Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Latest

Victory for Weerts and Vanthoor in Race One at Magny-Cours

Charles Weerts and, taking the chequered flag, Dries Vanthoor, sharing the driving duties in the #32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS evo II GT3, won Race One of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup at Magny-Cours, Vanthoor taking the chequered flag 3.138 seconds ahead of the #89 AKKODIS ASP Mercedes AMG GT3 driven by Timur Bogislavskiy and, driving the second stint, Raffaele Marciello.

Completing the overall podium was the #11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi driven by Simion Gachet and Christopher Haase.

Victory in the Silver Cup class went to Gilles Magnus and Nicolas Baert in the #26 Sainteloc Junior Team Audi with the #53 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 of Pierre Alexandre Jean and Ulysse de Pauw second.

Class hounours in the Pro-Am category went to #188 Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 of Dean Macdonald and Miguel Ramos.

Simon Gachet at the wheel of the #11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi led the field from pole, ahead of the #32 Team WRT Audi piloted by Charles Weerts.

The field got away cleanly but the start was investigated for potential jump starts by some of the leading cars. Gilles Magnus, driving the #26 Audi, who had started from third, passed Weerts for second but struggled to pull out a gap.

After ten minutes, Gachet had an advantage of just over 1.5 seconds ahead of Magnus in the #26 Audi with Charles Weerts .352 seconds behind. By lap 9 Weerts was pushing hard but was struggling to find an opportunity to pass.

Weerts eventually saw on opportunity and passed Magnus for second place on lap 12 at the Nurburg Chicane and proceeded to pull out a gap to the #26 Audi as the #32 pilot started to chase down Gachet in the leading #11 car.

As the pit window opened, Gachet’s lead was just under 3.5 seconds ahead of Weerts with the #32 driver the first to stop of the leading trio. Gachet stayed out

After the driver changes had cycled through, it was Dries Vanthoor in the #32 Team WRT Audi that held the lead, followed by Christopher Haase in the #11 Tresor by Car Collection entry. Raffaele Marciello was now in third place, at the wheel of the #89 AKKODOIS ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shared with Timur Boguslavskiy. The leading Audi had benefited from a lightning-fast pit-stop by the Team WRT crew, some 3.4 seconds quicker than Marciello’s Mercedes

As the 60-minute contest entered the final quarter, Vanthoor’s advantage over Haase had extended to 3.409 seconds with Marciello in third now just over half a second behind the #11 car.

Marciello had Haase in his sights and found a way past on lap 31 at the Nürburg Chicane and immediately started pulling ahead of the #11 car. With under nine minutes remaining, Marciello had a task on his hands with Vanthoor 5.312 seconds further up the road.

With three minutes remaining, Marciello had reduced the gap to Vanthoor to less than 4.5 seconds but was not making up ground quickly enough to challenge for the lead before the chequered flag, the gap, as the pair crossed the start-finish line, 3.138 seconds, approximately the difference in pit stop lengths.

“Unfortunately I missed (an opportunity) at the start -it was an Audi I think it was – but nevertheless I could get that second position back and then Audi did an amazing job!” said Charles Weerts. “I say this every time I’m talking to you (pit lane reporter) but it’s thanks to the WRT boys that we could get by the Car Collection car and with the #89 car being so fast, it was really great to have them behind us so it’s thanks to them and thanks to my really great teammate that we won again.”

Dries Vanthoor was delighted at the speed of the pit stop.

“Like Charles said, it was a great job by the team,” he said. “Again they delivered and they keep delivering every time so it gives us that little extra but it was tough. As soon as I was on my out lap, I felt like it was going to be a long 30 minutes because I did not enjoy driving it so much but yeah, a great job by Charles, a great job by the team and I’m happy to win the first sprint race.”

Race Two gets underway at 15:00 local time.