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GT World Challenge Europe

Emil Frey Sweeps Zandvoort as Costa, Siedler Win on Sunday

Costa, Siedler win for Emil Frey in Race 2; Feller takes championship lead…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Emil Frey Racing swept the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup round at Zandvoort as Albert Costa and Norbert Siedler triumphed on Sunday.

The drivers of the No. 163 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo backed up the Race 1 victory for their teammates Alex Fontana and Ricardo Feller just over 24 hours beforehand.

Emil Frey Lamborghinis finished first, second and fourth in the second 60-minute contest of the weekend, as Silver Cup class winners Fontana and Feller rounded off the one-two result in front of WRT’s Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor who completed the podium.

Jack Aitken and Konsta Lappalainen finished fourth in the No. 114 Lamborghini, while Feller moved into the Sprint Cup overall drivers’ championship lead by half a point over the WRT pairing to cap a successful event for the Swiss Emil Frey squad.

AKKA-ASP dominated the early stages courtesy of pole-sitter Raffaele Marciello, who led the first stint from Christian Engelhart after the German moved his Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R ahead of Vanthoor’s Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo on lap one.

Vanthoor then lost two more places to Costa and CMR Bentley driver Pierre-Alexandre Jean in a frenetic opening few minutes.

A train of drivers formed behind Jean over several laps, with Vanthoor working his way past the Frenchman and setting off in pursuit of the provisional podium runners.

Toksport WRT’s Maro Engel was next in line, but an off-line moment for the Mercedes-AMG driver caused Jean to run into the gravel. A few corners later, Engel slid into the run-off at Tarzan which resulted in retirement for one of the cars that won at the Magny-Cours season-opener.

Leader Marciello stayed out for as long as possible before handing over to his co-driver Timur Boguslavskiy, who inherited an 11-second advantage over Siedler due to the Austrian driving past the Dinamic Porsche as Adrien de Leener exited the pits.

Weerts also gained a place on de Leener during the pit cycle, putting the No. 32 WRT Audi up to third behind the No. 163 Lamborghini and the leading Mercedes-AMG.

Boguslavskiy was in clean air and controlling the race until a battery issue forced the reigning GTWC Europe combined drivers’ champion to pull off into the pits with around 20 minutes remaining. 

This drama handed first place to Siedler, who swept around the ailing Mercedes-AMG at the banked final corner and started managing a small lead margin over Weerts.

However, Weerts also encountered a setback when he was ordered to serve a drive-through penalty for his Audi speeding in the pit lane.

The sanction dropped the Belgian driver to third, in between the Emil Frey Lamborghinis driven by Feller and Lappalainen who had profited from de Leener bringing Dinamic’s Porsche back to the pits with an issue.

Siedler went on to take the checkered flag by a margin of 11 seconds from Feller, whose points scores across Magny-Cours – where he subbed into one of the Emil Frey Pro cars – and Zandvoort gave the Swiss racer a narrow lead in the drivers’ standings.

Weerts and Vanthoor claimed a podium after a hectic race for the defending Sprint Cup champions, with their Audi finishing just under five seconds clear of Lappalainen’s Lambo.

Lappalainen managed to hold off Jean’s co-driver Ulysse de Pauw in the Silver Cup CMR Bentley for fifth.

Jules Gounon and Petru Umbrarescu finished sixth in their AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG, ahead of Frank Bird and Ryuichiro Tomita whose WRT Audi made up several positions after starting from the final row of the grid.

Benjamin Hites and David Perel took eighth in the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, after a close battle with the Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG.

Leo Roussel and Christopher Haase rounded out the top ten for Audi squad Sainteloc Racing.

Dominik Baumann and Valentin Pierburg won the Pro-Am category in their SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Jonny Adam and Alexander West finished second in class, ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari of Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini who recovered from a spin following a tangle with the Sky-Tempesta Racing Silver Cup Ferrari at Tarzan.

The problems for AKKA-ASP’s No. 88 Mercedes and Toksport WRT resulted in Feller, Weerts and Vanthoor breaking clear at the top of the Sprint Cup leaderboard, with third-placed Marciello and Boguslavskiy now sitting 12.5 points behind WRT’s crew.

Costa’s win elevated him to fourth in the standings and made up for his and Siedler’s disappointment at retiring from Race 1.

RESULTS: Zandvoort Race 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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