- PK Carsport #81 Audi takes second victory after late pass for race lead.
- Target Racing Lamborghini celebrates debut success with Am spoils.
- #33 Audi and #7 KTM maintain point leads, but momentum is shifting.
A bold move around the outside of Quercia in the final stint was enough to earn the #81 PK Carsport Audi in the hands of Peter Guelinckx and Bert Longin a return to the winner’s circle in the Fanatec GT2 European Series’ first-ever evening race at Misano.
Despite soaking up pressure from the fast-starting Anders Fjordbach in the #33 High Class Audi in the opening laps, Longin eventually had to yield to the Dane, who then set about establishing a healthy 7-second advantage before the pit stops.
The extra compensation time brought the #81 – now in Guelinckx’s charge – back into play, and the Belgian duly hunted down Mark Patterson when the pair returned to the fray. When the move came – with eight minutes left on the clock – it was a bold sweep around the outside, and from there Guelinckx set about keeping Patterson at bay to score the team’s second victory of the season by 1.7 seconds.
Target Racing’s #63 Lamborghini bounced back from a mechanical issue whilst leading earlier in the day to score a victory in Am on their debut weekend in the series, Cedric Leimer handing over to Mauro Casadei, who brought the car home amidst a thrilling battle with the #5 Speed Factory Porsche of Aurelijus Rusteika.
Pro-Am: Pendulum swings back and forth between Pro-Am rivals
When the lights went out at the start, Fjordbach’s #33 High Class Audi looked marginally faster, applying the pressure to Longin out front before finding a way by on the inside at Quercia after ten minutes.
From there, Fjordbach pace out front was relentless, clocking fastest laps to establish a comfortable buffer before pitting to hand over to Patterson. Despite the extra compensation time, the latter still re-joined with around 4 seconds in hand to Guelinckx behind, but the Belgian was on a charge.
Lap after lap, Guelinckx chipped into the advantage, before eventually getting within striking distance with eight minutes left on the clock. Patterson moved to defend the middle of the road at Quercia, so Guelinckx sent a move around the outside line and annexed the lead of the race on the exit.
Although Patterson kept the new race leader honest, he was ultimately unable to force an error and the High Class Audi – victorious earlier in the day – had to settle for second on the road on this occasion, the gap between them in the standings now 26 points with four races left to run.
Stefan Rosina and Sehdi Sarmini ended a run of bad luck with a solid run to third in the #16 True Racing KTM, the pair taking a first podium finish since the Monza season opener. Fourth in Pro-Am was the #88 LP Racing Audi of Luca Pirri, then Stephane Ratel as the duo rounded out another consistent weekend to cement fourth in the standings.
Aurelijus Rusteika enjoyed a superb battle on-track with eventual Am winner Mauro Casadei in the #5 Speed Factory Racing Porsche in the final stint and was fifth in class, whilst a problem on the right-front for Peter Kox in the #23 Reiter-run KTM forced them out of the race before the stops.
Am: Target Racing Lamborghini delivers immediate response to score first victory
Arguably, the #63 Target Racing Lamborghini was set for a maiden victory on their debut outing in the series earlier this afternoon, only for a mechanical problem to force Cedric Leimer to pull off-circuit in the final stint.
The pair made no mistake in the dwindling light at Misano this evening, leading from lights-to-flag to deliver an immediate response to the disappointment from race one. Although their rivals were hit with compensation time, the Lamborghini was rapid regardless, with Casadei taking the fight to Pro-Am front-runner Vergers across the second stint.
Casadei eventually found a way through and powered clear to register a 4.2-second gap over second place runner Christoph Ulrich (#7 Sportec KTM) at the chequered flag. Ulrich leaves still in the Am points lead, with a margin of 39 points over Hans-Joachim Stuck and Kris Rosenberger, who finished this one in third.
Ulrich’s team-mate Adrian Spescha is now just a further point back in fourth overall, having delivered another impressive stint before the stops. Hubert Trunkenpolz and Klaus Angerhofer suffered an early setback in the #17 True Racing KTM, but duly came home to score another decent points haul in fourth.
The 2021 Fanatec GT2 European Series resumes at the famous SRO Spa Speedweek event in the Ardennes Forest over the 23-25 July.