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GT World Challenge Europe

Sainteloc Wins Zandvoort Race 2 After Flawless Run

Sainteloc ends winless streak with perfect race for Christopher Haase, Simon Gachet…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

Christopher Haase and Simon Gachet put on a flawless performance to win the second Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe race at Zandvoort on Sunday afternoon. 

The pair led the entirety of the race from pole position, in a similar manner to Saturday’s winners Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril, while the action unfolded behind them.

Haase opened up a sizeable gap after the first few laps, taking his Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo into the pit lane for the mandatory driver change with a lead of over 11 seconds.

Co-driver Gachet kept a similar lead for the remainder of the race, staying out front and eventually crossing the line 9.9 seconds ahead of Mirko Bortolotti.

It comes as Sainteloc’s first overall Blancpain GT win since it claimed outright honors at the Total 24 Hours of Spa two years ago, with Haase also amongst the lineup.

Bortolotti’s runner-up finish was possible after a rapid pit stop from the Grasser Racing Team crew that moved the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo from fifth to second.

With a stop around 2.5 seconds quicker than its rivals, Lamborghini leap-frogged Ezequiel Perez Companc and Luca Stolz, who exited the pits third and fourth after their co-drivers Dries Vanthoor and Maro Engel had each been running one position higher.

Results remain provisional pending the outcome of Grasser’s appeal concerning its qualifying penalty on Saturday, meaning Bortolotti and Engelhart could be stripped of their second-place finish if the Austrian team loses its appeal.

Perez Companc successfully held off Stolz despite several attempts for third position from the Mercedes-AMG factory driver during the final 20 minutes.

Charles Weerts finished fifth, behind Stolz, while Saturday’s winners Vincent Abril and Raffaele Marciello came home sixth with Abril able to defend from Andrea Caldarelli in the last few laps. 

The race started with drama for another of Sainteloc’s Audis, with Markus Winkelhock stopping at Tarzan on the formation lap, calling for a second formation lap while the car was retrieved.

It came as yet more misfortune for Winkelhock and Steven Palette, after the latter crashed out on the opening lap of Saturday’s race, putting Sainteloc in a race against the clock to repair the car overnight.

Aaro Vainio and Hugo de Sadeleer swept the weekend in the Silver Cup for R-Motorsport, while Rinat Salikhov and David Perel took the Pro-Am win for Rinaldi Racing. 

Florian Scholze and Wolfgang Triller, as the only Am Cup entrants this weekend, continued their streak of taking the HB Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 to class victory in every Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe race so far this year.


Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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