• Jobs at Brands Hatch
  • Truck Racing - Brands Hatch
  • SpeedFest 9 - Brands Hatch
  • Tunerfest South - Brands Hatch
  • Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix
  • MSV Trackdays
GTWCE Race 1: AF Corse Ferrari gallops to Brands Hatch victory

Sunday, May 01 2022

Ulysse de Pauw and Pierre Alexandre Jean controlled a tense opening Fanatec GT World Challenge Sprint Cup at Brands Hatch this afternoon, winning from pole position after 40 laps of the famous Grand Prix circuit.

The Ferrari made a good start to the one-hour race from the two-by-two rolling start, but progress was initially halted by a safety car following a turn one incident which saw a pair of WRT Audis run into the gravel trap. The safety car was called for and the race was neutralised for several minutes whilst the circuit was cleared up. 

Once the race resumed, de Pauw picked up exactly where he left of in qualifying and headed the field from the front until the mid-race pit stop window. Jean took over from de Pauw and resumed in the lead as the other runners went through the pit phase.

Jean largely controlled the latter stages of the race, but it wasn't quite plain sailing, with traffic to overcome as the race entered its final stages. This allowed a charging Dries Vanthoor to narrow the gap, in the Team WRT Audi he shares with fellow reigning champion Charles Weerts, as the clock counted down towards zero.

The Belgian was unable to find a way past into the lead though, and indeed he came under late pressure himself from rapidly driven AKKODIS ASP Mercedes-AMG of Timur Boguslavskiy and Raffaelle Marciello. With Marciello at the wheel, the third place car was on Vanthoor's tail throughout the final lap but he couldn't force a way through, ensuring the podium trio finished close together with no late change of position.

Behind that, Jules Gounon and Jim Pla's Mercedes-AMG was fourth, after running longest during the opening stint. Gounon's attempt at running longer than any of his rivals before pitting for a driver change didn't quite pay off as he and Pla missed out on the podium. Aurelien Panis and Patric Niederhauser completed the top-five in their Sainteloc Junior Team Audi R8.

Many eyes this weekend have been on MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, who has been making his full-time switch from two to four wheels in the championship this year. Rossi started the race in his #46 WRT Audi, negotiating the early drama to gain several positions from 17th on the grid. After handing over to teammate Frederic Vervisch, the duo finished 13th in Rossi's first ever race at the Kent circuit.

Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe, Sprint Cup, Race 1, Brands Hatch

1. de Pauw/Jean, AF Corse, Ferrari, 40 laps
2. Weerts/Vanthoor, Team WRT, Audi, +1.290s
3. Boguslavskiy/Marciello, AKKODIS ASP, Mercedes-AMG, +1.657s
4. Gounon/Pla, AKKODIS ASP, Mercedes-AMG, +7.836s
5. Panis/Niederhauser, Sainteloc Junior Team, Audi, +12.982s
6. Druidi/Ghiotto, Tresor by Car Collection, Audi, +17.374s
7. Gachet/Haase, Tresor by Car Collection, Audi, +17.961s
8. Drouet/Stevenson, AKKODIS ASP, Mercedes-AMG, +22.618s
9. Schothorst/Marschall, Attempto Racing, Audi, +28.320s
10. Scholl/Aka, Attempto Racing, Audi, +30.528s

For full results for this weekend, click here