Fanatec GT2 European Series title fight reaches crucial stage at Spa

Fanatec GT2 European Series title fight reaches crucial stage at Spa

21.07.2021: Pro-Am title fight between rival Audi squads set to resume at Spa. Ulrich closes in on Am Cup title but chasing pack could cause an upset. Stream both races from the Ardennes live on the GTWorld YouTube channel.


•    Pro-Am title fight between rival Audi squads set to resume at Spa.

•    Ulrich closes in on Am Cup title but chasing pack could cause an upset.

•    Stream both races from the Ardennes live on the GTWorld YouTube channel.

 


The iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is all set to play host to a pivotal weekend (23-25 July) as the inaugural Fanatec GT2 European Series title fight reaches fever pitch in the Ardennes Forest.



The gap at the championship summit between two rival Audi squads – the #33 High Class Racing entry and #81 for PK Carsport by Heinz respectively – stands at just 26 points in Pro-Am in what promises to be a nail-biting conclusion over the final four rounds.



The two driver pairings split the spoils one apiece in the Adriatic sunshine at Misano last time out, Mark Patterson and Anders Fjordbach taking a comfortable win in the opener before Peter Guelinckx’s late move around the outside of Quercia in the series’ first-ever evening race earnt the Belgian and compatriot Bert Longin a return to the winner’s circle for the first time since the season-opening weekend in Monza.



Crucially, that victory breaks up a ‘high class’ run of form for the #33, which until that point had won four of the opening five races in class, but the #81 will need to be on form around the high-speed, flowing 4.3-mile Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend to drive that advantage home and close the gap further.



In theory, High Class could wrap up the Pro-Am honours this time out but will need a substantial 24-point swing over PK Carsport in the process to do so.



Speed Factory Racing’s #5 Porsche will face an uphill task to claw its way back into title contention at this stage, but Aurelijus Rusteika and Michael Vergers will also need to be wary of a charging Stephane Ratel and Luca Pirri in the #88 LP Racing Audi behind.



The latter pairing has taken a podium finish at each of the three events so far, and a consistent run of form has seen them fail to score just once, putting them just six points further back and in the frame for a top three finish outright.



Sehdi Sarmini and Stefan Rosina impressed on their return to action at Misano, the former claiming pole position for the opening race before Rosina rounded out the podium in the other. The #16 True Racing pair feature as one of three KTM X-BOW GT2 challengers in Pro-Am, the next being series newcomer Teichmann Racing, the German outfit running the #123 for Rupert Atzberger and Hendrik Still.



Peter Kox rounds out the Pro-Am runners in a Reiter Engineering KTM, with the Dutchman’s partner on board the #23 set to be unveiled in due course.
 


In the Am Cup, Christoph Ulrich holds a commanding 39-point lead at the top of the standings, but the Swiss racer – running as a single-driver entry for this event in the #7 Sportec KTM – cannot afford complacency on what he hopes will be a title-winning weekend.



His nearest rivals – Kris Rosenberger and Hans-Joachim Stuck in the #24 Reiter Engineering KTM – are still searching for their first victory in the category, despite finishing as runners-up on four occasions, plus a further podium finish in third in the Misano finale.



The duo certainly possesses the pace and capability to keep the title fight alive to the season finale at Paul Ricard but will need to be on top form this weekend to stop Ulrich, who arrives in Belgium with a one-hundred percent record of podium finishes to his name, including three victories.



Klaus Angerhofer and Hubert Trunkenpolz’s #17 True Racing KTM looks set to move up to third in Am in the absence of Adrian Spescha, with positions second through fourth in the standings blanketed by a mere 4 points as SRO’s new-for-2021 category demonstrates the strength in depth of its competition.



Target Racing’s Lamborghini returns after a race-winning start to life in the series at Misano, albeit now running as #32 and with Czech driver Jaromir Jirik at the wheel, his team-mate set to be confirmed before the event.


LP Racing expand to a two-car outfit for this event, running a car in each class, with their Am effort fronted by Leonardo Gorini in the #911 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, marking the first time the iconic marque has raced in the Am Cup.




Watch all the action this weekend live!



As SRO Motorsports Group – the world leader in GT racing – prepares to kick off a bumper fortnight of action at Spa, including the world-famous TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa on 31 July – 01 August, fans can warm up for the main event this weekend by watching both Fanatec GT2 European Series races live!



Saturday features a pair of one-hour free practice sessions at 09:00 and 11:50 (CET) to allow drivers to get better acquainted with one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar, before two all-important qualifying sessions – one for each driver, in the case of two-driver entries – at 15:50 and 16:20.



Live, free-to-air coverage on the GTWorld YouTube channel begins on Sunday, with a pair of 50-minute sprint races at 09:40 and 16:30 to whet the appetite for what promises to be a real celebration of GT racing at Spa over the next two weeks.




- SRO also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/fanatec-gt2-european-series-title-fight-spa---226628.html

21.07.2021 / MaP

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