Magny-Cours GTWCE: HRT Mercedes pair Engel and Stolz close on points lead

Haupt Racing Team's Maro Engel and Luca Stolz closed on the lead of the GT World Challenge Europe standings with victory and a third in the Sprint Cup at Magny-Cours

Magny-Cours GTWCE: HRT Mercedes pair Engel and Stolz close on points lead

The Mercedes pair, who were narrowly beaten to both the overall and sprint titles last season, claimed a routine win in race one, with race two spoils going the way of Sainteloc Audi's Simon Gachet and Steven Palette.

Second in the Sprint Cup standings coming into the weekend, Engel and Stolz started the first race on Saturday evening from pole position and proved the car to beat throughout the one-hour affair.

Stolz started the race and made quick his escape as the chasing field squabbled with each other.

Aside from the Emil Frey Lamborghini of Mikael Grenier in second, Stolz was able to ease clear in the lead thanks to the Madpanda Mercedes of Ezequiel Perez Companc holding up a train of six cars in third.

Sprint Cup points leader Charles Weerts made sure he was in the mix come the flag after a forceful overtake on the Attempto Audi of Tommaso Mosca at Lycee.

Weerts then barged his way past Perez Companc, forcing the Argentinian through the gravel at Grande Courbe and dropping the Merc down the order.

Louis Machiels brought out the full course yellow after he spun his Pro-Am AF Corse Ferrari at Estoril, which bunched up the pack.

Stolz proved the superior pace of the HRT Mercedes by immediately gapping Grenier at the restart, while Weerts came under pressure from Mosca.

The order remained largely the same either side of the pit window, with Norbert Siedler - taking over from Grenier - having to defend heartily from Dries Vanthoor who had switched with Weerts in the Team WRT Audi.

Vanthoor was by far the quicker driver in the remaining 25 minutes but could not find a way past the nimble Lamborghini.

Siedler had to fend off no fewer than six Audis behind him but did so superbly to secure the first Lamborghini podium of the GT World Challenge season.

Vanthoor ultimately finished less than half a second behind Siedler but spent too long fending off another Audi in the shape of Frederic Vervisch in the battle for the final place on the podium.

Christopher Haase and Arthur Rougier claimed fifth for Sainteloc but only after an epic battle with a charging Kelvin van der Linde in the WRT Audi.

Van der Linde had a ding-dong fight with Mattia Drudi's Attempto R8, going side-by-side at Lycee and then into Grande Courbe with van der Linde coming out on top.

The South African then fought a similar battle with Haase in the closing stages but could not usurp the German.

Sunday's second race was no less dramatic as polesitters Palette and Gachet made up for their race one disappointment - when they finished 13th - with a largely routine victory.

Gachet opened a margin over the AKKA ASP Mercedes of Raffaele Marciello before the pit window but lost the lead after the mandatory stops to Marciello's team-mate Timur Boguslavskiy.

Boguslavskiy looked to have secured the crucial advantage after the stops but threw away the lead with an understeer moment at Estoril.

This gave Palette and Gachet the victory they deserved following a superb opening stint, while Stolz and Engel secured yet more valuable points with third.

shares
comments
Dinamic Porsche wins GT World Challenge at Nurburgring

Previous article

Dinamic Porsche wins GT World Challenge at Nurburgring

Next article

Porsche withdraws Manthey Racing, drivers from Nurburgring 24 on COVID-19 fears

Porsche withdraws Manthey Racing, drivers from Nurburgring 24 on COVID-19 fears
Load comments

About this article

Series GT
Author Stephen Brunsdon
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021
Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers Plus

Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers

The convergence between the World Endurance Championship and IMSA over LMDh regulations offers a bright future for sportscar racing, but the imminent demise of IMSA's GT Le Mans class creates wider issues to which no catch-all solution exists

GT
Feb 3, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Plus

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it

GT
Jan 23, 2021
Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65 Plus

Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65

There's a saying among retired folk that life begins at 60, but endurance specialist Alain Ferte has never used the 'R' word. Some 40 years since his crowning glory in F3, he's still a driver in demand and gunning for more 24-hour racing success this weekend

GT
Jan 15, 2021
How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT Plus

How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT

After two decades in touring cars, Rob Collard had an uphill battle to unlearn the tools needed to be quick in tin-tops and understand how to hustle a GT3 car. But he did so with aplomb to prevail alongside Sandy Mitchell amid a challenging year for the series

GT
Dec 17, 2020
The high-power solution to counter a dying breed Plus

The high-power solution to counter a dying breed

SRO boss Stephane Ratel was worried about the disappearance of the amateur - or 'gentleman' - drivers who used to be the bedrock of GT3. So he invented a new category that brings back a familiar name from the past

GT
Dec 6, 2020
The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good Plus

The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good

Despite (briefly) having its own F1 arm, Spyker's period in international sportscar racing was spent mostly propping up the grid. Its C8 Laviolette GT2-R stands as one of the last underfunded factory GT efforts that never got a helping hand from BOP

GT
May 21, 2020
How a "fragile s***box" conquered a sportscar classic Plus

How a "fragile s***box" conquered a sportscar classic

It was rare to see anything other than a Ferrari or a Porsche winning GT2 races in the mid-2000s, but TVR's victory in the 2005 Spa 1000km was all the more remarkable given it first had to last the full six hours

GT
Apr 22, 2020