Earle secures third Blancpain GT Sports Club Iron Cup title at Spa, as Remenyako dominates for maiden victory

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Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle became a three-time Blancpain GT Sports Club Iron Cup champion at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, as GetSpeed Performance’s Denis Remenyako earned a maiden series victory after dominating the second race in Belgium.

There was no stopping Remenyako in the final race of the SRO Speedweek, as the #13 Mercedes AMG GT3 driver jumped from third to first in Turn 1 on the opening lap and never looked back, with Earle keeping his Iron Cup rivals at bay to put himself out of reach of AF Corse’s Louis-Philippe Soenen with a round to spare.

Championship leader Jens Reno Moller led them away at the start of race two, but Remenyako superbly dived down the inside of both the #11 Honda NSX GT3 Evo and #23 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Murod Sultanov, as they streamed into La Source for the first time.

Moller and Remenyako made contact on the exit, but the Reno Racing driver continued to pile the pressure on his Russian counterpart as they completed the first few laps. Once Remenyako got his tyres up to temperature though, he managed to gradually extend his advantage out front.

Touring car convert Moller looked to be carrying damage on the front left corner and soon was running more than 10 seconds behind. Meanwhile, HP Racing International’s Coach McKansy was making gains in the #17 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 from fourth on the grid.

The German initially lost out to Titanium Cup rival Lee Mowle in the #44 ERC Sport Mercedes, but despite good defensive driving from the former British GT racer, McKansy swooped around the outside at Les Combes to take back fourth with 25 minutes still to run.

Next on McKansy’s radar was Sultanov, who occupied the final spot on the overall podium. It wasn’t long before the Titanium Cup leader caught the Russian’s Ferrari, who also defended well over the coming laps. It wasn’t enough though, as McKansy muscled through on the inside at La Source to take the place.

Up ahead, Remenyako still held a comfortable advantage over Moller and didn’t put a wheel wrong, taking the chequered flag to claim an emphatic maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club victory on his Spa debut.

Moller came home second, seeing him extend his championship lead further, with McKansy eventually finishing an impressive third. Moller’s closest title challenge Sultanov was fourth and keeps the championship battle alive ahead of the Barcelona finale.

Fifth was Mowle, who came on strong at the end of the race, with StileF Squadra Corse driver Pavel Strukov finishing some way back in sixth on board the #777 Ferrari. The Russian was another to make an overtake around the outside at Les Combes, demoting Earle to seventh.

The American was running second in the Iron Cup class at the beginning of the 45-minute race, but Kessel Racing team-mate Howard Blank made a mistake at the final chicane and spun his #56 Ferrari.

This also allowed the #50 Ferrari of Soenen to move into second in class, as he looked to spoil Earle’s celebrations. The Belgian couldn’t do anything to stop him though, finishing one place behind in eighth and ensuring Earle left Spa as the 2019 Iron Cup champion.

Blank recovered well, setting faster laps than the three ahead of him to finish just a second behind in ninth, with HB Racing’s Bernhard Loffler coming home 10th on his maiden Blancpain GT Sports Club weekend in the #666 Lamborghini.

The drivers will next head to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, for the fifth and final round of the 2019 Blancpain GT Sports Club championship.