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GT World Challenge Europe

Nürburgring Post-Race Notebook

Post-race notes from round two of GTWC Europe Endurance Cup at the Nürburgring…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

***The Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo that finished seventh on the road was demoted to ninth following the post-race application of a 30-second time penalty for causing a collision with Orange 1 FFF Racing Team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

***ROWE Racing’s No. 98 Porsche was also given a 30s time penalty for Timo Bernhard overtaking under safety car conditions. These referrals promoted GetSpeed Performance’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to seventh, KCMG’s Porsche 911 GT3 R to eighth and Optimum Motorsport’s McLaren 720S GT3 to 10th. View the final classification here.

***FFF Racing Team’s Silver Cup Lamborghini received a 35-second penalty for causing a collision with the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 under safety car conditions. This dropped the No. 555 car from fifth to sixth in class. 

***The same sanction for the same incident, which occurred as the field bunched up to prepare for the first safety car restart, was imposed on WRT’s Silver Cup Audi, although that car had already retired with damage.

***Dinamic Motorsport became the eighth multiple race winner in Endurance Cup, adding to its 3 Hours of Monza success last year. It also marked Porsche’s fifth victory in the series, putting the manufacturer on a par with Mercedes-AMG and Lamborghini.

***Christian Engelhart hopes that Dinamic Motorsport’s victory can give the team form heading into the season-highlight Total 24 Hours of Spa next month: “We have a really good car and we hope that it works the same way around Spa, so I guess we’ll just put it in the trailer, polish it and bring it back out and see if the balance is the same like we had here today!”

***Former Endurance Cup outright champions Garage 59 and Orange 1 FFF Racing Team became first-time winners in the Silver and Pro-Am classes of the long-distance series.

***James Pull described his lengthy but successful defense of the Silver Cup lead from Patrick Kujala as the “longest hour of my life”. The Garage 59 driver had just enough to beat Kujula in a chase that went to the line. “The Lamborghini was really fast and I was struggling on old tires so I was just trying to stay on track and not make any mistakes so he couldn’t attack me,” reflected Pull.

***GPX Racing’s Romain Dumas didn’t look too fondly on the first-corner incident with Emil Frey Racing’s Albert Costa which sent his team’s pole-sitting Porsche 911 GT3 R into the gravel: “[It was] just stupid to take so much risk at the start,” the Frenchman said on the live TV feed.

***Costa’s view on the clash: “I was on the inside, but he [Dennis Olsen in the Porsche] just closed the line and I had no option to turn. I feel sorry for my team, my teammates and for GPX because I am their friends, and I don’t want us to finish the race in the first corner.”

***GPX Racing’s pole car recovered to finish 19th while its No. 12 machine was not classified following Patrick Pilet’s accident.

***Another high-profile retirement was the No. 66 Attempto Racing Audi, which started fourth. The car failed to restart after a pit stop and was withdrawn.

***Of the 47 cars that started the race, a total of 39 reached the checkered flag.

***The No. 5 HRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo started from the pit lane after an engine change between qualifying and the race. Sergey Afanasiev, Hubert Haupt and Joel Camathias finished fifth in Silver. The entry was also handed a €1000 fine for stopping with its nose facing the garage, rather than outwards, during qualifying on Saturday.

***K-PAX Racing’s Bentley Continental GT3s came back battered and bruised after both got caught up in on-track incidents, but the American squad still managed a top-six finish that was 11 places better than its Imola showing.

***The No. 3 Bentley retired after picking up suspension damage at the scrum into Turn 1. The No. 9 fared better over the course of the race but lost a headlight when Andy Soucek clattered into Andrea Caldarelli as the Italian’s Lamborghini suddenly slowed in front at Coca-Cola Kurve.

***CMR is expecting its Nürburgring driver lineups to remain for Spa. Nelson Panciatici joined the team’s Pro-class Bentley from its Sprint Cup lineup, replacing Petru Razvan Umbrarescu who moved to the Pro-Am entry after Imola. 

***Emil Frey Racing is investigating the reason behind a gasoline smell in the cockpit which caused Ricardo Feller to experience dizziness. Whilst feeling unwell, the Swiss driver handled the team’s high-running No. 14 Lamborghini to a safe point off-track.

“The health and wellbeing of our drivers and team is what is most important to me and so I am relieved that Ricardo was able to remove himself from the car safely,” said Emil Frey team principal Lorenz Frey-Hilti.

***Mercedes-AMG’s head of customer racing Stefan Wendl has affirmed the brand’s intentions to keep contesting the overall GT World Challenge powered by AWS global manufacturer’s championship next year. “As soon as we have entered cars everywhere and the manufacturer’s fee is paid then we are part of it. We are happy to compete this year, the same as we will continue next year,” Wendl told Sportscar365.

***Winning at Imola and finishing second at the Nürburgring means Team WRT’s Kelvin van der Linde and Mirko Bortolotti lead the Endurance Cup drivers’ standings heading to Spa. The Audi factory duo has shared the No. 31 Audi with different co-drivers at the first two events.

***Van der Linde and Bortolotti are on 40 points, just one more than AKKA-ASP’s Raffaele Marciello, Felipe Fraga and Timur Boguslavskiy. Engelhart, Sven Mueller and Matteo Cairoli jump to third following their win, adding 33 points to their single scored in round one.

***Spa is the next race on the calendar on Oct. 24-25, but Endurance Cup will return to action slightly before that with the official pre-Total 24 Hours test days on Sept. 29-30.

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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