RN Vision STS Racing Team wins GT4 European Series season-opener at Imola

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RN Vision STS Racing finished first and third in the Silver Cup, with AGS Events claiming a second-place finish in their first race in the series.

Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport won the Pro-Am class and with W&D Racing Team taking the Am Cup honours, all class victories went to BMW teams.

The #111 RN Vision STS Racing Team BMW started from the front row and followed the overall pole-sitting #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW as the field headed into the Variante Tamburello for the first time.

However, race control stopped the race when an advertising board fell onto the track, while around the same time the #17 V8 Racing Chevrolet and the #13 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW collided, sending Ibrahim Okyay into the gravel.

After the race was restarted, Bölükbaşı held onto the lead ahead of Schouten, with Stephane Lémeret and Theo Nouet battling for second in the Silver Cup. The Turkish driver, managed to pull away from the cars behind him and comfortably led the first stint.

When the pit window opened, Schouten handed over the #111 BMW to Gabriele Piana, while Bölükbaşı stayed out until the end of lap 17. A slow pit stop meant the #12 BMW, now driven by Yağız Gedik dropped back behind Piana, but right in front of the #27 AGS Events Aston Martin of Valentin Hasse-Clot and CMR Racing’s Gael Castelli.

Hasse-Clot tried to fight his way past Gedik, with CMR Racing’s Gael Castelli also joining the battle and the trio were nose to tail for several laps, until Hasse-Clot went through the gravel at Rivazza after a tank slapper behind the BMW. Two minutes later Gedik made contact with Castelli, but the #8 CMR Toyota did manage to get through and soon Hasse-Clot also found a safe way past the Turkish BMW.

From there on, positions never really looked to change, until the Toyota suddenly slowed down and came to a stop. It allowed Hasse-Clot to take second place behind the race winning #111 RN Vision STS Racing Team BMW and promoted the #110 of Koen Bogaerts and Mark van der Aa to third in the Silver Cup class.

Yağız Gedik and Cem Bölükbaşı took Pro-Am honours, but the real fight in the category was for second place. Ivan Jacoma in the #718 Centri Porsche Ticino entry held on to second during the opening stint, but he was under real pressure from Jan Kasperlik in the #22 Allied Racing Porsche, with the gap at one point just 0.214s.

After the pit stops Joel Camathias, Nicolaj Møller-Madsen and Bastian Buus closed in on the class leading BMW, but eventually the Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW crossed the line to take the class win. Camathias claimed second place for Centri Porsche Ticino on his debut in the series, with Nicolaj Møller-Madsen beating Allied-Racing teammate Bastian Buus for third in class.

W&D Racing Team’s Paolo Meloni and Stefano Valli were victorious in the first of four planned races together this season. The BMW drivers beat AGS Events’ Gilles Vannelet and Nicolas Gomar, with series returnees Autorlando Sport completing the Am Cup podium.