Yelmer Buurman and Michael Bartels completed a near-perfect weekend for the Vita4One BMW squad by claiming victory in the GT1 World Championship main event at the Slovakia Ring.
The duo, also victorious in Saturday's qualifying race, controlled proceedings from the outset and looked to be cruising to another BMW 1-2 finish when a late safety car interrupted proceedings.
Brought out seven minutes from the flag in response to Alvaro Parente losing several chunks of rear bodywork when he ran wide at the chicane, the safety car proved acrimonious as it pulled in – unexpectedly for some – to allow a final-lap dash to the checkered flag.
Mathias Lauda in the second BMW was the main loser, as he was caught unawares at the restart and ended up losing second place to an opportunistic move from Markus Winkelhock's Munnich Mercedes. While Lauda and teammate Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof vented their frustrations, WRT Audi pair Stephane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor had cause to celebrate its arrival.
Vanthoor had been closing steadily on Winkelhock in the fight for third when, 12 minutes from the finish and with the top four now covered by less than four seconds, he was handed the severe punishment of a drive-through penalty for an infringement during the pit stop. As he came in, the safety car went out and the damage of his penalty was therefore limited. In the end the WRT Audi man ended up losing just one place, to the sister car of Oliver Jarvis and Frank Stippler.
Audi therefore locked out fourth and fifth, with the final spot in the top six going to the AF Corse Ferrari of Toni Vilander and Filip Salaquarda.
Victory moves Buurman and Bartels 15 points clear in the drivers' championship, with the pair becoming the first to win more than one main event in 2012.