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Marciello, Boguslavskiy Win Race 2 for Early Points Lead

Marciello, Boguslavskiy dominate second race of Sprint Cup opener at Brands Hatch…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy took a crushing victory in the second race at Brands Hatch to develop an early Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup points lead after one round.

The drivers of the No. 89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo won Sunday afternoon’s 60-minute contest by a 6.5-second margin ahead of Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts who shared the No. 32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.

Marciello started the race from pole after posting a record-breaking qualifying lap on Saturday and built a significant 10-second lead during the opening stint.

A solid pit stop from the ASP mechanics kept Boguslavskiy in the lead and the 2020 GTWC Europe combined champion managed the gap to Weerts, who removed a few seconds but couldn’t get close enough to challenge for the win.

Factoring in their third in Race 1, Marciello and Boguslavskiy left Brands Hatch with 27 points scored, putting them at the top of the Sprint Cup standings by three points from double defending champions Vanthoor and Weerts who twice finished second.

It marked the third Sprint Cup win for Marciello and Boguslavskiy, who triumphed together at Misano and Barcelona in 2020. 

Vanthoor and Weerts benefited from another rapid WRT pit stop to advance ahead of the No. 25 Sainteloc Racing Audi that ran second during the first stint with Patric Niederhauser at the helm.

Vanthoor piled the pressure on Niederhauser in the first stint as Marciello sped away, while the Audis swapped around during the 10-minute pit window courtesy of WRT’s fast service and a costly slow stop for Sainteloc, which dropped down four positions to sixth.

One of the cars to benefit from Niederhauser stopping his Audi out of position was the No. 88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG, which ran fourth in the opening stint with Jim Pla driving before Jules Gounon took over in third.

The Frenchman harried Weerts in the closing stages but was unable to find a spot to pass the Belgian, the pair crossing the line only 0.273 seconds apart.

Simon Gachet took the checkered flag in fourth aboard the No. 11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi started by Christopher Haase.

Race 1 winners Ulysse de Pauw and Pierre-Alexandre Jean completed the top five for the AF Corse Ferrari squad and claimed Silver Cup honors in the process.

Aurelien Panis brought the delayed Sainteloc Racing Audi home in sixth, ahead of Car Collection Audi driver Mattia Drudi.

Motorcycle racing champion Valentino Rossi earned the first points of his first full GTWC Europe campaign by finishing eighth alongside Frederic Vervisch.

Rossi soaked up the pressure from a group of cars during his closing stint, the Italian keeping Thomas Drouet’s ASP Mercedes-AMG at bay to collect two points.

Drouet and Casper Stevenson once again finished second in Silver Cup, the podium for which was rounded out by the No. 99 Attempto Racing duo of Nicolas Schoell and Alex Aka in 10th.

The Pro-Am win went to JP Motorsport’s Christian Klien and Patryk Krupinski in the No. 111 McLaren 720S GT3.

Klien put together a strong opening stint in the outright top 10 before handing over to Bronze-rated Krupinski who kept ahead of his nearest challenger Louis Machiels at the end.

JP Motorsport’s success marked the first McLaren class victory in GTWC Europe Sprint Cup since 2017.


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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