Mercedes takes Race 2 victory
Maro Engel and Luca Stolz secured victory in the second race of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup at Magny-Cours. The Team Toksport WRT conveyed the pole position into victory, surviving pressure from behind and two safety car periods.
Engel maintained his lead at the start, keeping the Albert Costa’s Lamborghini and Ben Barnicoat’s McLaren in the first stages. Dries Vanthoor (Audi) and Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes-AMG) were next in the queue, with little to separate the top-five during the early laps. This group ran in close formation for much of the opening 30 minutes, but there was drama shortly before the pit window opened when Barnicoat made a comfortable pass on a struggling Costa, who spun at the next corner with a suspected left-rear puncture.
This put out from the race one of the main contenders and allowed Engel to build a small cushion at the head of the field. The German racing driver elected to stop first, handing over to Stolz just before the half-way mark. Barnicoat, Vanthoor and Marciello all remained on-track, looking to find enough time to jump the Toksport WRT crew in the pits.
Jota McLaren was the next of the leaders to call their car in, but Stolz had done enough to maintain a healthy lead over the Oliver Wilkinson. This left Vanthoor and Marciello to challenge for the lead, their hopes now resting on their mechanics. In a battle between two of the fastest crews in the business, AKKA ASP emerged just ahead of Team WRT. The French squad produced the quickest stop of the weekend to send Timur Boguslavskiy out ahead of Charles Weerts, but it was not enough to jump Stolz, who had been lapping quickly since taking over from Engel.
Moments later the race was neutralised behind the safety car after Benjamin Goethe‘s Audi hit the barriers, bunching up the pack as the final 15 minutes approached. Stolz had the pace to control the restart, but the action behind was intense as Boguslavskiy and Weerts battled over second position.
The Audi driver attempted a move into the Adelaide hairpin, but despite having a good run on Boguslavskiy the Russian was able to defend his position. Another safety car followed, this time the result of contact between the Adam West’s Aston Martin and the Razvan Umbrarescu‘s Mercedes.
The race went green for the final time with just three minutes left on the clock. Stolz was once again able to hold his place at the restart, while Weerts launched another attack into the hairpin. Boguslavskiy closed the door, but the Belgian driver held his nerve and muscled past the Mercedes-AMG. While there was drama behind Stolz was untroubled on his way to victory. The German triumphed by 3.051s, giving the Toksport WRT squad a maiden overall triumph in just its second season of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS competition. Weerts took second to consolidate Team WRT’s advantage at the top of the Sprint Cup standings, while Boguslavskiy held off Wilkinson to seal the final spot on the podium.
Fifth overall went to the AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG of Konstantin Tereschenko and Jim Pla, which also captured Silver Cup victory. The Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini of Alex Fontana led the Silver runners during the opening stint, but a typically fast stop vaulted the AKKA ASP crew into the class lead. There was still plenty for Tereschenko to do, with Ulysse de Pauw’s Bentley challenging for Silver victory throughout the last stint. The Belgian showed strong pace on his series debut, but when Pro runner Aurélien Panis (Saintéloc Racing Audi) split the two Silver Cup cars Tereschenko was given breathing space. The Russian held on for his maiden series win, while the #107 CMR Bentley and #14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini completed the podium.
Pro-Am honours went to Miguel Ramos and Henrique Chaves in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini.
GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE SPRINT CUP
Race 2 – Magny-Cours, 9 May 2021
1. Maro Engel / Luca Stolz (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Team TokSport WRT) 33 laps 1:01:30.308
2. Dries Vanthoor / Charles Weers (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Team WRT) +3.051
3. Timur Boguslavskiy / Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / AKKA ASP) +4.490
4. Ben Barnicolat / Oliver Wilkinson (McLaren 720S GT3 / Jota Motorsport) +5.267
5. Jim Pla / Konstantin Tereschenko (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / AKKA ASP) +5.465 Silver
6. Aurelien Panis / Frederic Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Sainteloc Racing) +5.793
7. Pierre-Alexandre Jean / Ulysse De Pauw (Benltey Continental GT3 / CMR) +6.166
8. Alex Fontana / Arthur Rougier (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Emil Frey Racing) +6.556
9. Jack Aitken / Konsta Lappalainen (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Emil Frey Racing) +7.270
10. Franck Bird / Ryuichiro Tomita (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Team WRT) +7.763
11. Christopher Haase / Leo Russel (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Sainteloc Racing) +7.766
12. Mattia Drudi / Tommaso Mosca (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Attempto Racing) +8.202
13. Rik Breukers / Ezequiel Perez Companc (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Madpanda Motorsport) +8.545
14. Chris Froggatt / Giorgio Roda (Ferrari 488 GT3 / SKY Tempesta Racing) +9.213
15. Benjamin Lessennes / Stephane Richelmi (Bentley Continental GT3 / CMR) +9.605
16. Henrique Chaves / Miguel Ramos (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Barwell Motorsport) +13.654 Pro-Am
17. Dominik Baumann / Valentin Pierburg (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / SPS Automotive Performance) +14.024
18. Arkin Aka / Christopher Mies (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Attempto Racing) +14.199
19. Andrea Bertolini / Louis Machiels (Ferrari 488 GT3 / AF Corse) +14.645
20. Adrien De Leener / Chrstian Engelhart (Porsche 911 GT3 R / Dinamic Motorsport) +14.894
21. Jonny Adam / Alexander West (Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 / Garage 59) +21.328
22. Patrick Kujala / Benjamin Hites (Ferrari 488 GT3 / Rinaldi Racing) +41.626
23. Juuso Puhakka / Oscar Tunjo (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / TokSport) +3 laps
24. Jules Gounon / Petru Umbrarescu (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / AKKA ASP) +7 laps
25. Nicolai Kjaergaard / Tuomas Tujula (Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 / Garage 59) +7 laps
26. Albert Costa / Ricardo Feller (Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo / Emil Frey Racing) +10 laps
Benjamin Goethe / Kelvin van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS GT3 / Team WRT) 20 laps
Fastest lap: Luca Stolz (Mercedes-AMG GT3 / Team Toksport WRT) 19. lap 1:37.175