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Home   Gravesend   Sport   Article

Brands Hatch successfully welcomed back the world's best sportscars last weekend - and the Blancpain GT Sprint series looks set to return

20 May 2014
by Dan Wright

The return of international sportscar racing to Brands Hatch was hailed a success last weekend and now looks set for a successful future at the circuit.

For the first time since 1996, top line sportscar racing thrilled the crowds and after two successful Blancpain GT Sprint races, organisers reckon the championship will return to Kent soon.

The field piles into Paddock Hill Bend at the start of the feature race. Picture - Joe Wright

The field piles into Paddock Hill Bend at the start of the feature race. Picture - Joe Wright

Over 20 of the world’s finest GT cars took to the 2.65 mile circuit and despite limited overtaking, the thunderous machines still put on a good show.

Drivers from across the globe headed to West Kingsdown and all eyes were on Brands Hatch legend Alex Zanardi, who returned to the circuit for the first time since his Paraylmpic success at the venue in 2012.

Sportscars side-by-side was a sight to behold. Picture - Joe Wright

Sportscars side-by-side was a sight to behold. Picture - Joe Wright

He scored a stong top five finish in race two aboard his BMW Z4 - and series boss Stephane Ratel, the CEO of SRO Motorsports who organise the championship, was delighted to be back in Kent.

“We were lucky to have this fantastic weather and in addition the event was very well promoted which meant we have a very decent attendance,” he said.

A number of the world's best sportscars were present, including this Mercedes. Picture - Joe Wright

A number of the world's best sportscars were present, including this Mercedes. Picture - Joe Wright

“We had a bit of lack of overtaking but otherwise it’s been a fantastic weekend - and we’re very happy to be here for a number of years.

“It’s the first year back in Brands and I think we have a good partnership and we should hopefully come back next year and the year after.”

The racing provided close action at the starts. Picture - Joe Wright

The racing provided close action at the starts. Picture - Joe Wright

In a field full of McLaren, Audi, Mercedes and BMW machines, it was a Lamborghini who reigned supreme in the two one-hour long races.

Intense pressure from Max Buhk’s Mercedes SLS behind them could not stop driver pairing Jeroen Bleekemolen and Hari Proczyk from winning the first qualifying race on Sunday morning - which set them up well for the main feature race.

The GT cars could stretch their legs in the woods around the GP track. Picture - Joe Wright

The GT cars could stretch their legs in the woods around the GP track. Picture - Joe Wright

And in a repeat performance of the first, Bleekemolen and Proczyk again took top-spot in race two with a commanding win.

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