Toksport WRT won the second GT World Challenge Europe race at Brands Hatch after last lap drama for race-long leaders AKKA ASP, which promoted Team WRT’s Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor into second and secured them the Sprint Cup title with a weekend to spare.


At the start a great launch from pole position from Raffaele Marciello ensured the AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 went into Paddock Hill Bend with slight breathing space over Toksport WRT’s Maro Engel. While the majority of the field got through fine, Benja Hites was spun into the gravel by fellow Ferrari racer Andrea Bertolini, thankfully Hites managed to get the Rinaldi Racing 488 going again.

That said, it was different at the end of the opening lap. Henrique Chaves in the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán tried to lunge down the inside of Adam Christodoulou in the RAM Racing Mercedes going into Clark Curve, but made contact with the back of the AMG and spun Christodoulou into the gravel – calling for an eight-minute safety car.

When the race got going once again, Marciello once again mastered the restart and quickly pulled out a handy advantage – no one really forcing the pace around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit – notoriously tricky to overtake on.

Really, the action for the lead only started to heat up after the mandatory pitstops with Timur Boguslavskiy taking over from Marciello and Engel handing over to Luca Stolz.

In almost the reverse of the lead battle from Race One, the AKKA ASP driver found his lead eaten into by Stolz as the German quickly got right onto the back of Boguslavskiy, but the Russian was too wise to Stolz’ attacks and there was status quo until the final lap.

While the drama wasn’t quite the same as the major crash for the Jota McLaren, it was just as impactful on the final result. On the last lap, it appeared Boguslavskiy picked up damage from somewhere – along with a radiator full of grass, which was perhaps related – and started having issues with the front-right wheel. 

He slowed down on the run round the Grand Prix Loop, which allowed Stolz the opening he needed to sweep into the lead. To his credit, Boguslavskiy managed to take the chequered flag – despite the whole wheel rim breaking free of the car just as he crossed the line – in sixth.

His misfortune promoted Weerts and Vanthoor into second in the Team WRT Audi R8 LMS and definitively winning the Sprint Cup title – with the two races at Valencia still to come. 

While one AKKA ASP car missed out on victory – twice – another did managed to salvage some silverware from the weekend as the #89 of Jules Gounon and Petru Umbrarescu rounded out the podium.

It was double-success for Toksport WRT – in a turning round of the team’s recent fortunes – as the pairing of Juuso Puhakka and Oscar Tunjo scooped the Silver Cup honours having finished fourth overall, despite late pressure from Silver Cup rivals Frank Bird and Ryuchiro Tomita – the pair rounding out a strong weekend in the Audi.

Finishing seventh – only a tenth behind the stricken Boguslavskiy Mercedes – was team-mate Konstantin Tereschenko in the car he shared with Jim Pla, which was running in the top five early on but faded later into the race.

Emil Frey Racing took eighth in the hands of Ricardo Feller and Alex Fontana, while two Audis rounded out the top 10 with the #30 Team WRT R8 besting the #25 Sainteloc Racing entry.

The next round of GT World Challenge Europe is next weekend, September 4 & 5, with the penultimate round of the Endurance Cup at the Nürburgring. 


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