True Racing by Reiter Engineering sealed a dream weekend in the fourth round of the Fanatec GT2 European Series, with Filip Sladecka and Stefan Rosina doubling up on outright wins at Spa-Francorchamps.
The #15 KTM X-BOW duo delivered a stand-out performance all weekend, taking pole-to-flag victory in race one on Sunday morning, then fending off a four-car attack for the lead, and clawing back an extra 10 seconds spent in the pits, to pull off a last-lap pass for race two glory.
The Am title fight was another close affair, with LP Racing’s Henry Hassid coming out on top of a race-long battle with stablemate, Leonardo Gorini in the first encounter. Gianluca Giorgi then returned Ebimotors to the top of the podium for the first time since Imola in an equally close second race of the weekend.
Race 1 – True Racing KTM converts pole to second season win
Following an impressive qualifying effort to secure a dominant race one pole position yesterday, Filip Sladecka made clear his winning intentions from the start of the first Fanatec GT2 European Series encounter. A blistering start and clear run down to La Source ensured the #15 KTM took the lead before making good its escape.
The battle for second was a different story, with the two PK Carsport Audis rubbing into the first turn before the #81 car claimed second. With Kris Rosenberger soon following suit, the current Pro-Am championship-leading #11 Audi dropped from second to fourth by the end of lap one.
But Nicolas Saelens was swift to recover, soon piling the pressure on the #16 KTM throughout the opening stint until a run wide from Rosenberger allowed the Audi to move back up order to third ahead of the pitstop window.
Whilst Sladecka looked uncatchable out front, the Am class battle again produced some of the most thrilling battles of the field as Am championship leader, Henry Hassid harried LP Racing team-mate, Leonardo Gorini’s Porsche for lap after lap of the Ardennes circuit. Although the pair pitted at the same time, with an additional 10 seconds to serve by dint of his Misano win, Hassid would have it all to do again.
With the mandatory pitstops complete and Stefan Rosina now out front in the #15 machine, the battle was on for second – this time between the two respective PK Carsport Audis of father and son, Bert and Stienes Longin.
Looking to join that party was the hard-charging Brabham BT63 GT2, now in the hands of Anders Fjordbach following Kevin Weeda’s solid start. Inaugural Fanatec GT2 European Series Champion with the High Class Racing Audi last year, Fjordbach posted consecutive fastest laps in his bid to slash the eight second deficit and join the fight for a place on the podium.
Just as the order looked to settle, drama unfolded approaching the final five minutes with the #81 Audi picking up a puncture that would force Bert Longin back to the pits for a replacement. That left son, Stienes, to take second at the flag, in-turn promoting the Brabham to third to score the team’s second podium finish of the season so far.
The Am class battle, meanwhile, continued to rage with Hassid never far from the #911 Porsche’s rear bumper. Despite a brilliantly defensive drive, a run wide from Gorini on the final tour was all the invitation Hassid needed to take a fourth class win of the season.
Gorini deservedly hung for second in class, fifth overall, ahead of Michael Vergers in the High Class Racing Audi.
Race one winners at Misano, Elia Erhart and Michael Doppelmayr overcame a challenging early stint to fight their way back up to third in Am. Alessandro Baccani, meanwhile, sealed an impressive debut in the #7 Ebimotors Porsche alongside Giorgi with fourth in Am, eighth overall.
Luca Pirri and Stéphane Ratel picked up more Pro-Am points for fifth in class, while the #81 PK Carsport Audi rounded out the top ten following a stop-go penalty for a pit stop infringement, ahead of the #17 ad #16 KTMs.
Race 2 – Five-way fight unfolds at Spa
The second Fanatec GT2 European Series race of the day was a closely-fought affair from the outset and it soon became a three-car drag race between the pole-sitting Brabham, #18 LP Racing Audi and #15 KTM into La Source for the first time.
With Fjordbach pushed wide, the Brabham tumbled down the order to rejoin in ninth, whilst Stefan Rosina charged from third to lead the Audi trio of LP Racing, PK Carsport and High Class Racing. But it was far from a repeat of the #15’s dominant race one win, with Rosina unable to pull out any breathing space from the pursuing pack.
Fjordbach swiftly mounted the Brabham’s recovery charge to move his way up to fifth by the end of lap five and begin to hunt down the leaders, whilst back at the front Saelens was trying every which way to try and pass Erhart for second.
Despite the Audis being embroiled in battle, Rosina was unable to pull out little more than a half second advantage and, come lap seven, only 1.1s covered the top trio as Michael Vergers and Fjordbach also threatened to join the party.
That was until the #15 KTM slowed with an issue, allowing Erhart to take the lead and set off on clear track as the pit window opened. Fjordbach also still had time for one more charge to take Vergers and Saelens to lie second before his stop.
A mighty out-lap from Brabham’s Kevin Weeda then saw the Swiss driver pick off both the #18 and #5 Audis in quick succession to take BT63 GT2 Concept to the front of the field. But with the #15 KTM back on song, Sladecka was soon back up to second and piling the pressure on Weeda – finally making a last lap move to take a second win of the weekend.
Weeda’s stellar stint was rewarded with second podium finish of the season, ahead of Saelens in third and Ruisteika fifth.
A faultless drive from Gianluca Giorgi ensured Ebimotors returned to their Am class winning ways, seventh overall. LP Racing’s Leonardo Gorini equalled his best finish of the season so far with second, just 0.4s ahead of class leader and team-mate Henry Hassid.
Peter Guelinckx and Bert Longin overcame a challenging weekend on home soil to finish eighth and fifth in Pro-Am, comfortably ahead of Kris Rosenberger and Sehdi Sarmini, while Luca Pirri and Stéphane Ratel completed the top ten.
Doppelmayr and Klaus Angerhofer then completed the Am top six.
The Fanatec GT2 European Series resumes action for round five in Valencia, Spain, 17-18 September.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group