PK Carsport Audi overcomes chaotic second encounter in Spain; Rusteika & Janavicius claim first Am class win
Peter Guelinckx and Stienes Longin claimed their fourth Pro-Am win of the season in race two at Circuit Ricardo Tormo Valencia this morning. The PK Carsport Audi duo came out on top of an incident-packed second outing in Spain, faultlessly navigating a red flag, safety car and slippery conditions to keep themselves firmly in the title fight heading into the final round of the campaign.
While Guelinckx and Longin take points for the win, they finished third on track. It was yesterday’s race-winning #87 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG of Jean Luc Beaubelique and Ludovic Badey that took the flag first, mere tenths of a second ahead of Henry Hassid’s LP Racing Audi. However, with pitstop compensation times added post-race due to the red flag interruption during the pitstop window, the PK Carsport Audi claimed the win.
As a result, Hassid and teammate Anthony Beltoise’s Pro-Am championship lead is cut down to just two points with one round left to run. Guelinckx and Longin move up to second spot while Nicolas Saelens and Stienes Longin drop to third, 15 points adrift of the Audi pair.
There was celebration too for Mantas Janavicius and Aurelijus Rusteika who took their first Am class win, somewhat making up for yesterday’s retirement in the Ebimotors Porsche. That victory was also not without drama after contact from the #15 True Racing KTM knocked Leonardo Gorini out of the top spot with 13 minutes remaining, while race one class victors Klaus Angerhofer and Sehdi Sarmini had to fight from the back of the grid following a spin on the formation lap.
The vital points for third help Angerhofer hold on to his newly gained Am championship lead, with the True Racing charge lying just five points ahead of RTR Projects’ Jan Krabec. Gorini, meanwhile, holds on to third.
Second Fanatec GT2 thriller in Valencia
After the closest Pro Qualifying session in series history, hopes were high for a thrilling second encounter in Spain. However, more rain early on Sunday morning meant extremely slippery conditions greeted the GT2 field, making for a hectic second 50-minute race of the weekend.
Pole winner Anthony Beltoise led the field clean away but bravest of the field was Ludovic Badey, who launched his Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG up the inside from the third row of the grid to challenge for second into turn one and then claim the lead into turn two.
Stienes Longin then briefly fancied a turn at the front before the #61 Akkodis ASP car also joined the party. Benjamin Ricci consequently took over the top spot before a run wide handed the lead back to Badey and the MZR KTM of Reinhard Kofler followed suit, triggering a ding-dong battle for second while the #87 made good its escape.
Shuffled back whilst the frantic first few laps unfolded and the field struggled to find grip, Longin managed to battle past title rival Stefan Rosina for fourth. That pushed the #15 KTM back into the clutches of the recovering Beltoise who lost out in the early stages, producing a thrilling battle for fifth heading towards the pitstop window.
Just as that opened, however, a spin at turn eight for Mattia di Giusto left the #88 in an unsafe position, leading to a red flag stoppage with 22 minutes left on the clock.
Racing resumed in the order prior to the pitstops but with the driver changes complete, meaning any compensation time gained through race one success would be applied post-race. More drama was added to an already complicated situation with both the #67 Audi and #911 Porsche picking up red flag procedure penalties.
Beaubelique, now in charge of the #87, led the field clean away at the restart with the #812 entry of Martin Koch in chase until a spin knocked the KTM down the order. Meanwhile, the battle raged between Guelinckx, now in charge of the #1 Audi, and Hassid, now in the #67 – the latter winning the position but still with a drive-through penalty to serve.
A short safety car period caused further interruption, closing up the field once again, as Saelens’s KTM and Am leader Gorini’s Porsche came together. Each ended up in the turn eight gravel trap with 13 minutes remaining.
Back to green flag racing with five minutes left on the clock, Hassid gave his all to try and overhaul the lead Mercedes-AMG but the order remained unchanged at the flag. With 10 seconds added to the #87 car’s race time and a 30-second penalty applied to the #67 for the outstanding drive-through penalty, the PK Carsport Audi emerged victories. The #87 would rank second and the #812 third.
With Gorini out of the picture, Janavicius was able to bring the Ebimotors Porsche home to its first victory of the season, an impressive fourth overall. A second place for race one winners Angerhofer and Sarmini ensures the former extends his class lead, while title rival Jan Krabec had to settle for third following a late-race spin.
MotoGP™️ legend Dani Pedrosa celebrated his inaugural Fanatec GT2 weekend alongside True Racing teammate Hubert Trunkenpolz with a top six Pro-Am finish.
The Fanatec GT2 European Series title fights will come to a head in the season finale at Circuit Paul Ricard on 8-10 October.