Maiden Class Victory for Jack at Misano

Jack Manchester and Nico Bastian claimed their first Silver Class victory at the Italian Misano World Circuit, with a brilliant drive in Race One. Race Two brought some bad luck as Nico was hit and taken out of the class P3 battle with a few laps to go.

The first practice session for the third Blancpain GT Sprint round was struck with heavy rainfall, making the track too wet to get any laps completed. Second practice saw the track initially damp, still drying from the earlier rainfall. As it dried, Jack was able to put on the slick tyres and get his first taste of the track in the dry.

Bright sunshine greeted Misano Saturday morning, putting the track temperature a lot higher than it had been through the practice sessions. With the limited testing and no racing experience at Misano, Jack did a particularly good job to take P6 in class for race two in his qualifying session.

 For Race One, Nico started in the car and managed to hold onto class second, overall third, as the grid filed into Turn 1. With an unlucky car failure for the #87 AKKA ASP Team car, Nico inherited the overall lead and handed the car over to Jack in this strong position.

Jack came out of the pit stop in third overall and was immediately doing an excellent job battling with Pro drivers to try and hold onto the position. The race climaxed into a great battle as the race drew to a close, with Jack looking in a great place to secure the team’s first class victory. The #54 Emil Frey Racing put a lot of pressure on the Brit, but Jack defended skillfully, keeping his foot in to bring the #90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to the chequered flag first in class and an impressive sixth overall.

Race Two saw Jack start in the car, and he displayed some good race craft before handing the car over to Nico. Racing to reach the chequered flag, Nico found himself in a tight battle for the bottom step of the class podium. It was a close battle, but Nico was sadly hit and spun out of the fight. He was able to recover from the spin to bring the car across the line, securing some valuable points finishing fifth in class. 

Reflecting on a positive weekend, Jack Manchester said: 

I was really happy with my performance in qualifying, considering my lack of experience at Misano. Race One was perfect. Nico did a great job to hand the car to me in a strong position and I was able to stay focused, battle hard and take class victory.

"It’s a great feeling standing on the top step so a big thank you to our team for helping make it possible this weekend. Race Two was unfortunate because we were looking to have another great result. However, we come away with a victory and happy having extended our Silver Class Championship lead and will take this motivation into the next race.”

The next race on Jack’s calendar is the highly anticipated Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Four drivers will take the wheel of the Team Thunderhead car, with Jules Szymkowiak returning to the team and Fabian Schiller joining for a one-off appearance. The 24-hour race will be the longest Endurance race Jack has participated in and will present a lot of unique challenges on this iconic circuit.

Championship Standings
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Silver Cup - 1st (67.5 points)
Blancpain GT Series Overall Silver Cup - 1st (91.5 points)

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