Hook, triumphant return
Blancpain GT Sport Club

Hook, triumphant return

Misano | 29 June 2019

Christopher Hook in the Blancpain GT Sport Club made a dream comeback, with the Rinaldi Racing driver able to dominate at the wheel of the 488 GT3 at Race-1 in Misano, in both the overall and the Titanium class. At the end of a hotly disputed race, Ferrari had managed to command in every class thanks to performances by Mario Cordoni in the Overall class and Stephen Earle in the Iron Cup.

Hook breaks away. At the start, Hook took command over Mowle and Cordoni, although the Spirit of Race driver was forced to surrender the position to championship leader Reno Moller. From the rear Earle had overtaken Strukov and began to hunt down Rick Lovat, first in the Iron Cup class. While Hook edged away ahead, the battle for second position was hotting up between Mowle and Moller, which allowed Cordoni to move up into the slipstream of the two rivals and the Spirit of Race car began to pressure the driver in the Honda livery into making a mistake on the final curve, who span off and dropped down the table to sixth position. In the mid-pack Earle was beginning to make himself ever more present in Lovat’s mirrors, as Cordoni was doing with Mowle elsewhere.

Red flagEighteen minutes from the end, Lovat, with Earle always hot on his heels, strayed slightly from the racing line, offering the American an opening. Lovat, however, shut him down on the curve and contact became inevitable, even though it was the Canadian Spirit of Race driver who eventually came away worst, going into a spin. Meanwhile at the head of the course, with Hook dictating the pace, Cordoni was finding it tricky to find the exact point to make his attempt on second position. When the race went into its final stretches, Mowle began to edge clear of the Italian driver, while at the same time trying to close the gap that separated him from Christian Hook, struggling with his tyres. With one-and-a-half minutes remaining before the chequered flag, the Mercedes driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into wall on the start-finish straight. Due to the amount of debris scattered across the track, the red flag was brought out, freezing the final standings dictated by the results from the previous lap.

Ferrari on top. Christian Hook, on his series comeback, thus took the victory ahead of Lee Mowle and Mario Cordoni. The Italian, first in the overall competition, preceded Murad Sultanov, also in a Ferrari, second in the class, while Pavel Strukov posted fourth. Stephen Earle, seventh overall, dominated the Iron Cup ahead of Louis-Philippe Soenen and Blank Howard. After a fine day’s racing and contact with Earle, Lovat was eventually forced to retire from the race.