- Stienes Longin and Nicolas Saelens hold on to outright win by 0.1 seconds amid late-stage four-way fight for the lead
- LP Racing’s Henry Hassid hassles the PK Carsport Audi to the line to take Am victory
- One second covers the top four in closest Fanatec GT2 European Series race so far
The Misano World Circuit played host to a belter of a second Fanatec GT2 European Series race for round three in Italy, with the PK Carsport duo of Stienes Longin and Nicolas Saelens hanging onto outright victory by a tenth of a second from Am class winner Henry Hassid in the LP Racing Audi.
It was a thrilling second encounter of the day from lights to flag featuring three different leaders over the course of the 50-minute race, neither of which could make a clear break for victory.
In the end it came down to a full-on battle between the PK Carsport and LP Racing Audis. They were then joined by True Racing’s Filip Sladecka and Stefan Rosina, and the sister PK Carsport car of Bert Longin and Peter Guelinckx, to make it an intensive four-way fight right up to the finish line, where just 1.064 seconds covered the top quartet.
The end result was four different class winners in two races around the Adriatic coast circuit.
Four-way thriller unfolds
The field got clean away from the second Fanatec GT2 European Series race of the day, with pole sitter Elia Erhart nailing the start to sweep into turn one just ahead of Anders Fjordbach.
But the Brabham Automotive Factory Racing driver was determined to try and make it a doubly historic weekend for the race one-winning Brabham BT63 GT2 and Fjordbach gave his all to try and find a way past the LP Racing car on the opening lap before a brief safety car suspended proceedings.
Back to green one lap later, Fjordbach picked up where he left off, refusing to give Erhart more than a few tenths of a second of breathing space until the #1 car picked up a drive-through penalty for track limits. That, in turn promoted the High Class Racing Audi of Michael Vergers to second.
Behind the leading duo, things were just as close with father and son, Bert and Stienes Longin, battling hard for fourth in the sister PK Carsport Audis throughout the early stages, Stienes eventually making a move stick on lap eight.
Although pitting from the lead, Erhart had to serve his success penalty from his race one Am win. That combined with a slick stop and blistering out lap from Nicolas Saelens allowed the #11 Audi to slip into the lead.
Peter Guelinckx, now in the #81, briefly held second until a hard-charging Henry Hassid took the place on lap 21 and set off after Saelens. Slicing the leader’s advantage by three seconds in just three laps, Hassid was soon swarming over Saelen’s rear bumper.
Am class leader heading into the third round, Hassid managed to find a way past but Saelens soon returned the favour and had an answer for each attack. Whilst the two lead Audis fought between themselves, that allowed the #81 Audi and #15 KTM to join the party, triggering the four-way fight to the flag.
Series debutants Dmitry Gvazava and Demetrios Deverikos rounded out an impressive first Fanatec GT2 European Series race weekend with fifth overall and second in Am, ahead of the recovering #1 Brabham in sixth.
The True Racing KTM crew of Klaus Angerhofer and Hubert Trunkenpolz completed the AM class podium, finishing ninth overall.
The Fanatec GT2 European Series will be back in action for Spa Speedweek, 22-24 July.