Hexis McLaren duo Stef Dusseldorp and Fred Makowiecki ensured their status as GT1 World Championship contenders with a commanding performance in Russia.
After a miserable weekend in Slovakia, where the duo failed to pick up a single point, a win in the main event at Moscow Raceway moved them to within 17 points of the championship leaders. As in the qualifying race, the championship race began behind a safety car due to the poor weather conditions.
When the safety car peeled in, polesitter Stephane Ortelli made an uncharacteristic mistake, running wide on the exit of the first corner and allowing Markus Winkelhock's Mercedes to take the lead away from the Audi.
The star of the first stint, though, was Alvaro Parente. The Portugese driver had already scythed through the field, including teammate Makowiecki, when he caught and passed raced leader Winkelhock. Makowiecki too made it past Winkelhock, giving Hexis a strong position entering the first round of pit stops.
Gregoire Demoustier took over from Parente, but could not show the same pace as his teammate. He was eventually caught and passed by the sister car, now in the hands of Dusseldorp. The Dutchman then went on to win by over 25 seconds, bringing he and his teammate back into title contention.
Demoustier held on to second place, despite being pushed into a spin by Filip Salaquarda. Karma ensured Salaquarda's race ended prematurely with an engine problem, but Demoustier then had the second Ferrari 458 to deal with, just holding off Francesco Castellacci over the line. Ultimately it was irrelevant, as Castellacci was handed a 30sec time penalty for coming together with Nicky Pastorelli, dropping him down to sixth.
It was therefore WRT Audis in third and fourth - Oliver Jarvis and Frank Stippler ahead of Laurens Vanthoor and Stephane Ortelli, with Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock finishing in fifth position.
Vita4One's weekend failed to improve, with a seventh place being the best that championship leaders Michael Bartels and Yelmer Buurman could manage.