20-year-old Niklas Krütten was at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain last weekend for the penultimate round of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe. The man from Trier and his team-mates Calan Williams (AUS) and Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (FRA) finished fourth in the Gold Cup and 21st overall at the 4.675-kilomtre track in the northeast of Spain. Krütten can still be crowned champion in his class at the finale in the Netherlands.
Simmenauer was first behind the wheel of the 590-hp BMW M4 GT3 for Team WRT in Sunday’s race. Starting from 34th on the grid in sunshine and summery temperatures around 26 degrees Celsius, he was able to gain many positions early on in the three-hour race. After one hour, he came into the pits from 22nd place and handed over to team-mate Calan Williams. However, a problem during the pit stop led to the car being stationary for far longer than expected and saw the team drop well back down the field. Williams was able to overtake a number of cars during his stint and climbed back to 27th place. With roughly an hour of the race remaining, he handed the car over to Niklas Krütten, who was again in fine form and set a fast pace as he gained more positions. At the end of the three-hour race, the former ADAC Stiftung Sport driver crossed the finish line fourth in his class and 21st overall. In the Gold Cup, Krütten still has every chance of winning the title at the season finale in Zandvoort.
Niklas Krütten: “On the whole, it was a very tough weekend for us. We simply were not able to get the best out of the car in any of the sessions. Unfortunately, you sometimes get race weekends like that in motorsport. Jean-Baptiste got us off to a really good start. Then we had an issue during the pit stop, which cost us an awful lot of time. We must obviously now analyse that mistake in detail and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Calan and I did our best to battle our way back towards the front in our stints. Unfortunately, however, we could do no better than 21st overall and P4 in the Gold Cup. We will give it our all again in the battle for the championship in our class at the season finale in Zandvoort.”
The final round of this season’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe takes place from 14th to 15th October 2023 in Zandvoort (Netherlands).