R-Motorsport just miss out on the ultimate prize at the Hungaroring

Sunday, September 08, 2019

They came as close to it as that they could 'smell it' but after the final race of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe Series from the Hungaroring today, the best the #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin Racing racing duo of Hugo de Sadeleer and Aaro Vainio could do was that of Silver Cup runners up.

The expression on their faces yesterday after again not being able to beat the Silver Cup Championship leading AKKA ASP Mercedes crew of Nico Bastian and Thomas Neubauer seemed to acknowledge that the #89 cars last lap pass during race one would leave them a step too far for the young Swiss and Finnish drivers the cross in the final race of the season.

That was because a poor Qualifying session from the #62 AMR Vantage crew would leave them starting race two from one extreme of the grid to one other as Bastian claimed a P9 slot whilst de Sadeleer would start from near the rear in P23. The only plus point then was that the second placed crew in the championship would be starting behind them come the race.

Fortunately (or not) the heavy rains of yesterday had left and the final hour of the series would be conducted on a warm dry track as the race got underway on its first lap anyway after a spinning Am class car called for the release and the Safety Car.

Loosing nearly ten minutes of the race, time was rapidly running out for the #62 car to shorten the gap on track to the #89 Mercedes. The sister #76 AMR of Marvin Kirchhofer would see out their season on something of a whimper as a spin just after the restart pushed the car to the rear of the field.

The AKKA ASP crew rode they luck later after contact with another car just before the stops but that failed to extend into any loss of performance on track - or indeed anything that may have benefitted the AMR crew.

At the end of the pit window the gap had narrowed somewhat with Neubauer now just two positions ahead of Vainio as the Finn charged in some great laps - going into the final ten minutes of the race they were then nose to tail in P8 and P9.

That sadly was not enough as the chequered flag fell on the field with these two cars still in the same position. Being over ten points behind before the race even started, finishing again behind the Mercedes was simply not enough to change the Silver Cup Championship position with Bastian and Neubauer claiming the title with a twelve and a half point margin. The team's #76 Pro car of Kirchhofer and Collard would finish the season P8 but some points behind the championship winner.

That all said, it was still a great performance by the team's two young guns across the season, especuilly for de Sadeleer who suffered the phycological setback of being released by another AMR Vantage GT3 early into the year so to end the year as runner in in a series as competitive as the Blancpain GT Series says a lot about his (and Vainio's) capabilities.

Hopefully we will see these guys out again somewhere in a GT3 car next year.

Photo credits - Blancpain GT / R-Motorsport
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