It was a dream weekend for Lamborghini and Emil Frey Racing, with a double triumph in the two GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup races staged in Zandvoort.
Everything happened on the Dutch track, both in the first and second round, with Ricardo Feller / Alex Fontana and Norbert Siedler / Albert Costa celebrating their absolute successes with their respective Huracans.
In Race 1, which took place on Saturday afternoon, it was a real domination by Ricardo Feller and Alex Fontana.
Starting very well from Pole Position, Feller took off with his Lamborghini Huracan # 14, then giving the wheel to Fontana who limited himself to managing the situation, maintaining a safety margin over his rivals.
For the couple of Emil Frey Racing it is the first success at an absolute level and in the Silver Cup Class, while behind them there was no shortage of brawls and skirmishes.
In all this, congratulations should be made to the guys from AKKA ASP, Timur Boguslavskiy / Raffaele Marciello, who has climbed from seventh position on the grid. If the Russian slipped eighth at the start, “Lello” came to patch up, and with a crazy grit he managed to bring the # 88 Mercedes-AMG back to the absolute place of honor, as well as first in the Pro category.
The last to yield to Marciello in the final was Pierre-Alexandre Jean, who had taken the wheel of the Bentley Continental # 107 from the hands of the excellent Ulysse De Pauw from second. The CMR crew finished third overall and with Silver, keeping behind the Audi R8 # 31 of Frank Bird / Ryuichiro Tomita (Team WRT), gaining a couple of squares after the stops.
Following are two other Silver teams armed with Mercedes, namely Juuso Puhakka / Oscar Tunjo (# 7 Toksport) and Jim Pla / Konstantin Tereschenko (# 87 AKKA ASP). For them, however, there is the regret of having lost a little after a good first part of the race, signaling the overtaking of Tunjo on Tereschenko just at the end.
Luca Stolz / Maro Engel, second Pro with the Mercedes # 6 of the Toksport WRT, cannot be happy. Engel is to blame for having spun as soon as he got on board the AMG, probably betrayed by the cold tires and thus losing time and positions, nullifying the good start of Stolz, who climbed from ninth to fifth place in his stint.
If nothing else, Engel made up for it by placing a strong overtake on Christopher Mies’ Audi # 66 at turn 4, also favoring the one by the # 32 of Dries Vanthoor / Charles Weerts (Team WRT) – third Pro and # 26 of the Saintéloc Racing (# 26 Aurélien Panis / Frédéric Vervisch), with Mies and his colleague from Attempto Racing, Jusuf Owega, to close the overall Top10.
Mies was also the protagonist of a contact that knocked out the left rear wheel of Albert Costa’s Lamborghini # 163, causing it to retire at Turn 1.
A Lamborghini is also celebrating in the Pro-Am Class: it is the # 77 of Barwell Motorsport, entrusted to Miguel Ramos / Henrique Chaves, who initially found themselves behind the Ferrari 488 # 52 of AF Corse (Louis Machiels / Andrea Bertolini), which in the second part of the race suffers the counter-overtaking of the Huracan in extremis.
The third step of the category podium is taken by the # 20 Mercedes that SPS Automotive Performance gave to Valentin Pierburg / Dominik Baumann.
The Sunday race was very hard-fought, once again conquered by an Emil Fret Racing Lambo, but this time with thrills until the last lap.
In addition to the great comeback of the Costa / Siedler duo, this time it is also necessary to underline how much the unfavorable episodes of others have given a hand to # 163.
The first to chew very bitter are certainly Marciello / Boguslavskiy: “Lello” had dominated the first part of the race starting very well from the Pole Position and running away, in order to give his Mercedes with a good margin to manage his Russian colleague.
However, he found himself slowing down dramatically when there were 20 minutes to go, running into an electrical problem that knocked out the AMG # 88.
At that moment, Siedler had climbed up second after the pinwheel of the stops, as Costa had been one of the first to stop to give him the wheel.
Behind him remained threatening the Porsche 911 GT3-R # 54 of Dinamic Motorsport driven by Christian Engelhart / Adrien De Leener. The latter returned to the pits 13 ‘from the end due to a steering failure, which allowed the Audi driven by Charles Weerts / Dries Vanthoor to take the place of honor after a first part of the race to fight against the Bentley. # 107 by Jean / De Pauw.
For Team WRT’s R8 LMS # 32, however, a Drive Through has arrived to be served due to speeding in the pit lane (same penalty imposed on # 30 by Benjamin Goethe / Markus Winkelhock).
At this point, Siedler / Costa were able to celebrate without further problems, followed by the companions Feller / Fontana, who grant an encore in the Silver Class.
Despite the penalty observed a few laps from the end, Weerts / Vanthoor finish in third place overall, as well as second in the Pro Class, where the podium is completed by the third Lamborghini of Emil Frey Racing, the # 14 of Konsta Lappalainen / Jack Aitken, also them very good at exploiting opportunities without making mistakes in battle.
The Finn sweated a lot in the final to get the better of Jean / De Pauw’s Bentley, second in the Silver Class. The Frenchman at the start had acted as a ‘stopper’ to Vanthoor and a series of rivals, but in the second part of the race the Continental increased the pace with De Pauw, gaining the absolute Top5 with good overtakes.
The best Mercedes finished sixth with Petru Razvan Umbrarescu / Jules Gounon (# 89 AKKA ASP), followed by the excellent Bird / Tomita, third in the Silver Cup after a great comeback from the rear.
Benjamin Hites / David Perel also took advantage of the final duels to gain positions in the Ferrari # 33 of Rinaldi Racing, in the absolute Top10 ahead of the Mercedes # 90 of Madpanda Motorsport (Ezequiel Perez Companc / Rik Breukers) and the Audi # 25 of Saintéloc Racing ( Leo Roussel / Christopher Haase).
First victory in the Pro-Am Class for the # 20 Mercedes of SPS Automotive Performance in the hands of Dominik Baumann / Valentin Pierburg, who preceded the Aston Martin Vantage # 188 of Garage 59 driven by Alexander West / Jonny Adam, even if he lost in the start ground.
The podium sees the third place go to the Ferrari # 52 of AF Corse of the duo Machiels / Bertolini. The Emilian, however, came into contact with Chris Froggatt’s 488 # 93, ending up spinning and causing the Sky-Tempesta Racing driver to puncture the rear left, who finished last with Giorgio Roda.
Another day to forget for Engel, among those at loggerheads at the start of the match with his opponents behind Jean. The Toksport WRT driver reported a flat tire in a contact and this knocked out his Mercedes before the stops.
He did not race the # 77 Lamborghini of Barwell Motorsport, as Miguel Ramos had to return home for family reasons.