26th May, 2019 – International GT Open, Hockenheim
Kang Ling and Frederik Schandorff took a well-deserved second place in the Pro-Am championship of the GT Open International today and now lie third in the Championship.
Hockenheim was a new addition to the GT Open International calendar this year and the VSR drivers used Friday’s free practice sessions to acquaint themselves with the German circuit. Schandorff was put in charge of qualifying the team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Saturday’s race and took a place on the ninth row in a difficult session that was red flagged in the final minutes.
An aggressive start saw Schandorff hustle the VSR Lamborghini into thirteenth place over the course of the first lap. He claimed another place on lap two, passing Jager’s Mercedes for sixth in the Pro-Am class, and was challenging Liang when the Chinese driver speared into Rovera’s Mercedes, bringing the Safety Car out. It took ten minutes to clear up the wreckage and when racing resumed Schandorff set off in pursuit of Wilkinson’s Aston Martin with Jager hot on his heels. The battle with Jager would last until the end of Schandorrf’s stint and it was the VSR driver who came out on top. VSR, along with the other Pro-Am cars running up front, waited to stop until the very end of the pit window. With an extra five second penalty to discount during the driver change Ling joined the race in fourteenth place overall, sixth in class. With twenty minutes left on the clock he caught up to the two Pro class Lamborghini’s ahead of him being driver by Pohler and Leo, and on lap thirty-one passed Pohler. As the race entered the final stage Ling and Leo caught up to Hahn, running fifth in Pro-Am. On lap thirty-eight Leo forced his way past Hahn and Ling took advantage to follow him through. He took the chequered flag in twelfth place, fifth in Pro-Am.
Ling was the second fastest Pro-Am qualifier for Sunday’s race, taking a spot on the fifth row, with a lap just six tenths off the pole in a closely contested session that saw the top fourteen cars covered by just one second. At the start Ling was quick to gain a place, passing Leo for ninth place. The Chinese driver then maintained station and ran second in Pro-Am until the pit window opened. Schandorff took over the car on lap twenty and was soon under pressure from Dontje’s Mercedes. On lap twenty-six he found a way past and the pair quickly caught up to Liang’s Lamborghini and Froggatt’s Ferrari, the Pro-Am leader. They quickly despatched Liang and on lap thirty-one both overtook Froggatt to go one-two in Pro-Am. For the last five laps of the race Schandorff did his best to stay with Dontje’s Mercedes and they took the chequered flag just one and half seconds apart.
Ling and Schandorff’s first Pro-Am podium of the season pushes them up to third in the class standings as we look ahead to the next round at Spa in two weeks.
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