With just two rounds remaining, the Fanatec Arena at the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit witnessed 24 drivers who were also competing in the GT World Challenge Endurance Cup hop on sim rigs for the Fanatec GT Pro Series.
So it was that ahead of the one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione race that Sandy Mitchell secured pole position, a scant 0.078s ahead of BMW driver Calan Williams. Daniel Harper and Jordan Pepper completed the second row.
At the start of the race, while the result sheet shows a lights-to-flag victory for Mitchell, it could have ended very differently at Haug-Haken opening corner.
As the field charged down to the first turn, Adam Eteki in the Boutsend VDS Audi tapped fellow Ingolstadt driver Alex Aka into a spin, who in turn speared into the side of Harper. Next on the hit list was front-row started Williams, t-boned by an out-of-control Harper.
Aka meanwhile was still wrestling for control, heading across the grass on the inside and slamming into the side of pole-sitter Mitchell. Somewhat fortuitously, the Lamborghini resisted the hit, continuing unabated, while the Audi span and was clipped by the McLaren of Nicolai Kjærgaard.
Kjærgaard would make further contact on the same lap at the Dunlop-Kehre with the Huracan of Fabrizio Crestani, both spinning down the order.
The two BMWs involved in the unfortunate chain of events rejoined at the very back of the field, with Mitchell now leading ahead of Pepper who made it unscathed through the mele. As did the Porsches of Laurin Heinrich and Ayhancan Güven, now sitting third and fourth respectively.
Heinrich would later make an aggressive move on Pepper for second, heading into the NGK-Schikane. The top two then remained the same throughout the rest of the race, with Mitchell leading every lap and even setting the fastest lap.
With just over 20 minutes of the race remaining, Güven ousted Pepper from his podium spot, delivering a Porsche two-three.
In the gold category, Charlie Fagg lead during the early stages, only the be overhauled by Eteki. However, the Audi driver received a drivethrough penalty for his role in the early fracas dropping to third in the final classification, with Fagg leading a recovering Williams in second despite pitstop procedure confusion.
For the silver contenders, Cesar Gazeau snatched the lead after 15 minutes of the race from Alexey Nesov and then was never headed, finishing an impressive seventh overall. Nesov would eventually finish third in class, with Daniele di Amato in second despite receiving a five-second penalty for contact with Nicolas Baert.
The championship-deciding final round will be held on Friday 29th September at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. K-Pax Racing Lamborghini is now second in the standings, behind Rutronik Racing Porsche.
Fanatec GT Pro Series 2023, Round 4 results
- PRO – Sandy Mitchell – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 – K-Pax Racing – 31 laps
- PRO – Laurin Heinrich – Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) – Rutronik Racing +05.534
- PRO – Ayhancan Güven – Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) – Dinamic GT Huber Racing +23.316
- PRO – Jordan Pepper – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 – Iron Lynx +27.541
- PRO – Sheldon Van Der Linde – BMW M4 GT3 – Team WRT +29.143
- PRO – Thomas Drouet – Mercedes-AMG GT3 – Mercedes AMG Team Akkodis ASP +38.744
- SILVER – Cesar Gazeau – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Boutsen VDS +44.334
- PRO – Daniel Harper – BMW M4 GT3 – ROWE Racing +46.299
- GOLD – Charlie Fagg – McLaren 720S GT3 EVO – Optimum Motorsport +51.778
- GOLD – Calan Williams – BMW M4 GT3 – Team WRT +54.392
- GOLD – Adam Eteki – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Boutsen VDS +57.567
- PRO – Kobe Pauwels – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Comtoyou Racing +59.043
- PRO – Christopher Mies – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Sainteloc Junior Team +1:00.451
- GOLD – Marius Zug – Mercedes-AMG GT3 – Winward Racing +1:02.707
- PRO – Nicklas Nielsen – Ferrari 296 GT3 – AF Corse +1:04.866
- SILVER – Daniele di Amato – Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) – Dinamic GT Huber Racing +1:10.209
- SILVER – Alexey Nesov – Mercedes-AMG GT3 – Madpanda Motorsport +1:10.936
- GOLD – Nicolas Baert – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Comtoyou Racing +1:30.135
- SILVER – Sam Dejonghe – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Comtoyou Racing +1:39.244
- SILVER – Alex Aka – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Tresor Attempto +1:39.417
- SILVER – Erwan Bastard – Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II – Sainteloc Junior Team +1 Lap
- PRO – Nicolai Kjærgaard – McLaren 720S GT3 EVO – Garage59 +1 Lap
- SILVER – Fabrizio Crestani – Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 – GRT Grasser Racing Team – DNF
- SILVER – Jacob Riegel – Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 – Bullit Racing – DNF