Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe: Walkenhorst Motorsport’s battle for the podium remains unrewarded

Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe: Walkenhorst Motorsport’s battle for the podium remains unrewarded

01.06.2021: The second endurance race of the season in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS took place last weekend. The six-hour, 1000-kilometre race was hosted by the “Circuit Paul Ricard” in Le Castellet (FRA).

The second endurance race of the season in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS took place last weekend. The six-hour, 1000-kilometre race was hosted by the “Circuit Paul Ricard” in Le Castellet (FRA).




The Walkenhorst Motorsport team was battling for a podium finish with both BMW M6 GT3s, but their strong performances went unrewarded in the end. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), Marco Wittmann (GER) and David Pittard (GBR) were at the wheel of the #34 BMW M6 GT3. Martin Tomczyk, Timo Glock (both GER) and Thomas Neubauer (FRA) shared driving duties in the #35 car.

 

Starting from fifth and 13th on the grid, Pittard and Tomczyk were both able to put the BMW M6 GT3s on course for the podium early on as they moved into second and third places. The #35 fell back later on, while Wittmann and van der Linde kept the #34 in the top three until the final hour of the race, battling for the lead after a full-course yellow phase.




However, a collision with another car around 50 minutes before the end meant that they lost time during repairs and also dropped down through the field. After six hours of racing, the #34 BMW M6 GT3 crossed the line in eighth place, with the #35 car right behind in ninth position.

 

The Boutsen Ginion Racing team finished seventh in the Pro-Am class with the #10 BMW M6 GT3. The car was driven by Karim Ojjeh (KSA), Jens Liebhauser and Jens Klingmann (both GER).

 

The next endurance race in the series is the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) on 31st July/1st August.

 

Reactions to the race at Paul Ricard.

 

Sheldon van der Linde
: “It was a very good weekend for us and positive in terms of raw pace and speed from Friday onwards. We always had a good car from the first free practice on. In the race, David and Marco did a great job, and we were always in the top-three. Then the car seemed to have lost some pace, but I defended second place as long as I could.



At the end of my first stint I had a very light contact, which was just enough to lift the bonnet up. So we had to box a bit earlier for our mandatory pit stop for tyres and fuel, and obviously I had to wait a bit longer to repair the bonnet. That kind of destroyed our hopes for the podium. But we were still able to score some points and it’s a very good pace to build on for Spa.


Walkenhorst Motorsport have shown in the past that they are able to win that race, so I think we have a strong package to go there, and that gives me a lot of confidence.”

 



Marco Wittmann
: “Of course, it’s a disappointing way for it to end, when you’ve been on track for a podium finish for the whole race and then fall back to eighth after a collision like that 50 minutes before the end.


Nonetheless our pace was good for the whole weekend, which allows us to be optimistic about the 24h hour race in Spa. We can build on that. We will definitely not bury our heads in the sand and will come back stronger.”

 


Martin Tomczyk
: “Starting from 13th on the grid was not ideal, but overall we were pretty confident about our race performance. I did the first two stints and moved up from 13th to second place. Unfortunately, we then started to encounter some problems.


Thomas Neubauer struggled a bit with the setup, but was able to consistently hold on to fifth place. The door latch unfortunately stopped working during the changeover to Timo Glock and he had to make an extra pit stop for us to fix the door. Of course, that cost us more time and we fell back after that. It didn’t finish as we had expected, as our racing pace was definitely better than the result itself. However, we are still confident that there will be a race in which our form will be reflected in the result it deserves. But that is racing.”

 


Timo Glock:
“As far as I’m concerned, Martin produced the performance of the race, driving a crazy opening double stint to move the car up from 13th to second place. He did a super job. Thomas was also consistently in the top five. However, the door did not close properly when I got in during the pit stop, so we had to come back into the pits during a full-course yellow, and that cost us a bit of time. But I had problems in my first stint with no balance and no grip on the tyres.


I don’t know what caused that. My second stint was then a bit better. I was satisfied with my qualifying performance over one lap, but I still have to learn about the race distance. Thanks to the team for doing such a great job without any errors over the whole weekend. I had a lot of fun.”

 


Benedikt Torka, photo BMW

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/fanatec-gt-world-challenge-walkenhorst-motorsport-podium-unrewarded---224329.html

01.06.2021 / MaP

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