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Strakka Racing claim a podium finish in Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Opener at Monza

25th April 2018

Strakka Racing claimed a podium finish at the opening round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Autodromo Nazionale Monza last weekend, with the #43 car finishing in 2nd place after completing 95 laps.

The #43 car piloted by Maxi Buhk, Max Götz and Alvaro Parente finished just 2.017 seconds behind the race winner in an action-packed three-hour endurance race on Sunday, which saw the lead change three times in the last 32 minutes.

The team also achieved 8th place with car #44 following faultless stints from David Fumanelli, Lucas Auer and Adrien Tambay, car #42 just missed out on a podium finish in the PRO-AM class instead taking 4th place with the crew comprising Nick Leventis, Lewis Williamson and Chris Buncombe.

After starting the race 5th on the grid, the #43 car was able to work its way up the ranks amongst the front runners, with the first stint driven by Parente. Buhk made up more places and finished with a stunning overtake on the outside of Parabolica, allowing him to move up into the lead. Götz then took over the #43 Mercedes-AMG GT3 during the final stint, facing a head-to-head battle in the last half an hour from the team who emerged in second place.

The rivalling Audi was able to make it past the #43 car, although one lap later it was decided by the stewards that Götz would resume the position at the front, due to a track limit infringement by the Audi for crossing the white line on the start/finish straight when overtaking.

Unfortunately, the position was soon to change again, following contact under braking for the first corner. Götz was then asked to concede the position.  Once ahead, the Audi was able to pull away slightly, offering no further opportunity for Götz to attempt an overtake.

After qualifying in 15th and despite some damage at the beginning of the race, the #44 car was able to stay competitive and finished the three-hour race in 8th overall. In the PRO-AM class, car #42 put on a good fight and only just missed out on a podium result, with a 4th place finish.

Despite the disappointment of losing the win in the last half an hour of the race, Strakka Racing are delighted to take home a podium result in their first European outing with the Mercedes-AMG GT3s.

The second round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will be at Silverstone on the 18th – 20th May 2018.

Max Götz – Strakka Racing #43: “After swapping seats with Maxi, I unfortunately lost some time in traffic, which allowed the Audi to close up behind me. Then the action really began. The Audi overtook me outside track limits after which I was handed back the lead, but after slight contact as I struggled on the brakes at turn one, I was unable to regain my position. Despite not being able to gain the win, this is an outstanding result for Strakka Racing who have done an excellent job. Many thanks to all the team!”

Maximilian Buhk – Strakka Racing #43: “It was definitely a very entertaining, action-packed race for the fans. My overtake also contributed to that. The Ferrari closed the door on the inside very well whenever I attacked. Then, I simply had to try it on the outside which worked. The team did a great job, and I am more than happy to take home a podium result.”