PK Carsport, the 2022 Fanatec GT2 European Series champions, returned to their race-winning ways with new driver duo Peter Guelinckx and Stienes Longin bagging their first win of the season at Monza.
Although the #1 Audi crossed the finish line in second place, a 51-second penalty applied post-race for Nicolas Sealens and Stefan Rosina dropped the #15 True Racing KTM down to eighth place.
In a gripping second GT2 encounter of the weekend, which more than entertained the Monza crowds also gathered to enjoy the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS, Jan Krabec sealed an impressive debut with a second Am-class win in the RTR Projects KTM.
Audi versus KTM for second Monza encounter
The field of 2023 got off to a flying start for the second Fanatec GT2 European Series battle of the weekend at the Temple of Speed. As the lights flashed green, it was a drag race down to turn one between the PK Carsport and #18 LP Racing Audis.
Longin proved to be the last of the late brakers to claim the lead into the Rettifilio, with Pierre Kaffer slotting in behind. However, contact for the sister LP Racing Audi of Mattia di Giusto forced the #88 into retirement without a corner turned.
It was another drag race into the first turn at the start of lap three that allowed Kaffer to finally get the better of Longin. Although Reinhard Kofler followed suit at the Variante Ascari, a penalty for the #17 KTM for causing a collision with the #88 car reinstated PK Carsport to second and brought the sister #15 True Racing car up to third.
Behind them, the Fanatec by HRT Mercedes-AMG GT2 was now leading a five-car fight for fourth while leading the Am contenders, Jens Liebhauser managing to shake off all but Anthony Beltoise. The #67 LP Racing machine was never more than a few tenths from the Mercedes’ rear bumper but Liebhauser refused to buckle ahead of the mandatory pitstops.
Pitstops complete, Michael Doppelmayr took up the reigns of the lead Audi only to come under immense pressure from the hard charging Guelinckx, now in the #1 car, with Saelens in tow. The resulting three-wide fight saw Guelinckx take over the top spot while Saelens snatched second and glued himself to the Audi’s rear bumper before making a move for the lead into the Rettifilio with seven minutes to go.
However, a penalty for gaining an advantage through turns one and two, plus pitstop infringements earned the #15 car an additional 51-seconds to its race time, knocking it out of podium contention.
The battle for the Am class lead proved just as close, with Klaus Angerhofer having to work hard to overhaul Aurelijus Rusteika in the Ebimotors Porsche, whilst Krabec continued to hone in. In a fight almost to the flag, Krabec got a great run out of the Parabolica on the penultimate lap to take the Am lead and finish third overall.
Angerhofer held on to second in class ahead of Christoph Breuer who earned a first Am podium in the Manthey Racing Porsche. Doppelmayr did enough to secure third in Pro-Am, bringing the #18 Audi home in sixth.
The Fanatec by HRT duo of Liebhauser and Thomas Jackermaier equalled yesterday’s fourth Am result, sealing a promising debut for the Mercedes-AMG GT2, while Saelens and Rosina placed eighth with penalties applied. With the #5 also picking up a post-race penalty, the Ebimotors Porsche finished ninth ahead of Donovan and Luciana Privitelio’s Iron Lynx Lamborghini.
The Fanatec GT2 European Series is back in action at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, 26-27 May.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group
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