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GT World Challenge Europe

JOTA McLaren Loses Race 1 Pole Due to Grid Drop Penalty

Two-place grid drop for JOTA hands double pole for AKKA-ASP at Brands Hatch…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

JOTA has lost its pole position for Race 1 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup round at Brands Hatch to a post-qualifying penalty.

Ben Barnicoat was adjudged to have weaved on the approach to the Clark Curve right-hander, impeding the flying laps of the Silver Cup-class Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos from Madpanda Motorsport and Toksport WRT.

The stewards handed the Brit a behavior warning point and a two-place grid drop for the action, demoting the JOTA McLaren 720S GT3 that he shares with Oliver Wilkinson to third for the start of the weekend’s opening 60-minute race.

The penalty means that Timur Boguslavskiy, who initially set the second-fastest time in Q1 behind Barnicoat, will start from pole in the No. 88 AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG.

It also means that AKKA-ASP’s No. 88 car will start from the front of the grid in both races after Raffaele Marciello led the qualifying session for Race 2.

Team WRT Audi driver Charles Weerts, who along with Dries Vanthoor is one position ahead of Boguslavskiy and Marciello at the top of the championships standings, has been promoted to second the Race 1 grid following the McLaren’s sanction.

Barnicoat will start Race 1 alongside Luca Stolz of Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT on the second row.

A new set of results has not been issued to reflect the starting order change, while an SRO spokesperson told Sportscar365 that Barnicoat will keep the additional point he earned for setting the fastest lap in qualifying despite no longer being on pole.

It’s understood that this is because none of Barnicoat’s lap times were affected by the grid drop penalty.


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

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