Patterson, Fjordbach Clinch Inaugural GT2 Title
Mark Patterson and Anders Fjordbach won the inaugural Fanatec GT2 European Series title with a victory in the final race of the season at Paul Ricard.
The High Class Racing pair steered their Audi R8 LMS GT2 to its fifth win of the campaign to beat fellow Audi drivers Bert Longin and Peter Guelinckx by 27 points.
Patterson and Fjordbach laid the groundwork for their title triumph with third in the opening 50-minute contest, which was cut five minutes short due to a red flag after Michael Vergers’ Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport suffered a failure and crashed at Turn 1.
Christoph Ulrich claimed a solo victory in the opener, becoming the first Am-class competitor to win a GT2 European Series race outright.
The Sportec driver put his KTM X-Bow GT2 on pole and built up a lead of almost 10 seconds before pitting.
His compensation time in the pits enabled Julien Piguet to hit the front in the No. 63 AutoVitesse Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo GT2, only for Ulrich to fight back and retake the lead when Piguet’s car started to develop a mechanical problem.
Piguet also fell into the clutches of Fjordbach, whose co-driver Patterson started from the pit lane, and even pulled off to one side with his issue but was nonetheless awarded second place due to a countback procedure when the red flag occurred.
After out-scoring Longin and Guelinckx in Race 1, Fjordbach and Patterson secured the championship by winning the second race from pole.
Fjordbach, who regularly races in LMP2, charged into a lead of around 40 seconds before handing the High Class Audi over to Patterson who completed the job.
Van der Linde, Auer Win as Lawson Keeps Lead
Kelvin van der Linde and Lucas Auer shared out the DTM wins at Hockenheim whilst Liam Lawson maintained his points lead heading into next weekend’s Norisring finale.
Van der Linde initially drew level on points with Red Bull AF Corse Ferrari driver Lawson by taking a clear victory from pole position on Saturday, however the Abt Sportsline Audi pilot endured a penalty-ridden Race 2 that saw him fall 14 points behind.
The South African dominated Race 1, which had an early safety car after Arjun Maini’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo sustained damage in the first squeeze into the Turn 6 hairpin.
Van der Linde led at the restart from championship rivals Maximilian Goetz and Lawson.
After successfully negotiating some of the late-stopping cars, net leader van der Linde sped away to his fourth victory of the year while both Goetz and Lawson fell into the clutches of a charging Albon, who had stopped slightly later and so had fresher tires.
Lawson then pulled off an undercut move on Goetz at Turn 6 in the closing laps to briefly snatch third, before van der Linde’s Abt teammate Mike Rockenfeller surged past both drivers, including Lawson on the final lap, to complete the podium.
Van der Linde also took pole for Race 2, earning another three points, but was quickly overtaken by Auer’s Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG at the second corner.
Auer controlled the 55-minute race from there, while van der Linde picked up two five-second penalties. The first was for pushing Lawson in a positional battle, while the second was for a pit stop infringement.
Those infractions combined to send van der Linde down to 10th for a solitary point, as Lawson maintained the second place that he had taken from the Abt driver into Turn 8 early on to remain at the head of the championship table.
Title Race Remains Tight after Sachsenring Event
Luca Stolz and Maro Engel further narrowed the already tight gap at the top of the ADAC GT Masters standings during the latest round of the season at the Sachsenring.
The Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG pair twice finished second to take one point off the three-point held by Land-Motorsport Audi duo Ricardo Feller and Christopher Mies.
The race wins at the Sachsenring went to fellow title contenders Mathieu Jaminet and Michael Ammermueller in the SSR Performance Porsche 911 GT3 R, as well as Jules Gounon and Igor Walilko who shared one of the Zakspeed Mercedes-AMGs.
In Race 1, Jaminet made a strong start from pole while Stolz slotted into second after Walilko was nudged out wide into the sweeping Turn 1 right-hander.
The SSR Porsche driver led through to the pit stop window, at which point Toksport WRT attempted to undercut the leader by bringing Stolz in one lap earlier.
The move didn’t pay off as Ammermueller exited the pits a few lengths ahead of Engel, and maintained his position through to the end for SSR’s third win of the year.
Feller and Mies had a trouble-free run to third, one place ahead of Raffaele Marciello and Maximilian Buhk who stood as their main rivals heading into the weekend.
