The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has conquered the third position in the final Teams’ standings of the FIA GT1 World, while its best-placed driver, Laurens Vanthoor, also maintained his fourth position in the Drivers’ ranking. The main objective was therefore reached, although the very last round of the GT1 World in Donington will not leave on anyone a great memory. The championship was decided when the two main contenders collided in Sunday’s Race 2, which had to be red-flagged and definitely suspended. For the Belgian squad, the main satisfaction came during Saturday’s Qualifying Race, when Laurens Vanthoor, associated exceptionally to Adam Carroll, took another finish podium (2nd) after a beautiful race. On Sunday, car #32 collected a fourth place while car #33 of Oliver Jarvis-Frank Stippler, which had to retire on Saturday after an off-track, finished 7th.

“It certainly wasn’t the dreamt conclusion for the Championship, everybody was hoping for something else, but that’s the way sometimes racing goes…”, reflected Team Principal Vincent Vosse, “For us, the objective we were seeking when coming to the UK, to remain in the final top 3, is met. We had hoped for something more, but it didn’t arrive. The good point is that we took another podium finish and, most of all, we signed our first pole position of the season, which is quite rewarding.”

Qualifying had indeed seen Carroll and Vanthoor performing well throughout the three sessions, with the Belgian eventually securing the pole, while Jarvis and Stippler were less luckier, not making it into Q3 and taking the ninth spot on the grid.

Later on Saturday, the Qualifying Race saw Carroll taking a good start on the pole-setting #32 car, but the Northern Irish could not keep the lead beyond the first lap in front of the McLaren. He briefly retook the lead as the McLaren pitted first but once all stops were over, Vanthoor was still second and finished the race in such position, closely ‘sandwiched’ by the two McLarens. The race of #33 finished before time, when on lap 17, Oliver Jarvis ended in the gravel at the Fogarty Esses, with the car definitely trapped, which prompted the only outing of the safety-car. “The team had a strategy based on attacking”, said the Englishman, “but I think I exceeded. The tires were still a little bit cold after the pit stop and I lost the car. Unfortunately, the car was completely stuck in the gravel.”

The Championship Race on Sunday would be a somehow sad end to the World Championship. Vanthoor completed first lap in third position, while Jarvis had already climbed from 11thto 8th, but during the second lap a big crash involving the Ford and the second BMW caused a first safety-car period. “Yesterday was quiet but after the race we have seen that I had a slow puncture in the last couple of laps so that could be the main reason why lost some pace at the end of the race. Today is a different story… It’s colder and slightly raining and therefor it’s difficult to heat the tires”, commented Vanthoor.

After 35 minutes, the race was restarted and saw two great overtakes by Jarvis on Pastorelli and Basseng to take 7th, while Vanthoor tried to resist to Parente’s attacks for a long while. Shortly after the pit stop, a severe crash involved the two title contenders, Winkelhock and Buurman, whose BMW hit the wall hard. The race was definitely red-flagged few minutes later while the Dutch driver had to be transported to hospital, where his conditions are being checked. Race positions where made official, with Carroll finishing 4th and Stippler 7th.

“The FIA GT1 is over”, concluded Vincent Vosse, “now we are focusing on the final and decisive round of the Blancpain Series and already preparing the 2013 season.”

GT1 World - Round 9

Donington, United Kingdom

29-30 September 2012

Results Race 1

1. Dusseldorp-Makowiecki (McLaren MP4 12C) 39 laps in 1h00m03s851

2. Vanthoor-Ortelli (Audi R8 LMS ultra) + 2s461

3. Parente-Demoustier (McLaren MP4 12C) + 4s844

4. Rosina-Kox (Lamborghini Gallardo P560-4) + 7s878

5. Winkelhock-Basseng (Mercedes SLS AMG) +16s940

DNFStippler-Jarvis (Audi R8 LMS ultra) 16 laps (accident)

Results Race 2

1. Makowiecki-Düsseldorp (McLaren MP4 12C) 27 laps (red flag)

2. Kox-Rosina (Lamborghini LP560-4)

3. Parente-Demoustier (McLaren MP4 12C)

4. Carroll-Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS ultra)

5. Ide-Castellacci (Ferrari 458)

7. Jarvis-Stippler (Audi R8 LMS ultra)

Drivers’ Championship Standings after Race 18 of 18 (final)

1. Winkelhock-Basseng 147 points

2. Düsseldorp-Makowiecki 144

3. Buurman-Bartels 142

4. Vanthoor 122

5. Ortelli 104

8. Jarvis-Stippler 81

Teams’ Championship Standings after Race 18 of 18 (final)

  1. All-Inkl Münnich Motorsport 247 points
  2. Hexis Racing 209

3. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT 203

4. Vita4One Racing Team 199

5. AF Corse 126

For more information on the FIA GT1 World: