Hockenheimring will play host this weekend (14-15 May) as the Fanatec GT2 European Series roars back into action in Baden-Württemberg. High-power performance models from the likes of Audi, KTM, Lamborghini and Porsche stand ready to battle it out around the 4.5km German circuit after a successful debut for the new category at Monza last month.
With another pair of high-intensity, 50-minute races ahead, here’s a look at the stars – and cars – set to fight it out for the honours at the second race meeting of the season.
Audi pairing go head-to-head at Pro-Am championship summit
Audi’s R8 LMS GT2 visited the winner’s circle in both races in Pro-Am on the inaugural weekend. The first came after a ‘High Class’ performance from Mark Patterson and Anders Fjordbach in the #33, the pair fighting back from an opening lap setback from pole position before a blistering series of laps prior to the pit stops gave them a comfortable 25-second margin to nurse to the chequered flag.
Peter Guelinckx and Bert Longin’s #81 PK Carsport entry then made it a clean sweep for the German marque on Sunday, responding in fine style to register their first victory of the campaign after a spin at the Variante del Rettifillo the previous day ended their hopes. With a victory and a fourth-placed finish apiece, the two sit level atop the standings, but the chasing pack aren’t far behind.
Leading the charge is Speed Factory Racing’s Porsche 911 GT2 RS in the hands of Aurelijus Rusteika and Michael Vergers. A slow pit stop took the #5 out of contention for victory in the opening contest at Monza, but a brace of podium finishes – second then third on Sunday – put them just four points shy of the all-Audi battle up ahead.
Next is the first of the KTM X-BOW GT2 contenders, namely Sedhi Sarmini and Stefan Rosina in the #16 True Racing entry. The duo rounded out the inaugural podium and banked a top-five finish to complete the double-header in Italy, but will have one eye over their shoulder at the #88 LP Racing Audi in the hands of Stephane Ratel and Luca Pirri. It proved to be a real ‘weekend of two halves’ for the pair at Monza, with a first corner, first lap retirement in race one, before a commanding drive to the runner-up spot in the second.
Reiter Engineering have one car in each class, in Pro-Am the #23 KTM will be piloted by Rupert Atzberger and Peter Kox. Toro Verde GT’s Lamborghini Huracan ST rounds out the Pro-Am runners; David Fairbrother and Jordan Witt showed good pace on debut and will be looking to take another step forward towards a maiden podium this time out.
Sportec Motorsport lead the way in expanded Am Cup line-up
Sportec Motorsport were the class of the field among the Am Cup runners in Monza. For Hockenheim, Christoph Ulrich will be joined by Christoph Lenz aboard the #7 KTM. The team currently hold a comfortable 13-point advantage over second-placed Hubert Trunkenpolz and Klaus Angerhofer – double podium finishers on their first outing – in the other True Racing-run KTM (#17). With the #44 SVC-run Lamborghini and #73 CMR Ferrari Challenge 488 absent from the grid this weekend, the #24 Reiter Engineering KTM of Hans Joachim Stuck and Kris Rosenberger has a golden opportunity to close the deficit.
Two new entries will join the fray from Hockenheim, all running Lamborghinis. Both will feature the series’ first single-driver entries, with AKF Motorsport to run the experienced Oliver Freymuth on home soil in the #28, and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS squad Attempto Racing will run the #99 for Turkey’s Ali Çapan.
Consistency could pay off at Hockenheim, with a whole host of new and returning faces set to provide a thrilling battle for the honours.
Follow the action live this weekend
Fans will be able to follow all the action from this weekend via SRO’s GT World YouTube channel, with live coverage available for both races on Saturday (15 May) at 10:30 & 14:05 (CET).
Source. SRO Motorsports Group