In a weekend of surprises in the Pro class, AF Corse’s 488 GT3 Evo 2020 won the Pro-Am with Bertolini-Machiels-Costantini narrowing the gap to the leader Baumann, while in the Gold Cup Delacour-Sbirrazzuoli-Balzan took a fine third place for the Piacenza-based team.
Pro. While round eight of the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS in Germany could have delivered the first – anticipated – verdicts in the Pro Class, the awarding of the title and celebration of the champions will have to wait until the final race in Barcelona. The two leading crews both failed to cross the finish line, but for different reasons. The Iron Lynx trio nursed the biggest regrets as they had targeted a win in Germany having taken the front row in qualifying. Starting from second, Alessio Rovera was overtaken at the restart after the first Safety Car by Drudi, with whom he made contact, losing three positions. Behind him, Calado attacked Engel’s Mercedes for sixth place, but in overtaking the German, he stretched the braking and ended up in the dirt, colliding with his teammate. While the number 71 Ferrari retired almost immediately, the number 51 returned to the track but was forced to drop out after contact with the number 5 Mercedes less than an hour before the chequered flag.
Gold Cup. The trio of Hugo Delacour, Cedric Sbirrazzuoli and Alessandro Balzan, at the wheel of the AF Corse 488 GT3 Evo 2020, recorded their second podium of the season after Imola. The number 21 crew managed the various stages of the race superbly, completing the three hours in third, behind the McLaren of Inception Racing and the Mercedes of Haupt Racing Team. However, a slow puncture robbed the Iron Dames of a possible podium place, with the winners of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps finishing sixth.
Pro-Am Cup. Andrea Bertolini, Louis Machiels and Stefano Costantini bagged their second consecutive victory after winning the great Belgian classic. The AF Corse crew first took advantage of the retirement of the Garage 59 McLaren that was leading the race. Then a superb Andrea Bertolini defended first position from the assaults of championship leader Dominik Baumann. The Mercedes driver repeatedly tried to surprise the Italian, but the multi-time champion held him off with relative ease. This result narrows the gap to the leaders to just one point.
Appointments. The GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS will go to Valencia from 16 to 18 September for the last two Sprint Cup rounds before the Endurance Cup’s final act in Barcelona from 30 September to 2 October.