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GTWCE R2: Engel/Stolz win, Vanthoor/Weerts champions

Sunday, August 29 2021

Maro Engel and Luca Stolz claimed a last gasp victory in the second Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS race of the weekend on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this afternoon (Sunday) whilst Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts sealed the Sprint Cup Championship.

For much of the race, it appeared that Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy were on their way to victory, after losing their win from this morning with a post-race penalty. His control of proceedings was only briefly interrupted by a an early safety car period following an off at Clark Curve for Adam Christodolou in the RAM Racing entry.

Marciello impressively led the first half of the race from pole position in the AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG, and was unchallenged at the front of the field as the pit stop window commenced. Boguslavskiy inherited a lead of almost 10 seconds and set about maintaining a strong pace at the head of the field. 

Stolz had other ideas, however, in another Mercedes-AMG run and prepared by Toksport WRT. The German took over in second place from his compatriot Engel and immediately set about hunting down the leading Boguslavskiy.

With more than 15 minutes still on the clock, Stolz was right on Boguslavskiy's bumper. Whilst the second place man was visibly quicker in some areas of the track though, it seemed the Russian racer had enough pace to hold his advantage. 

The battle between the leading duo allowed Weerts to creep into contention too, following another strong run for he and Vanthoor. As the race entered its final 10 minutes the race one winner was right with the duo at the front as the battle for victory expanded to three cars.

It seemed for all the world that Boguslavskiy would take the chequered flag as the pack accelerated onto the Grand Prix section of the circuit for the final time, but the race had one more twist to come. Stolz swooped around the outside at Hawthorns as the AKKA ASP car began to slow visibly.

Weerts followed the new race leader through immediately before it became apparent there was a serious problem with Boguslavskiy's right front wheel.

Stolz then rocketed through the final few corners of the race to claim the spoils, whilst second place was enough to ensure the title for the WRT Audi pairing. Struggling with a puncture, Boguslavskiy ran wide at Stirlings before nursing the car over the line to a sixth place finish.

Misfortune for the long-time leaders allowed another AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG, that of Jules Gounon and Petru Umbrarescu, to claim the final spot on the podium. 

Oscar Tunjo and Juuso Puhakka completed a strong race for Toksport WRT by finishing fourth, one place ahead of Ryuichiro Tomita and Frank Bird in a Team WRT Audi. For Bird, it completed a strong day on home soil following the pairing's earlier podium in race one. 

Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS, Brands Hatch Race 2, Top 10

1, Engel/Stolz, Toksport WRT, Mercedes-AMG GT3, 40 laps
2, Vanthoor/Weerts, Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +1.925s
3, Gounon/Umbrarescu, AKKA ASP, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +15.340s
4, Tunjo/Puhakka, Toksport WRT, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +16.438s
5, Tomita/Bird, Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +16.888s
6, Marciello/Boguslavskiy, AKKA ASP, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +17.083s
7, Pla/Tereschenko, AKKA ASP, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +17.222s
8, Fontana/Feller, Emil Frey Racing, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, +23.969s
9, Mies/Goethe, Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +30.244s
10, Haase/Roussel, Sainteloc Junior Team, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +32.024s

For full timings, click here.