Once on the podium in second place, once just missing it in fourth – with these very good results Simon Gachet and Christopher Haase secured third place in the drivers‘ championship at the season finale of the Sprint Cup as part of the FANATEC GT World Challenge Europe pwd. by AWS in Valencia. At the same time, the Tresor by Car Collection team also finished third in the championship team standings. The sister car with start number 12 and drivers Luca Ghiotto and Mattia Drudi crossed the finish line in Valencia in 6th and 13th place.
In qualifying on Saturday, Simon Gachet once again proved his top form and drove the #11 Audi R8 LMS evo II to third place. Team-mate Luca Ghiotto had more to fight for in the tight field and finished 15th at the end of qualifying.
The race start usually offers good opportunities for position improvements. Simon Gachet made the most of his opportunity, overtaking a rival in the first corner and moving up to second place. Luca Ghiotto even managed to move up from 15th to P10 in just one lap. Thanks to perfect pit stops, the #11 was able to maintain its good position while the #12 even made up further ground. Christopher Haase in the #11 Audi subsequently tried everything to get past the leader and therefore take his first win of the season in the GT World Challenge Europe, but in the end had to admit defeat to the leading Ferrari. Mattia Drudi in the sister car put in a strong performance and was able to move up to sixth place at the chequered flag.
The protagonists had to face completely different weather conditions on race Sunday. While on Saturday there were still high summer temperatures and bright sunshine, the Spanish sky was cloudy one day later. In qualifying, which was still held under dry conditions, the two Audi Sport drivers Christopher Haase in the #11 and Mattia Drudi in the #12 were able to secure grid positions eight and 13 in a very tight field. Before the race, it started to rain, which made the start even trickier. However, both cars came through the turmoil well. Christopher Haase was able to use his routine during the turbulent starting laps and gain several places. Since he was a bit stuck in traffic, he went to the pit stop as early as possible, where Simon Gachet took over. The Frenchman subsequently put on proper pressure and was in P3 after all stops, albeit on rain tires. Only on the last lap was he overtaken by the first competitor on slick tires. But with fourth place he and his partner Christopher Haase secured third place in the Sprint Cup drivers‘ championship.
Mattia Drudi and his team took a completely different approach. The Italian stayed on the track as long as possible before coming in for a mandatory pit stop. Here, his partner Luca Ghiotto was fitted with profileless dry tires in order to have good cards on the drying track at the end. Unfortunately, the former Formula 2 driver lost a lot of time at the beginning on the still too wet track. When the advantage of the slicks finally paid off in the final laps, it was too late to catch up. At least Ghiotto was able to make up several positions on the last lap and crossed the finish line in 13th place.
Credit: Christopher Otto / C.O. Mediavision