Historic maiden win for Maserati in GT2 European Series

Historic maiden win for Maserati in GT2 European Series

Racing & RTR Projects share thrilling Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli wins at Circuit Paul Ricard
Closest finish in Fanatec GT2 Europe history
RTR Projects and Akkodis ASP head classes in Paul Ricard

LP Racing gave the Maserati GT2 an historic maiden Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli victory at Circuit Paul Ricard, while RTR Projects secured the closest victory margin in series history in the opening round of the season in France.


Reigning teams’ champions LP Racing started the 2024 season in the best possible manner with a double pole position and victory in race one in France, Leonardo Gorini and Carlo Tamburini claiming the first Maserati success in Fanatec GT2 in style.


RTR Projects hit back for the KTM X-BOW GT2 in an incredible second contest, Jan Krabec and Matej Homola beating Team MZR’s Martin Koch and Reinhard Kofler by just 0.070s in a photo finish between the KTM pairings.


Akkodis ASP fought to the first Am class victory of the year thanks to its Mercedes-AMG GT2 pairing of Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Gilles Vannelet. Philippe Prette shared class victories in the #2 LP Racing Maserati after finishing third overall in race two on a strong Fanatec GT2 debut.

Race 1 - Maserati GT2 takes historic maiden victory in France
After securing pole position on Saturday, Gorini picked up from where he left off with a strong start to head his Maserati team-mate Prette into the opening corners.


A safety car interruption led to drama on the restart as Prette lost out to the lunging RacingLab KTM X-BOW of Ronnie Bremer at Virage, before contact from Koch’s KTM spun Prette’s #2 LP Racing Maserati down the field.


Team MZR’s Koch received a time penalty for his part in the incident, handing over car #812 to Kofler while Tamburini replaced Gorini in the lead #1 Maserati as pit stops cycled through.


The feisty Bremer grabbed the overall race lead with a rapid in-lap as the Dane swapped with Jacob Mathiassen. Tamburini made a crucial move stick under braking on Mathiassen’s #10 KTM at Virage to grab the lead back, and fended off the hard-charging Kofler late on to take the opening victory of the season.


It also confirmed the first Fanatec GT2 victory for Maserati at the circuit it made its debut last year, while Krabec and Homola rounded out the overall and Pro-Am podium after an exciting battle with fellow KTM rival Mathiassen. The latter spun but hung onto fourth place, ahead of Razoon - More Than Racing’s Thomas Andersen and Simon Birch in the #80 KTM X-BOW.


Prette’s earlier off set up a fierce battle for Am class honours in the second half of the contest. Alexandre Leroy’s TFT Racing Maserati would be denied a class win on debut by the flying Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG GT2 of Vannelet, who found his way past to clinch the class spoils with fellow Frenchman Beaubelique.

 

Race 2 - KTM one-two in closest finish in Fanatec GT2 Europe history
A spectacular finish to the second 50-minute race in France ended with the KTM X-BOWs of RTR Projects and Team MZR crossing the line a record 0.070s apart. It was the closest finish in Fanatec GT2 history, 2023 Am champion Krabec taking his first win as a Pro-Am entry ahead of Koch and Kofler.


Homola started the #89 RTR Projects KTM from row two and fended off the attacks of the flying Birch, climbing to second behind Kofler’s Team MZR entry as pit stops cycled through.


Additional compensation seconds put the LP Racing Maserati duo on the back foot in the second half of the race, but both Gorini and Prette began sensational charges through the pack from seventh and eighth to set up an intense lead battle against Koch and Krabec with two laps remaining.


Gorini overtook Birch’s team-mate Andersen for third and trimmed a six-second lead gap to nothing. The top three were locked together into the final corner and amazingly ran three-wide with only slight contact, Koch escaping still in the race lead from Krabec, while Gorini’s Maserati spun out a corner later.


Koch and Krabec were left to battle it out for the win, and a sensational lap of racing ended in the KTM drivers running side-by-side past the chequered flag. Krabec timed his move to perfection, winning by inches to beat the previous record finishing margin of 0.3s - seen at the Red Bull Ring last term.


Gorini’s late excursion promoted the second LP Racing Maserati of Prette to third place overall, to guarantee his first Am class victory after a strong maiden weekend.


The Danish duo of Andersen and Birch finished an equally impressive fourth for Razoon - More Than Racing, making it three KTMs in the top four. Akkodis ASP sealed fifth with Vannelet and Beaubelique ahead of Bremer, who recovered to seventh place for RacingLab after team-mate Mathiassen spun due to early contact with the #90 KTM of Dominik Olbert.


Krabec and Homola take the early lead in the championship as a result of their win and double podium, four points clear of Team MZR's Koch and Kofler with LP Racing's #1 Maserati a further point behind. Beaubelique and Vannelet head the Am class table by three points from Prette.

 

The second round of the Fanatec GT2 European Series Powered by Pirelli takes place at Misano in Italy, over 17-19 May.


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