AF Corse and its drivers Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini won the special team standings at the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint championship in Valencia. Newly crowned Silver Cup champions De Pauw and Jean also took the overall win in Race-1 at the same Spanish track. In the Italian GT Championship Endurance Series in Italy, the duo of Barrichello-Fisichella secured a splendid victory. Ferrari also triumphed in the GT Cup and GT Cup Am. Ferrari drivers earned top place on the podium at Hockenheim in the Ultimate Cup Series.
CIGT. Rubens Barrichello and Giancarlo Fisichella dominated round three of the Italian GT Endurance Championship contested at the Vallelunga circuit. The Scuderia Baldini drivers outclassed everyone in qualifying and, starting from pole, led throughout, despite the entry of two Safety Cars that neutralised their advantages. The two former Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 men drove the number 27 488 GT3 Evo 2020 to victory in front of 28,000 spectators.
Ferrari also triumphed in the GT Cup with Vito Postiglione and Rocco Mazzola of Easy Race and in the Pro Am with Samuele Buttarelli, Lorenzo Cossu and Fidel Ruiz Castillo of SR&R. In the deciding round at Monza from 6 to 9 October, the current leader in the standings, Mazzola on 52 points, will battle for the title with the Fischbaum-Pavlovic crew, five points behind. Buttarelli-Cossu-Castillo will vie for the GT Cup Am crown. They now top the class standings, a single point ahead of their teammate, Francesco La Mazza. At Vallelunga, in a crew with Lorenzo Bontempelli and Jacopo Baratto, the latter finished fourth despite electronic problems.
GT World Challenge Europe. Valencia hosted the closing round of the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Series, which saw AF Corse’s Ulysse De Pauw and Pierre-Alexandre Jean’s stunning overall victory in Race-1. Having already bagged the title in the previous round, they could race freely. Starting from the pole, they climbed to the top step of the podium. However, the AF Corse pairing missed the chance to finish third in the overall standings.
“The overall victory in the championship’s opening race at Brands Hatch was a surprise,” commented Ulysse De Pauw. “As for the season, our goal was to win the Silver Cup, but we were able to concentrate on the overall position, which was also very important for us. We are delighted with what we’ve done. We always had an excellent car, we were extremely consistent and we finished all the races in the points, except the final one, which was rather difficult. But overall, we can be very satisfied with our performance throughout the year.” Pierre-Alexandre Jean’s comments also reflected his satisfaction: “AF Corse helped us to pick up our pace quickly. We had two days of testing, which helped us become familiar with the team, the car, and the guys. We had a lot of fun, and that’s important. We didn’t make any mistakes all season long, and I think that’s why we were always in contention in the Silver Cup.”
In the Pro Am, Louis Machiels and Andrea Bertolini’s dreams of a comeback faded away. With a third and a fourth place in the two Spanish races, they had to settle for the runner-up position, but they could celebrate the team title, claimed by AF Corse just 0.5 points clear of Garage 59. Also, anything can still happen in the Combined and Endurance, with the Ferrari pairing having the opportunity to take revenge in Barcelona, from 30 September to 2 October, where the front runners in the standings will be bunched within a handful of points. In the same Pro Am class, the third Ferrari fielded by AF Corse with Hugo Delacour and Cédric Sbirrazzuoli finished second in Race-1 and third in Race-2.
Ultimate Cup Series. Hockenheim hosted round four of the Ultimate Cup during the four-hour GT Endurance Cup outing. Visiom’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 with Jean-Paul Pagny, David Hallyday and Jean Bernard Bouvet secured second place after battling for the win until the closing stages: a few laps from the chequered flag, the number 2 Ferrari, then ahead, was overtaken by Vincent Capillaire in the number 88 Mercedes, who crossed the finish line first. Also, taking advantage of the fourth place of the leaders in the standings, the Visiom drivers reduced the gap to the top.
In the GT Hyper Sprint UGT3A class, the Ferrari of Edoardo Barbolini and Luca Demarchi of SR&R won Race-1 and 2. They missed a hat-trick in the 50-minute event by just 0.225 seconds, finishing second behind Nigel BAILLY.
GT Cup. The sixth round of the GT Cup championship ran at Donington with the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo of Millington Motorsport lining up in the GTC class. The pairing of Roy Millington and Benny Simonsen fought for victory in all four races over the weekend and always mounted the podium. The Millington Motorsport team’s haul was two seconds and two third places.
The next round of the GT Cup Championship is on 8-9 October at Snetterton.