The second GT4 European Series race at Zandvoort ended with victory for AKKA ASP (Mercedes-AMG) in Pro-Am and Silver, while CMR (Toyota) claimed Am Cup honours.
An otherwise clean race on the 4.259km Dutch circuit ended behind the safety car following two separate incidents at the end. Race control neutralised proceedings when the #77 Team Fullmotorsport Audi went into the gravel, while at the same time the #11 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW hit the barriers.
It followed an incident-packed first race that concluded with victories for AGS Events (Aston Martin), Saintéloc Racing (Audi) and Team Fullmotorsport (Audi). The opener was temporarily suspended following an incident involving the #32 United Autosports McLaren of Gus Bowers and Dean Macdonald and, like the second race, finished under safety car conditions.
The #27 Aston Martin of Konstantin Lachenauer and César Gazeau was the first car to cross the line, followed by the #42 Audi of Fabien Michal and Grégory Guilvert, while Michael Blanchemain and Christophe Hamon in the #69 Audi took Am Cup honours.
First win of 2021 for AKKA ASP’s Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla in Pro-Am
Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla in the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG took a lights-to-flag victory in the Pro-Am Cup and led the entire field across the finish line. Pla beat Grégory Guilvert away from the front of the grid and pulled clear from the #42 Saintéloc Racing Audi as the race progressed.
When Guilvert came in to hand over to Fabian Michal, the AKKA ASP team opted to leave Pla out for two more laps. This resulted in a 17.710s lead for Beaubelique when he completed his first lap in the Mercedes-AMG. Michal closed in, but the neutralisation of the race meant Michal was unable to challenge Beaubelique for the lead and it was the AKKA ASP driver who crossed the line right in front of the Saintéloc Racing Audi.
Luca Bosco and Olivier Hart completed the Pro-Am podium with the #34 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG. Hart had started the race from fifth on the grid, passed the #718 Centri Porsche Ticino car of Max Busnelli and Ivan Jacoma at turn 12 and then managed to get ahead of the #2 CD Sport Mercedes-AMG of Jean-Ludovic Foubert and Hugo Chevalier. The #718 Porsche eventually finished fourth, ahead of the CD Sport Mercedes-AMG and the #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW of Cem Bolukbasi and Berkay Besler.
Timothé Buret and Paul Evrard win in Silver Cup for AKKA ASP
AKKA ASP was also successful in the Silver Cup, with Timothé Buret and Paul Evrard beating Spanish duo Xavier Lloveras and Lluc Ibanez in the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG. CMR took third in class with the #8 Toyota.
The #23 United Autosports McLaren of Charlie Fagg and Bailey Voisin held the Silver Cup lead in the first part of the race, with the #8 CMR Toyota of Stephane Lémeret and Antoine Potty in second place. CMR pitted Lémeret before Fagg and Potty overtook Voisin as the McLaren driver left the pit lane.
However, longer pit stops for United Autosports and CMR enabled both Mercedes-AMG teams to pass them. The #15 Mercedes-AMG emerged in front, but with 20 minutes remaining Evrard took the lead at the Hans Ernst corner. The neutralisation of the race ten minutes later cemented the outcome and as the flag came out it was the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG that was still leading, ahead of the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG and the #8 CMR Toyota.
Fourth in class went to the #23 United Autosports McLaren, with the #70 Trivellato Racing by Villorba Corse Mercedes-AMG of Jean-Luc D’Auria and Jamie Caroline taking fifth, ahead of the #74 CD Sport Mercedes-AMG (Enzo Joulie and Sebastien Baud) and the #22 Allied Racing Porsche (Joel Sturm and Nicolaj Møller-Madsen).
CMR’s Benezet and Cazalbon take second Am Cup win of the season
Andrea Benezet and Wilfried Cazalbon claimed their second win of the 2021 campaign. The #3 CMR Toyota started the race from third in class, made it into second place after the pit window and then overtook the #61 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG of Benjamin and Mauro Ricci right before the race was neutralised.
The #7 Street Art Racing Aston Martin of Paul Theysgens and Pascal Bachmann managed to overtake the then-leading #61 Mercedes-AMG before the Am Cup pit window opened and the AKKA ASP car was back in the lead as all teams had completed their mandatory driver changes. For a couple of minutes the French squad was leading all three classes, but eventually Ricci dropped behind the CMR Toyota to finish second.
Third place went to the #89 AGS Events Aston Martin of Nicolas Gomar and Eric Herr, with Christophe Hamon and Michael Blanchemain taking fourth in the #69 Team Fullmotorsport Audi. The #7 Street Art Racing Aston Martin eventually crossed the line in fifth spot, ahead of the #50 W&D Racing Team BMW of Paolo Meloni and Massimiliano Tresoldi.
The fourth round of the GT4 European Series will take place at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on July 28-31. The series will be part of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa support package.
Source. SRO Motosports Group