PRESS RELEASE: 14th May 2023
SILVER CUP VICTORY SEALS POSITIVE DEBUT WEEKEND FOR VSR IN GT WORLD SPRINT
May 14, 2023
Moulin and Paverud Silver Cup winners in Sprint Cup debut
Fanatec GT World Challenge by AWS, Sprint Cup – Brands Hatch
VSR joined the Fanatec GT World Challenge by AWS twenty-nine car grid for the opening round of the Sprint series at Brands Hatch this weekend. The team’s three Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo 2 cars were driven by Jordan Pepper, Franck Perera, Baptiste Moulin, Marcus Paverud, Rolf Ineichen and Yuki Nemoto. Factory drivers Pepper and Perera raced the number 60 car in the Pro category, Moulin and Paverud the 119 Silver Cup entry and Ineichen and Nemoto had charge of the 163, also in the Silver Cup.
Brands Hatch was a new track for all of the drivers except Perera and Paverud and with just two hours of practice, interrupted by several red flags, track running was limited. Saturday afternoon qualifying saw Pepper, Moulin and Nemoto out in the first session which set the grid for race one. Pepper qualified seventh fastest overall with Nemoto and Moulin fifth and sixth in the Silver Cup class. A clean start saw Pepper and Nemoto maintain position whilst Moulin gained a place. Positions throughout the field remained static until the pit window opened on lap eighteen. Moulin pitted first and handed the 119 over to Paverud, followed by Pepper for Perera to take over car 60. Nemoto stayed out and in clear air picked up speed. When Ineichen took over on lap twenty-two he undercut several Silver Cup rivals to emerge second in class. He hung on to the place until right at the end when he was hit twice and forced off track by Love’s Mercedes, dropping him back to fourth in class. Perera pulled off a wild move around the outside of Baert in the middle of his stint and bought the 60 car home in sixth place overall. A track limits penalty for Paverud dropped the 119 down to sixth in the Silver Cup.
The grid for the second race was decided by the second qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. Perera earned himself a fifth row start whilst Paverud and Ineichen were respectively sixth and eighth quickest in the Silver Cup. At the start both Silver Cup cars made up places and ran together until Ineichen was pushed off track by Di Fabio and fell down the order. A Full Course Yellow followed by a Safety Car delayed the pit window and at the restart Paverud passed Patrese to move into third in class. The first of the VSR Lambos to pit was the 60 car, Pepper taking over from Perera. Ineichen pitted a lap later for Nemoto whilst Paverud stayed out aiming for the undercut. He pitted on lap twenty-three for Moulin who came out second in Silver Cup having jumped the Madpanda Mercedes. Nemoto ran fourth in class and was challenging for third before being hit and forced off track at turn two. The demolition derby continued when the 60 car was removed from the race by an over-enthusiastic attempt at overtaking from Costa’s Ferrari. A ten second penalty for the Silver Cup leader for causing a collision put the category win within reach of Moulin and when he took the chequered flag he sealed the victory with one second to spare. Nemoto finished sixth in class closing the weekend with a second solid points finish for the 163 car.
The team’s attention now turns to the European Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship which will start with a double header weekend at Paul Ricard at the beginning of June.