Thanks to the pole signed by its drivers, the Ferrari 488 GT3 #71 Iron Lynx is 10 points behind the Mercedes AMG GT3 #88 Akkodis-ASP Team before the start of this final. In the Gold Cup, the Iron Dames will start on pole! We hope that this race will be calmer than the second race of the GT4 European Series!
GT World Challenge Europe Endurance – Barcelona
It will be recalled that Antonio Fuoco will be alone to defend his title chances in the Ferrari 488 GT3 #71 Iron Lynx against the trio of Daniel Juncadella, Raffaele Marciello and Jules Gounon. Indeed, Fuoco’s usual teammates being retained at Petit Le Mans, the Italian driver will be assisted for this round by Alessio Rovera and Alessandro Pier Guidi. We could see during qualifying that this trio worked well. This race will also mark the last race of the Belgian WRT team with Audi, the end of 13 years of collaboration between the 2 entities, the emotion is present!
We have 4 different cars in the first 4 places, Alessandro Pier Guidi takes the start in the Ferrari #71 Iron Lynx while the Austrian Klaus Bachler will be at his side in the Porsche #54 Dinamic Motorsport. At WRT, Charles Weerts will start on #32 and Valentino Rossi on #46.
The start went calmly, Jack Aitken (Lamborghini Huracan GT3 #63 Emil Frey Racing) passed Klaus Bachler. There was still contact on the first lap between the #31 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 and the #188 Garage59 McLaren 720S GT3. The Ferrari 488 GT3 #83 Iron Dames driven by Sarah Bovy lost the lead in the Gold Cup category to Hubert Haupt (Mercedes AMG GT3 #5 Haupt Racing Team). At this stage of the race, the Bovy/Frey/Gatting and Schandorff/Iribe/Millroy trios are tied for the championship. But after 12 minutes of racing, Brendan Iribe (McLaren 720S GT3 #7 Inception Racing) was spun by Isaac Tutumlu Lopez (Lamborghini Huracan GT3 #27 Leipert Motorsport). Retirement for the #19 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Leading the race, Alessandro Pier Guidi is also the fastest on the track. Fifth, Daniel Juncadella is clearly blocked by the McLaren 720S GT3 in front of him! Several competitors stop before the end of this first hour of racing. Ricardo Feller took over from Charles Weerts and came out of the pits ahead of Steijn Schothorst who took over from Maro Engel. Feller is immediately on the pace and overtakes Jules Gounon! Nico Müller took over from Valentino Rossi (who probably did his best stint of the season) but he crashed into Giorgio Roda (Porsche 911 GT3R #56 Dinamic Motorsport) who cut him off in an incomprehensible way.
Ricardo Feller stumbles over Manuel Maldonado’s McLaren and finds himself under pressure from Jules Gounon. Feller ends up finding the opening and immediately widens the gap! Michelle Gatting (Ferrari 488 GT3 #83 Iron Dames) overtakes Florian Scholze (Mercedes AMG GT3 #5 Haupt Racing Team) and takes the lead in the Gold Cup! With great difficulty, Jules Gounon, Steijn Schothorst and Christopher Haase ended up passing Maldonado’s McLaren.
Shortly after the halfway mark, Haase passed Schothorst while Nico Müller and Christopher Mies passed Maldonado. In the lead, Alessio Rovera was hampered by several competitors and saw Albert Costa coming back to him (Lamborghini Huracan GT3 #63 Emil Frey Racing). Costa is on the heels of Rovera while Alessio Picariello (Porsche 911 GT3R #54 Dinamic Motorsport) is closing in!
At the end of this second hour of racing, Jordan Witt (Lamborghini Huracan GT3 #77 Barwell Motorsport) stopped at the edge of the track, should the race be neutralized? If this were the case, it would totally change the face of the race by bringing together all the competitors! No neutralization, but the 3 leading men go up on a group of laggards and are slowed down! At Dinamic Motorsport we quickly return to the pits to try the undercut! and Albert Costa took the opportunity to overtake Alessio Rovera! The Championship is rocking, the Ferrari must absolutely win to hope to be titled! We lose big at Iron Lynx and Alessio Rovera follows Albert Costa’s Lamborghini into the pits.
But at Emil Frey Racing, everything has to be redone because the Lamborghini comes out of the pits behind the Ferrari. But at Dinamic Motorsport we managed the undercut, so it’s a Porsche driven by Matteo Cairoli who is in the lead as we approach the last hour of the race! Antonio Fuoco will finish the race with Iron Lynx and the Italian driver now has his destiny in hand to seek the title.
Cairoli attacked very hard and immediately set the fastest lap in the race for his car, while at the same time Raffaele Marciello set the absolute best lap. 22nd Nicklas Nielsen (Ferrari 488 GT3 #51 Iron Lynx) was overtaken by Matteo Cairoli and it was clear that the Ferrari driver was deliberately hindering the Porsche driver. During this time, Antonio Fuoco goes up, what we see is really ugly…Cairoli ends up passing and just after Nielsen lets Fuoco pass without any problem…
Gearbox problem on the Iron Dames Ferrari! Rahel Frey stops at the edge of the track…The Iron Dames will not win the Gold Cup! The race changes to Full Course Yellow. Safety-Car 30 minutes from the finish. Puncture at the restart for the #7 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3. At the restart, Cairoli proved to be much faster than Fuoco.
Cairoli does not tremble and crosses the finish with Fuoco on his heels! A great reward for the Cairoli/Bachler/Picariello trio and the Dinamic Motorsport team. In the #63 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Jack Aitken, Albert Costa and Mirko Bortolotti clinch a podium that will do good for the Swiss team which has had a difficult season! The second place signed by the Ferrari #71 Iron Lynx will not have allowed Antonio Fuoco to win the title and it is indeed Raffaele Marciello, Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon who are the great champions of this 2022 season!
For their last race with Audi, WRT got away with honors, with a fourth place for the #32 and with a victory in Silver accompanied by a final eleventh place for the #30 of the trio Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, Thomas Neubauer and Benjamin Goethe who literally crushed the category this season. From tomorrow, the Belgian team will test the BMW M4 GT3…Ollie Millroy, Frederik Schandorff and Brendan Iribe win the title in the Gold Cup.