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GT World Challenge Europe

Weerts, Vanthoor Take Sprint Cup Win at Magny-Cours

Vanthoor holds off charging Marciello to take WRT’s first Sprint win of the year…

Photo: SRO/Kevin Pecks

Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor won the first Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS race at Magny-Cours, capturing their first race victory of the Sprint Cup season.

The No. 32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II started the one-hour race in second position only behind the No. 11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi of Simon Gachet and Christopher Haase.

Weerts, who took the start, dropped back to third going into the first corner as the Belgian was surpassed by the No. 26 Sainteloc Junior Team Audi of Gilles Magnus.

While Gachet extended his advantage in the leading Audi by some three seconds, Weerts was stuck behind Magnus until the latter ran wide at Estoril.

This allowed Weerts to slip by and take back second position shortly before the pitstop window opened.

When the stops began, Weerts came in a lap earlier to hand over to Vanthoor, who was then able to surpass Haase when the German ran wide on his out-lap.

While Vanthoor was then able to open up a gap, Haase soon came under pressure from a charging No. 89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Raffaele Marciello.

Marciello had taken over the car from co-driver Timur Boguslavskiy, vaulted ahead of the No. 53 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo of Ulysse de Pauw coming out of the pits and passed the No. 26 Audi, now in the hands of Nicolas Baert, on his out-lap.

Haase held off a charging Marciello for a good while, until the Swiss driver muscled his way past into turn 7 and took second place.

However, Marciello proved unable to catch Vanthoor, giving Team WRT their first Sprint Cup victory over the year.

Marciello and Boguslavskiy finished second, with Haase and Gachet completing the podium.

Aurelien Panis and Patric Niederhauser finished fourth in the No. 25 Sainteloc Audi, with the No. 12 Tresor by Car Collection Audi of Mattia Drudi and Luca Ghiotto completing the top five.

Baert and Gilles Magnus finished sixth and won the Silver class, ahead of the AF Corse pair of De Pauw and Pierre Alexandre Jean, who dropped away from fourth to seventh thanks to a slow pitstop.

The top ten was rounded out by the No. 87 Akkodis ASP Mercedes, Team WRT’s No. 33 Audi, and Maximilian Goetz and Jim Pla in the No. 88 Mercedes.

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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