Emil Frey Racing, winners of Race One at the GT World Challenge Powered by AWS Sprint Cup weekend at Zandvoort, made it a 1 – 2 – 4 in Race Two when the #163 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, piloted by Albert Costa and Norbert Siedler finished just under 11 seconds ahead of the sister #14 Silver Cup entry of Alex Fontana and Ricardo Feller.
The #32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS, driven by Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, finished in third after having to serve a late race penalty for a pit lane infringement.
Class honours in the Pro-Am category went to the #20 SPS automotive performance Mercedes driven by Dominik Baumann and, taking the chequered flag, Valentin Pierburg.
Second in the overall drivers standings ahead of Sunday June 20’s second race of the GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup weekend at Zandvoort, Raffaele Marcielo started the 60-minute contest from pole position in the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 ahead of Dries Vanthoor in the #32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3.
The highly experienced Italian pilot got off to a solid start but was under pressure from Christian Engelhart in the #54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche, Engelhart having passed Vanthoor on the opening lap.
After four laps, Marciello had extended his advantage to nearly 3.5 seconds over Engelhart while Dries Vanthoor, who had started alongside Marciello, was defending 5th place from Maro Engel in the #6 Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport entry.
After 15 minutes of racing, Vanthoor passed Jean-Pierre Alexandre’s Bentley and set about chasing down Albert Costa’s #163 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini. There was drama for Maro Engel when the driver of the #6 Mercedes made contact with the #107 Bentley on an attempted pass. Damage to the #6 Mercedes caused Engel to stop out on the circuit ahead of the driver changes.
As the pit stops drew closer for the leading trio, Marciello had extended his lead to over 14 seconds from the #54 Porsche with Dries Vanthoor just over a second behind Christian Engelhart in third place.
After the driver changes had cycled through, Timur Boguslavskiy in the #88 Mercedes remained in the lead with Norbert Siedler in the #163 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini in second. Disaster was about to strike, however, when Boguslavskiy encountered what appeared to be an electrical problem on lap 26 and had to return to the pits. Siedler inherited the lead with Charles Weerts just under two seconds back in second. The #88 Mercedes returned to the circuit but returned to the garage to retire after just one lap.
As the race approached its final quarter, Siedler’s lead remained at just under two seconds.
The #54 Porsche, the sole representative of the Stuttgart marque on the grid, limped to the pit lane with an issue and retired with 13 minutes remaining.
Just over 2.5 seconds behind in second, Weerts in #32 Audi was served with a drive -through penalty, promoting the #14 and #114 Lamborghinis into first and third place and raising the possibility of an Emil Frey Racing 1-2-3.
At the chequered flag, Siedler had an advantage of just under 11 seconds from his teammate Feller with Weerts a further 13 seconds behind.
“I’m really, really happy!” said Albert Costa. “We had some issues over the weekend and today before the race we took a lap to test that car and we solved the problem. The car was better to drive, the feedback was better and finally the luck was on my side!”
Teammate Norbert Siedler was delighted to inherit the race lead in the second half of the race.
“It was great” said Siedler. “The team told me I had to push on the first five laps and, thanks to the team ,we had improved the car over the weekend. It was really great! Now we can start the championship.”
The GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS grid next assembles at Misano for Round Five and two Sprint Cup races.