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Marciello Penalized in McLaren Incident; WRT Inherits Victory

AKKA-ASP loses Brands Hatch victory for incident responsibility in race-deciding clash…

Image: SRO

Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy have lost their Race 1 victory at Brands Hatch after the former driver received a post-race time penalty for his part in an incident that sent the leading JOTA McLaren 720S GT3 off track and over the barriers.

The stewards handed Marciello and Boguslavskiy’s No. 88 AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo a five-second stop-and-go, converted into a 40-second addition to its final race time due to being “predominantly responsible” for the collision.

Marciello was trying to find a way past race leader Oliver Wilkinson whilst approaching backmarker traffic coming out of Westfield with just over five minutes of the one-hour race remaining.

Contact resulted in Wilkinson’s McLaren, which held the inside line through Dingle Dell, spearing across the noses of Marciello and a Silver Cup car before making heavy contact with the outside wall. The JOTA driver walked away after his car cleared the barriers.

The AKKA-ASP penalty hands the win to Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup points leaders Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, whose No. 32 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo initially crossed the line in second behind Marciello.

Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT’s Luca Stolz and Maro Engel have been promoted from third to second.

Vanthoor and Weerts’ elevation to the top spot has expanded their Sprint Cup championship lead over main rivals Marciello and Boguslavskiy to 44 points with three races to go.

It also means the Belgian pair have become the first duo to win three consecutive Sprint Cup races since Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor in 2015.

A stewards’ report filed at 1:23 p.m. BST read: “At the exit of Turn 6 a collision occurred between cars No. 88, No. 93 and No. 38.

“The stewards, aided by the driver advisor have interviewed the driver of car No. 88 (in the presence of the team manager) and also invited video evidence from a representative of car No. 38 (the driver and team manager being unavailable).

“The stewards and driver advisor have also examined images [from] the live TV feed and onboard videos from three cars involved, and that of the No. 32 which was immediately behind. The stewards conclude that driver Marciello was predominantly responsible for the collision.”

The final results classify Marciello and Boguslavskiy outside the points in 17th.

Additionally, the No. 14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo has lost its Silver Cup class win due to a crew member dropping a wheel during the car’s pit stop.

The Ricardo Feller and Alex Fontana-driven Lamborghini was given a drive-through, converted to a 30-second post-race time penalty, for the infringement.

It means that Frank Bird and Ryuichiro Tomita pick up the class win, giving Team WRT another victory despite both of its top Audis finishing second on the road in their respective categories.

Bird and Tomita, who finished fifth overall on the road, picked up an outright podium courtesy of both penalties.

Marciello will start this afternoon’s second race at Brands Hatch from pole position.

RESULTS: Race 1  (Final)

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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