Perfect weekend for Team WRT, Vanthoor & Weerts win Misano GT Challenge Race 2

Perfect weekend for Team WRT, Vanthoor & Weerts win Misano GT Challenge  Race 2

#32 BMW wins second contest after sister #46 claimed opening race victory
Silver Cup sweep with De Haan/Williams caps dream weekend for Team WRT
CSA Racing bounces back to secure Gold honours with Gachet/Légeret in #111 Audi
Composed performance nets Bronze win for Hui/Cheever in #93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari

 

Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts have moved to the top of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup standings after taking an assured victory in 2 race at Misano.

 

Having finished a close second in the afternoon's contest, the #32 Team WRT BMW went one better under the lights at the Adriatic venue. Vanthoor and Weerts beat Lucas Auer and Maro Engel (#48 Mercedes-AMG) on the road to move four points clear of the Winward Racing Team Mann-Filter drivers in the battle for the series title. 

 

 

The race began in rapidly fading light, the sun having set half an hour before the action got underway. There was no drama at the front as Weerts led from pole, though separate opening-lap accidents involving the #44 Schumacher CLRT Porsche and the #7 Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin required the intervention of the Lamborghini Safety Car. 

 

Racing resumed with Weerts out front and in control, the young Belgian displaying the same pace that so nearly resulted in victory this afternoon. He was followed by Auer in the #48 Winward Racing Team Mann-Filter Mercedes-AMG and Giacomo Altoè in the #69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari. Fourth spot initially belonged to Simon Gachet (#111 CSA Racing Audi), but an incisive move from Valentino Rossi moved the #46 Team WRT BMW up to fourth spot. 

 

Weerts then made a textbook pit stop to hand over to Vanthoor, while Team WRT also got Maxime Martin out ahead of the #69 Ferrari. The #48 Mercedes-AMG held on to second, Engel having taken the controls from Auer. It seemed that Vanthoor would cruise to victory, but the BMW driver struggled to break away from Engel. The Mercedes-AMG man had problems of his own, however, with Martin chasing hard in the second Team WRT BMW.

 

This proved to be the story of the second half of the race: Engel would take a few tenths out of Vanthoor's lead, only for Martin to apply more pressure and force the #48 car to take a defensive line. It was the ideal outcome for the #32 crew, allowing Vanthoor to take the chequered flag 1.9 seconds ahead of Engel, who finished just 0.5 seconds clear of Martin. 

 

The #69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari finished fourth, ending a run of three successive podiums for the Swiss squad. The #96 Rutronik Racing Porsche scored its best result of the season in fifth, followed by the #159 Garage 59 McLaren, the #14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari, and the #90 Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG.

 

Team WRT not only swept the overall wins at Misano: the Belgian squad also captured both Silver Cup victories thanks to its #30 BMW crew of Sam De Haan and Calan Williams, who came home 10th overall in tonight's race. The #26 Saintéloc Racing Audi earned its first class podium of the year in second, while the #52 AF Corse Ferrari was third despite a dramatic mid-race spin for Jef Machiels. 

 

In the Gold Cup, CSA Racing bounced back from the disappointment of a DNF in Race 1 by winning the second contest. Simon Gachet and Lucas Légeret led an Audi podium sweep, finishing a little over 10 seconds clear of the Liqui Moly Team Engstler by One Group entry and the #25 Saintéloc Racing machine. 

 

Bronze Cup honours went to Sky Tempesta Racing, which started from class pole thanks to Jonathan Hui. He and Eddie Cheever delivered a composed performance to finish 17th overall, comfortably clear of the #991 Century Motorsport BMW and the #85 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini, the latter securing a second class podium of the day. 

 

While the Sprint Cup now takes a break, the weeks ahead will be as busy as ever for the Fanatec GT Europe paddock. Indeed, the majority of the teams and drivers will head to Spa-Francorchamps to undertake two days of testing at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa Prologue (21–22 May). This comes just over a month before the Belgian endurance classic marks its centenary edition on 25–30 June.

 

The Sprint Cup campaign resumes at Hockenheim, which stages the fifth and sixth races of the season over the weekend of 19–21 July. Vanthoor and Weerts will take a slender advantage to the German venue as they continue their bid for a fourth series title.
 


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