- Patterson and Fjordbach maintain Audi hot streak in Pro-Am with third victory of the season.
- Stuck provisionally took first competitive win in a decade alongside Rosenberger in Am Cup battle, but penalty promotes #7 to top spot.
- Another hotly-contested weekend comes to a close at Hockenheim; Silverstone next for GT2 challengers.
High Class Racing’s Mark Patterson and Anders Fjordbach completed a near-perfect weekend in the Fanatec GT2 European Series, with Sportec Motorsport victorious in the Am Cup thanks to another strong drive from Christoph Ulrich and Christoph Lenz.
The #33 Audi made another strong start from pole position and from thereon enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run to the chequered flag, the only blemish on their record a slightly slow stop for Patterson.
A margin of 11.513 seconds proved enough to seal a third victory of the campaign for the duo and cement their status at the top of the Pro-Am standings.
Stephane Ratel and Luca Pirri made it two podium finishes from as many meetings with a brilliant run from the third row to the runner-up spot, with Speed Factory Racing’s #5 Porsche third in the hands of Aurelijus Rusteika and Michael Vergers.
Kris Rosenberger and Hans Joachim Stuck capitalised on a strong start to move into the Am lead early on, and from there they took the chequered flag first on the road, but a 25-second penalty post-race for having tyre pressures worked on during the pit stop with the engine running drops the pair to second in the final result.
Sportec Motorsport’s #7 of Christoph Ulrich and Christoph Lenz therefore take the victory ahead of Stuck and Rosenberger, with the #17 True Racing challenger of Hubert Trukenpolz and Klaus Angerhofer completed the top three in class.
Pro-Am: Audi made it four victories on the spin
The Audi R8 LMS GT2 has certainly been the ‘car to beat’ in Pro-Am across the opening two meetings and Patterson and Fjordbach’s latest triumph – their third of the campaign – ensures the German marque retained its unbeaten record on home soil.
Fjordbach made a strong start from pole position and immediately set about building up his advantage, although the fast-starting #5 Porsche certainly gave the Dane food for thought as it swept around Bert Longin’s #81 Audi into third on the exit of Turn 3, and then challenged for the lead on the outside into the hairpin at Turn 5.
Fjordbach was able to keep the Porsche at arm’s length, and as Longin came back at Vergers, he managed to edge out a 5.8-second gap. An off-track moment in the final sector for Longin after slight contact with Peter Kox’s #23 KTM released Vergers, put Fjordbach still pitted with a comfortable margin.
Despite a slow stop for Patterson, who had to pull away twice from his box, the #33 remained out front and from there, the South African stood firm, bringing home the team’s third win in four races.
Rusteika’s attention in the #5 was forced away from Patterson in the latter stages as a 5-second penalty for track limits, plus a charging Ratel in the #88 LP Racing Audi behind, put their second place in jeopardy.
A blistering sequence of laps from Ratel got the job done and built on Pirri’s progress off the start, making it two podiums in as many events for the team. Rusteika therefore took third, with David Fairbrother fourth in the Toro Verde GT Lamborghini Huracan GT2 he shares with Jordan Witt.
Peter Guelinckx recovered a fifth-placed finish after Longin’s incident earlier on, and two drive-through penalties – one for the incident, another for track limits – ensured that sixth was the return for Rupert Atzberger and Peter Kox on this occasion.
Due to the damage sustained during the first race earlier in the day, Sehdi Sarmini and Stefan Rosina were unfortunately unable to take the start.
Am: Sportec lead KTM 1-2-3 after post race penalty for Stuck and Rosenberger
After a near-miss in Monza last time out, Kris Rosenberger and Hans Stuck went close to bringing home their first victory in the Am Cup, but had to settle for second place after a post-race penalty.
A good start from Hans ‘Strietzel’ Stuck moved the #24 Reiter Engineering-run KTM into the top six, and from there the team seized the initiative and opted to pit first from the lead amongst the Am runners.
It was then a relatively secure run to victory for Rosenberger, who took the chequered flag some 15 seconds clear of Ulrich behind. That would have marked a first competitive victory in the sport for two-time Le Mans winner Stuck in over a decade, but their penalty gave the #7 Sportec team a boost on an otherwise tough weekend, and fuelled their title bid further after four races.
Hubert Trukenpolz and Klaus Angerhofer rounded out the rostrum, whilst race one winner Oliver Freymuth took fourth to complete a solid debut weekend, despite a spin on the exit of Turn 3.
The next rounds of the 2021 Fanatec GT2 European Series will take place in Misano, Italy on 2-4 July, 2021.