WEC Fans Forum’s Matt Dock , driving the #59 Aston martin GT3, dominated the opening round of GT Challenge Europe, a two-race series on the GT Sport platform between members of Sportscar Worldwide, the leading European-based online community for enthusiasts of sportscar, prototype and endurance racing, and members of the FIA World Endurance Championship – Fans Forum.
Dock was quickest in practice, took pole position and crossed the line for a lights-to-flag victory nearly four seconds ahead of teammate Gar Campion’s Nissan GT-R GT3.
Completing the podium positions was the #8 WEC Fans Forum Porsche 911 GT3, piloted by Adam Wareham.
After defeat at the hands of Australia’s Shakedown Endurance and GT Racing in the International Lockdown Challenge, the seven-man team from Sportscar Worldwide were keen to get off to a strong start against the drivers from the WEC Fans Forum.
Dock’s speed around the fictional 5.809 kms Italian circuit was apparent from the start of the meeting and the American’s quickest lap in the official practice session, a 1:54.027, was .477 seconds quicker than Gar Campion’s Nissan GT-R GT3. Conditions were perfect for racing with warm sunshine covering the circuit which is close to the Italian – Swiss border.
When the ten-minute qualifying session got underway, Dock immediately jumped the top of the timing screens and with just over five minutes remaining, was just under half second quicker than Gar Campion in his Nissan, Dock having lapped in 1:53.928
As qualifying drew to a close, it looked as if the WEC Fans Forum team had the edge, with the quickest of the SCWW drivers, Sam Buchanan in his Toyota FT-1, in sixth place with a 1:55.865.
Dock led the 14-car field away from the grid at the start of the 30-minute race, closely followed by Campion in his Nissan. The American pilot remained calm under pressure and, after two laps, had pulled out a gap to Campion of over a second.
After ten minutes, the WEC Fans Forums pilots held the top four places with the best of the SCWW drivers, Sam Buchanan in his Toyota FT-1 in fifth place. The British driver was, however, passed by WEC Fans Forum’s Andy Baker in his Mercedes-AMG GT3 and was in sixth by the halfway mark.
As the race approached the final five minutes, the closest on-track battles were for eighth and ninth places where less than 1.7 seconds separated Calden Batt in his BMW M6, James Horne in the SCWW #84 Porsche and WEC Fans Forum’s Ben Corbin in his Porsche.
At the chequered flag Dock had extended his lead over Campion to 3.875 seconds with Adam Wareham seven seconds back in third.
After Race One, the WEC Fans Forum team, on 822 points, have a 276-point lead over Sportscar Worldwide. Race Two takes place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday May 31.