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High Class Audi and Sportec KTM win Misano opener to extend points lead

3 July 2021
  • Patterson and Fjordbach rise through order in second stint to victory.
  • Sportec KTM triumphs in Am battle to extend championship lead.
  • Second Fanatec GT2 European Series race to follow this evening at 20:25 CEST.

 High Class Racing’s #33 Audi put in a superb second stint to rise through the order and win the opening Fanatec GT2 European Series race at Misano.

The result, which makes it four victories in five races for driver pairing Mark Patterson and Anders Fjordbach, extends their advantage over the #81 PK Carsport Audi to 33 points in the Pro-Am standings.

It was similarly good news for the #7 Sportec KTM of Christoph Ulrich and Adrian Spescha; the pair lost the then-overall and Am race lead with a slow pit stop compared to the #63 Target Racing Lamborghini of Mauro Casadei and Cedric Leimer, but the latter had to pull off circuit with an issue just a few laps into the second stint.

That means Ulrich stretches his advantage to 36 points heading into the final race of the weekend on the Adriatic coast at 20:25 CEST this evening.

Pro-Am: Fjordbach and Patterson triumph, late mistake results in Audi 1-2-3.

Having qualified eighth overall, and third in Pro-Am, Patterson and Fjordbach had it all to do. Unable to make up any ground off the race start, the #33 Audi ran third through the majority of the first stint, before getting past Peter Guelinckx in the #81 PK Carsport Audi for second.

A spin at Turn 13 for erstwhile class leader Sehdi Sarmini in the #16 True Racing KTM, moments after a similar incident for Einar Thorsen in the #23 Reiter Engineering-run KTM at the same corner, brought out the safety car and left Patterson out front.

When the race resumed, Patterson completed one more tour of the 4.2km Italian circuit before pitting to hand over to Fjordbach, who lay down an early marker with a series of fastest laps.

A slow stop for the #81 Audi took them out of contention for victory and, with a comfortable margin to the battling #5 Speed Factory Racing Porsche and #88 LP Racing Audi, the Dane only had to bring the car home to score their fourth victory of the campaign.

Vergers looked on course for second in the Porsche but went wide through the gravel at Curvone on the penultimate lap and slipped to fourth behind Pirri in the #88 and a recovering Bert Longin in the #81.

They remained in that order to the chequered flag a lap later, Pirri finishing 15.524 seconds adrift of Fjordbach to score the team’s third podium in four races in the process.

Am: Disaster for debutantes Target Racing ensures #7 Sportec KTM victory

Mechanical woes for championship newcomers Target Racing ensured the #7 Sportec KTM would score a third victory of the season, and maintain its one-hundred percent podium record, despite a longer pit stop that looked to have turned the tide in the #63 Lamborghini’s favour.

The KTM 1-2-3-4 from qualifying was preserved at the start, with Kris Rosenberger in the #24 Reiter challenger leading from pole position ahead of Ulrich, Klaus Angerhofer, Einar Thorsen and Casadei in class.

Despite a stern defence from Rosenberger, Ulrich was able to get the jump after five minutes, the Am points leader duly powering clear to stretch the advantage. What followed was a thrilling scrap for second between Rosenberger, Angerhofer and Thorsen, before a wide moment for Angerhofer and Thorsen’s spin into the gravel at Turn 13 eased the pressure on Rosenberger.

The ensuing safety car to recover Thorsen and Sarmini’s cars reduced Ulrich’s lead to nothing, but he stood firm after the restart to re-establish control. The Swiss extended his first stint before handing over to Adrian Spescha, who re-joined the fray third on the road, and second in class behind Leimer in the ill-fated #63 Lamborghini.

Suspected damage forced Leimer to park up a few laps later, swinging the pendulum back in favour of the #7 KTM, and Spescha made no mistake, bringing the car home to seal their third win of the campaign.

Hubert Trunkenpolz completed a solid recovery for the #17 True Racing KTM to take the runner-up spot, the podium completed by Hans-Joachim Stuck in the #24, a slower pit stop dropping the KTM away from the lead battle 

The final Fanatec GT2 European Series race of the weekend takes place at 20:25 CEST as the championship breaks new ground with a first-ever evening race, with the action set to be broadcast live on GTWorld’s YouTube channel.