Fanatec GT Europe Endurance – Akkodis ASP completes Endurance Cup title double as AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors gives Ferrari one-two finish at Barcelona finale

Akkodis ASP is celebrating a second successive Fanatec GT Europe Endurance Cup title double, while AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors has given the Ferrari 296 GT3 its maiden series victory today at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The #51 car of Alessio Rovera, Robert Shwartzman and Nicklas Nielsen finished second on the road but was promoted to top spot following a five-second penalty for the #777 Mercedes-AMG Team AlManar entry. Akkodis ASP, meanwhile, finished fifth to comfortably ensure that it retains both Endurance Cup championships.

There were further title celebrations in the Gold Cup, Silver Cup and Bronze Cup, while Pro-Am was settled last time out at the Nürburgring. Notably, each class was won by a different GT3 manufacturer, with Mercedes-AMG, Audi, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche all earning Endurance Cup silverware in 2023.

AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors scored a breakthrough one-two finish, the #71 of Fuoco/Rigon/Serra coming home behind the triumphant #51 Ferrari. This marks the brand’s first overall win since Circuit Paul Ricard in 2022, a result that also saw the Italian cars finish one-two.

Mercedes-AMG Team AlManar crossed the line first but was punished for an opening-lap clash between Maro Engel and the #63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini of Jordan Pepper. The latter was tipped into the gravel, though it was not until the final 20 minutes that a five-second penalty was handed down by the stewards.

With the field tightly packed at the end, the #777 fell from first to fourth in the adjusted results. This ensured a maiden series podium for the #96 Rutronik Racing Porsche of Preining/Heinrich/Olsen. This was also the first overall podium for the latest generation Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Akkodis ASP wrapped up a second successive Endurance Cup title double thanks to a fifth-place finish for the #88 Mercedes-AMG. The French squad enjoyed a solid advantage ahead of the weekend and never looked likely to be beaten by the rival #98 ROWE Racing BMW.

Marciello and Gounon have their second Endurance Cup titles, while Boguslavskiy takes the crown for the first time. Marciello and Boguslavskiy also sealed the overall Fanatec GT Europe drivers’ title today, while Akkodis ASP took the corresponding teams’ championship. Notably, Marciello now stands alone with six overall Fanatec GT Europe titles to his name.

The #54 Dinamic GT Porsche finished today’s race in sixth overall, followed by the #87 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG. The top 10 was completed by the #159 Garage 59 McLaren, the #25 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi, and the #98 ROWE Racing BMW.

Comtoyou Racing secured both Gold Cup titles. The #21 Audi was carrying a problem during the latter stages but still came home fifth, ensuring that Maxime Soulet and Nicolas Baert comfortably sealed the drivers’ crown.

The teams’ championship went to a tie-break with Winward Racing, the Belgian squad triumphing by dint of having two wins to its rival’s one. It caps a superb first season in GT3 racing for Comtoyou, which announced on Saturday that it will join forces with Aston Martin in 2024.

Boutsen VDS took class honours for the race, its first Endurance Cup win of 2023. This was an important result for the #9 Audi of Panis/Di Folco/Eteki as they remain firmly in the fight for the overall Gold Cup title.

The Gold Cup podium also featured the #157 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG and its sister #57 entry. The top three Gold Cup finishers came home line astern in 13th, 14th and 15th overall.

Grasser Racing earned the Silver Cup titles in style. The Austrian squad took a one-two finish at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the #58 Lamborghini of Crestani/Tweraser/Neary bagging victory and the sister #85 of Schmid/Hites/Van Berlo finishing second to wrap up the drivers’ championship. This was Grasser’s first title success since winning the overall Endurance crown in 2017.

The final spot on the Silver Cup podium went to the #53 AF Corse Ferrari, which was a one-off entrant for this weekend’s event. The #56 Dinamic GT Porsche had been set for the third step of the rostrum but crashed heavily with less than 20 minutes remaining.

Not for the first time this season, the Bronze Cup swung several times during the race. Victory ultimately went to the #188 Garage 59 McLaren of Ramos/Prette/Chaves, despite a spin during the first hour. It was followed by the #91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche, which was one spot shy of snatching the title, and the #44 CLRT Porsche.

Despite some justifiable nerves in the garage, the Bronze Cup title went to the #93 Sky Tempesta Racing McLaren crew of Chris Froggatt, Jonathan Hui and Eddie Cheever III. They finished sixth – their first time not on the podium this term – to narrowly take the Endurance Cup crown.

The overall Bronze Cup titles have been won by Alex Malykhin and Pure Rxcing, despite the #911 Porsche not finishing today’s race. The Lithuanian-licensed team has thus secured an automatic invite to next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours

Pro-Am was settled before the weekend in favour of Car Collection Motorsport, but the race still produced an interesting outcome as ST Racing with Rinaldi scored a maiden series win. The #38 Ferrari of Tan/Tutumlu López/Hanafin beat the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini to earn a popular triumph.

Though the Endurance Cup season is complete, the 2023 Fanatec GT Europe campaign has one event left to run. The Sprint Cup will be settled at Zandvoort on 13-15 October and will see Akkodis ASP seeking to complete a clean sweep of titles with its #88 Mercedes-AMG.