United Autosports’ Charlie Fagg and Bailey Voisin claimed an impressive victory in the team’s maiden GT4 European Series race at Monza. The #23 McLaren came out on top in a drama-filled season opener.
The British team opted to bring Voisin in early for his mandatory pitstop, allowing Fagg to take the lead when his rivals came in to make their stops. The pit window was delayed following a long safety car period in the middle part of the one-hour race.
The 46-car field made it through the Rettifilo chicane untroubled, with Antoine Potty in the #8 CMR Toyota leading the pack after taking the lead from pole-sitter Joel Sturm in the #22 Allied Racing Porsche. The young Belgian did not get the chance to pull away, as by lap three the safety car was deployed when the #45 AGS Events Aston Martin hit the wall at Ascari.
At the restart, Potty was able to keep Sturm behind him. Ivan Jacoma (#718 Centri Porsche Ticino) followed in third, ahead of Voisin in the #23 McLaren. But while Jacoma and Voisin battled for third on the road, two incidents caused a lengthy safety car period.
At the second chicane the #10 Ebimotors Porsche slammed into the side of the #17 V8 Racing Chevrolet, causing heavy damage to both cars. Moments later the #70 Trivellato Racing by Villorba Corse Mercedes-AMG crashed into the back of the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 at the exit of the Ascari chicane.
The lengthy safety car period resulted in a delay of the pit window, but when it opened United Autosports immediately called in Voisin to hand over the #23 McLaren to Fagg. Potty kept the lead until the end of the pit window and was briefly held up by another competitor at the Parabolica.
By the time Stéphane Lémeret rejoined, with 15 minutes left in the race, Fagg was already on the pit straight and the United Autosports McLaren passed the CMR Toyota at the pit exit. The young British driver was then able to build up a three-second lead in the next couple of laps.
After 26 laps, Fagg crossed the line to take his third win in the GT4 European Series and give United Autosports and Voisin their maiden victory. Lémeret took second for CMR, with Max Busnelli (#718 Porsche) and Dean Macdonald (#32 United Autosports McLaren) completing the overall top four. For United Autosports that resulted in a 1-3 on its debut in the Silver Cup.
With fourth place overall, Busnelli and Jacoma claimed their first Pro-Am win of the season, in the first race for the Centri Porsche Ticino team since its accident at Zandvoort in 2020. The battle for fifth overall was also a battle for second in Pro-Am between the #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW and the #77 Team Fullmotorsport Audi. It was ultimately won by Berkay Besler, who crossed the line 0.221s ahead of Romain Iannetta.
The #55 Mirage Racing Aston Martin finished seventh overall, just a couple of tenths clear of the #42 Saintéloc Racing Audi and the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG. Allied Racing completed the overall top 10 with the #20 Porsche.
Victory in the Am Cup went to the #3 CMR Toyota of Wilfried Cazalbon and Andrea Benezet. In a thrilling final lap, Cazalbon beat Team Fullmotorsport driver Michael Blanchemain by 0.016s. The #75 Autorlando Sport Porsche crossed the line to take third in class.
Charlie Fagg, #23 United Autosports McLaren: “It was a perfect race for me. Our engineer, Jody, made a great strategy call and made my life nice and easy. My teammate Bailey was mega and it is a nice way to get back into the sport after a year out. Thanks to United Autosports, Zak [Brown] and Richard [Dean], who’ve set this team up. First ever race in GT4 cars and we’ve gone and won it!”
Bailey Voisin, #23 United Autosports McLaren: “This win feels amazing. The team has worked hard to get this result. It all came together in this race. Brilliant strategy call from our engineer. I couldn’t have asked for a better start with a new team, in a new championship and with a new car.”
Source. SRO Motorsports Group