After a strong start to their 2022 Fanatec GT2 European Series campaign at Imola, High Class Racing’s Michael Vergers and Aurelijus Rusteika just couldn’t get a break in the second-round battles at the Red Bull Ring last month.
The duo had entered the second round of the season leading the Pro-Am fight by a single point after victory and a second-place finish in Italy, but a rare non-finish and a post-race penalty in Austria knocked the pair down the order.
Lying third heading into the third-round next weekend, 2 July, the Audi R8 LMS GT2 pairing are intent on putting some more all-important points on the board, but can they bounce back and close the 16-point gap in round three at Misano next weekend? We spoke to Michael Vergers to find out:
You guys had a rough second round at Red Bull Ring, with a rare non-finish for the High Class Racing Audi in the first race of the weekend. What happened?
Well, we had a great pre-season test and first round at Imola, so we were expecting to be strong in Austria. Things were against us a little and Aurelijus didn’t get a great run in qualifying, which meant he started in the middle of the pack.
Leading up to turn one on the start there was some action on his left and with everybody moving to the right, I think the car behind didn’t see this coming and Aurelijus was subsequently hit on his right rear, which caused a bigger accident and that was the end of race one.
Did the events of race one further hamper your race two efforts?
The High Class team did an amazing job repairing the car trackside, it did look like our weekend was over but the car in race two felt good, maybe a little too loose which probably hampered Aurelijus and sadly we ended up going backwards a little. But we scored some points, it would have been more but a post-race penalty for track limits didn’t help us either.
You went into the Red Bull Ring round leading the Pro-Am standings and now hold third in the championship, can you regain the top spot at Misano?
The championship is going to be going back and forth and the team/car that has the fewest of issues or bad luck will ultimately win at the end of the season, so we need to go to Misano positive and do the best job we can.
The Pro-Am title fight is already proving incredibly close this year, does that make this season even more challenging?
It’s always more fun and intense when you have competition, but it also allows you to measure yourself and this year the fight is going to the last round for sure.
The Fanatec GT2 European Series gets back on track for round three at Misano, Italy, on Saturday 2 July.