Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts delivered their first Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup victory of the season by narrowly beating Tresor Orange 1 to victory during Race 2 at Valencia.
Weerts took the No. 32 BMW M4 GT3 across the line 0.820 seconds ahead of Feller’s No. 40 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, with the No. 69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 of Albert Costa and Thierry Vermeulen completing the podium in third place.
The triumph for the Belgian duo ended a year-long win drought in Fanatec GT competition for WRT’s No. 32 crew, with Vanthoor and Weerts last standing on the top step during the final race of last year’s Sprint Cup campaign at the same venue.
The Vincent Vosse-led squad already held one win so far this season after Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin took a breakthrough victory during Race 2 at Misano in July, but defending champions Vanthoor and Weerts had yet to pick up a victory despite four podium finishes.
After starting from 13th place, a strong start from Vanthoor saw the No. 32 car move up five positions in a chaotic opening lap that eliminated both the No. 119 Vincenzo Sospiri Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 and the No. 27 Sainteloc Junior Team Audi from the race.
Additionally, the sister No. 46 BMW saw its race ended before the conclusion of the opening lap when Martin suffered radiator damage in a skirmish with Albert Costa in the run to Turn 1, resulting in retirement.
An early, well-executed pitstop from the WRT crew then allowed the newly installed Weerts to leapfrog cars ahead and assume the lead of the race.
Weerts joined the race in front of Feller’s No. 40 Audi, while traffic on the inlap and a slower pitstop saw the No. 69 Emil Frey Ferrari drop to third place when Vermeulen took the car over from Costa.
Feller then pressured Weerts for the remainder of the contest but the Belgian driver remained out front even through a final safety car, triggered when Nova Race driver Erwin Zanotti spun into the gravel at Turn 5.
Lucas Legeret and Christopher Haase finished fourth aboard the No. 11 Comtoyou Racing Audi, while Alex Aka and Lorenzo Patrese completed the top five and secured a clean sweep of Silver Cup class wins.
The No. 14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari crossed the line in sixth position ahead of the Gold Cup-winning No. 26 Sainteloc Audi of Paul Evrard and Simon Gachet.
Gachet started the race from overall pole and held the lead of the race until the second half of the race saw Evrard fall behind the lead pack.
The Frenchman still finished ahead of both the No. 60 VSR Lamborghini of Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli as well as the No. 88 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Timur Boguslavskiy and Raffaele Marciello.
With their ninth place finish, Boguslavskiy and Marciello saw their points lead to Drudi and Feller shrink to 6,5 points with the Sprint Cup finale at Zandvoort still remaining.
Alberto di Folco and Aurelien Panis completed the overall top ten aboard the No. 9 Boutsen VDS Audi.
Pure Racing’s Malykhin Clinches Bronze Cup Title with Class Win
Alex Malykhin was crowned Bronze Cup champion at Valencia by taking the class victory in the class’ final appearance in Sprint Cup competition this season.
Due to the limited garage space at Zandvoort, the class will not race at the Dutch track. This meant that the champion would be crowned at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Malykhin, who shared the No. 911 Pure Rxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R with Ayhancan Guven, came into the final race with a two-point advantage over the No. 188 Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 Evo of Henrique Chaves and Miguel Ramos.
By taking the class victory, Malykhin was crowned champion, ending a two-year title streak for Ramos in the process.
The Portuguese driver won the Pro-Am title back-to-back in 2021, first with Henrique Chaves and then with Dean MacDonald.
Malykhin, meanwhile, became a first-time champion in Fanatec GT competition.
RESULTS: Race 2
By: Davey Euwema
Title: Weerts Ends Sprint Cup Win Drought in Valencia Race 2
Sourced From: sportscar365.com/sro/world-challenge-europe/weerts-ends-wrt-sprint-cup-win-drought-in-valencia-race-2/
Published Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2023 13:41:40 +0000
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