Not all of the title protagonists enjoyed equally strong performances in Race 2, most notably Marciello and Buhk who lost ground when the latter’s Mercedes-AMG was tapped into a spin by Albert Costa at the first corner before being collected by a Porsche.
Pole-sitter Gounon remained in front after the safety car restart and established a lead of just under five seconds before swapping out for Walilko.
The Polish driver went on to take his and Gounon’s second victory in as many rounds, ahead of a tight battle for second that involved Stolz trying several times to get past Rolf Ineichen’s Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
Stolz eventually made a move stick to bank second in both the race and the standings, while Ineichen narrowly lost the podium to Christian Engelhart who moved his and Thomas Preining’s Team75 Bernhard Porsche past the Lamborghini at the final turn.
Other Racing Action
***Herberth Motorsport overcame an alternate strategy from CP Racing to win the 12 Hours of Hungary with Alfred Renauer, Ralf Bohn and Daniel Allemann. Herberth’s No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R led at the start of the second six-hour segment on Sunday but dropped behind the CP Mercedes when the American squad managed to pit during a Code 60 period. The teams then traded the lead according to their different strategies but Herberth eventually pulled clear to a three-lap victory margin. Results
***Jacob Ruud clinched the TC America TCX title despite finishing second to Stephen Cugliari in both races at Sebring. After a series of runaway performances in the early part of the season, Ruud’s podium in Race 1 was enough for him to wrap up the championship. Ruud also bounced back from an accident in practice that caused damage to his BMW M2 CS Racing. Austen Smith swept the TC category as Luke Rumberg and Devin Andersen shared out the TCA wins. Race 1 / Race 2
***The FFSA French GT titles were decided at Paul Ricard. Valentin Hasse-Clot and Romain Leroux wrapped up the Silver Cup by sharing their AGS Events Aston Martin to second in class during Saturday’s night race. Thomas Drouet then sealed the Pro-Am accolade with AKKA-ASP by taking third alongside Fabien Barthez in the second encounter. Pascal Huteau and Christophe Hamon clinched the Am crown. Race 1 / Race 2
***The third round of the GT Super Sprint Challenge took place at Zhuzhou on Monday. Bao Jinlong won both races in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo from Team 777 by Climax Racing, which took a pair of one-two results. Race 1 / Race 2
***Ben Green and Will Tregurtha continued to trade places at the head of the DTM Trophy standings at the penultimate race weekend of the season. Green arrived at Hockenheim with an eight-point edge and looked set to extend that in Race 1, only for the BMW driver to be hit with a 30-second post-race time penalty for excessively dropping back before a safety car restart. That handed the win to 16-year-old Theo Overhaus. Race 2 saw Green reclaim the championship lead by holding off Tregurtha on a wet track. Race 1 / Race 2
***Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana chalked up their fifth ADAC GT4 Germany win of the season at the Sachsenring. The Hofor Racing/Bonk Motorsport BMW duo lead the standings by 35 points from Theo Nouet and Jan Marschalkowski, who gained maximum points in the opener after finishing third behind two guest entries. Hugo Sasse and Mike David Ortmann posted Aston Martin’s first GT4 Germany win for the Prosport squad. Race 1 / Race 2
***Century Motorsport will run an example of the new BMW M4 GT3 in next year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship. The British squad is already supporting the M4 entry for RHC-Jorgensen/Strom. “We’ve enjoyed an incredible season in GT4, which has helped us secure the new M4 and BMW’s backing for next year,” said team principal Nathan Freke. “We’re already talking to a few drivers about the first car, which we’ll get our hands on in the new year.”
***Madpanda Motorsport is planning to add a second Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to its stable next year. The Spanish team has also confirmed that Juuso Puhakka will join full-time drivers Ezequiel Companc and Rik Breukers for the 3 Hours of Barcelona this weekend.
***Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will form part of the Macau weekend bill in November, marking the debut of the 992 GT3 Cup model at the street racing event and the first appearance of the single-make series at the Guia Circuit since 2013.
***ADAC GT Masters has announced its 2022 calendar with the same seven venues that make up the current schedule. The dates are Oschersleben (April 22-24), Red Bull Ring (May 20-22), Zandvoort (June 24-26), Nürburgring (Aug. 5-7), Lausitzring (Aug. 19-21), Sachsenring (Sep. 23-25), Hockenheim (Oct. 21-23).
On this weekend: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (VIR), Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup (Barcelona), DTM (Norisring), NLS (Round 9)