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De Pauw and Jean win Race One at Brands Hatch

Ulysse De Pauw and Pierre Alexandre Jean, teammate in the #53 Silver Cup AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3, took victory in the opening 60-minute sprint race at a packed Brands Hatch on Sunday May 1. The #53 Ferrari took the chequered flag 1.290 seconds ahead of the #32 Pro Cup Team WRT Audi R8 LMS evo II GT3 piloted by Charles Weerts and, driving the second stint, Dries Vanthoor.

Completing the overall podium positions was the #89 AKKODIS ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Timur Boguslavskiy and Raffaele Marciello.

Starting from pole, De Pauw led the field as the lights went green and started to pull away from Jules Gounon in the #88 Mercedes.

Contact at Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap between Igor Walillko in the #86 Mercedes and Jean-Baptists Simmenauer in the #33 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS EVO GT3 resulted in the Team WRT pilot making contact with Benji Goethe in the #30 Audi, resulting in both Audis taking no further part in the contest.

With further drama for Adrian De Leener in the ##54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche, the race was neutralised for over ten minutes before action was resumed.

At the driver changes, De Pauw’s lead was sufficient to allow the #53 Ferrari to rejoin the circuit, now with Dries Vanthoor behind the wheel, despite a slower pit stop.

Traffic meant that Jean had to pick his way through carefully, allowing Vanthoor to close the gap. Over the final laps, Vanthoor got to within a second of Jean but was unable to find a way past.

AF Corse enjoyed a positive start to its Sprint Cup campaign after the sister #21 Ferrari, piloted by Hugo Delacour and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli took class honours in the Pro-Am Cup category.