Sainteloc Racing’s #26 Audi R8 LMS GT3 piloted by Simon Gachet and Steven Palette took the win in Race Two of the GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup double-header at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Palette taking the chequered flag for the Silver Cup pairing 8.243 seconds ahead of The #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavkiy.
The podium positions were completed by the #4 HRT Mercedes piloted by Race One winners Maro Engel and Luca Stolz.
With the overall winner going to a Silver Cup entry, second place in class went to the #2 Toksport WRT Mercedes with Puhakka Juuso and Oscar Tunjo sharing the driving duties, Tunjo crossing the line over 19 seconds ahead of the third-in-class #33 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi driven by Jusuf and Hamza Owega.
Ferrari took a 1-2-3 in the Pro-Am category withe the class win going to the #92 SKY -Tempesta F488 GT3 driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Jonathan Hui while the sister #93 entry finished less than half a second behind with Chris Froggatt at the wheel of the car he shared with Eddie Cheever.
There was drama shortly after the start after multiple contacts resulted in the Safety Car being deployed on the opening lap, debris being spread across the circuit.
When racing resumed at the end of the fourth lap, pole-sitter Gachet in the #26 R8 immediately set about building a gap to Raffaele Marciello in the #88 Mercedes.
By lap nine, Gachet was two seconds ahead of the Italian driver with Maro Engel in the #4 HRT Mercedes on third, two seconds further back, the two Mercedes seemingly unable to close in on the leading Audi.
As the pit window opened, Engel in the #4 Mercedes was one of the first to stop, Luca Stolz, pole sitter in Race One, taking over driving duties for the second stint. Gachet and Marciello stayed out with Christopher Hasse in the #25 Sainteloc Racing Audi inheriting third place.
Gachet pitted from the lead with 27 minutes remaining, leaving Marciello to take over the overall lead.
After the driver changes had cycled through, it was the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes, now with Timur Boguslavskiy at the wheel, who held the lead, being chased down by Steven Palette in the #26 Audi. Stolz in the #4 car was just over three seconds behind in third and waiting for the #88 and #26 cars to trip over themselves as they fought for the lead.
Boguslavskiy made a mistake at the exit of Turn 3, running out wide and gifting the lead to Palette who sprinted away. Stolz was now just over half a second behind the unsettled Russian driver. After 28 laps, Palette was gradually extending his lead with Stolz unable to find a way past the #88 car. Palette held on tlo the lead to take the chequered flag.
The French driver was delighted at how the race unfolded for the #26 crew in front of their home fans.
“The pit stop was a bit complicated but Simon was just perfect,” said Pallete. “I don’t know why it was like that. I pushed like crazy but we lost one position. At the beginning it looked hard to overtake but finally I passed Boguslavskiy and then I pushed. I have no words. With Simon it’s just perfect, between us it’s working good and we are two Silvers that are able to win overall! Thank you to all the people who were there to support us!”
Following Round Four of the 2020 GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS, the #32 Belgian Audi Club team WRT pairing of Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor lead the drivers standings on 81.5 points, 4.5 points ahead of the AKKA ASP duo of Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy.
The GT World Challenges Europe grid gathers next at Zandvoort on September 25 – 27 for two further rounds of Sprint Cup action.