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Jun 05, 2022

Torrid Paul Ricard weekend ends with points finish

Fanatec GT World Challenge Endurance by AWS - Round 2, Paul Ricard 

The Fanatec GT World continued this weekend with a 6 hour Endurance race at Paul Ricard. VSR’s two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo’s campaigned in the Silver Cup with unchanged driver line-ups: Dörrbecker, Moulin and Paverud in the 163 car and Beretta, Hites and Nemoto in the 563. Times from the Friday practice sessions were encouraging with the 563 crew third fastest in class and the 163 car fifth fastest in class. The top thirty cars were covered by just one second in Pre-Qualifying, highlighting the competitiveness of the grid.

Qualifying got off to a good start with Beretta the second fastest Silver Cup car, ninth quickest. After Nemoto’s session the 563 car looked set for a top ten start but a technical issue in the final qualifying run prevented Hites from setting a time. The team were unable to resolve the issue before the race start and were forced to withdraw the car. 

Moulin took the start in the 163 car and maintained his position but the Safety Car was out on track after just two minutes. Racing resumed on lap five and in a clear run Moulin moved through the field gaining ten places and reaching the back of a gaggle of Silver Cup cars as he entered the second half of his first stint. The Belgian dispatched Calamia’s Porsche and the Audi of Gazeau to move into ninth in class before a puncture for Goethe handed him another place just before the first round of pit-stops began. Moulin pitted on lap thirty-one for fuel and new tyres but stayed on board the 163 Lambo for a second stint. A solid run through the second hour saw him move up to seventh in class, passing Baert’s Audi, before a crash from Tujula caused a lengthy Full Course Yellow. The VSR crew stopped Moulin immediately and Dörrbecker took the wheel of the Lambo for the middle part of the race. 

The track went green again on lap sixty with Dörrbecker running sixth in class. The Mexican driver spent a large portion of his first stint battling with Roda’s Porsche for fifth in class before finding a way past the Porsche on lap seventy-three. At the halfway point Dörrbecker pitted for fuel and fresh tyres and to serve a ten second penalty for a pit-lane speeding incident by Moulin. The penalty dropped the car back to seventh in class and twenty minutes later another two places were lost when Imola race winner Simmenauer, recovering from an earlier puncture, overtook the VSR car and took Gazeau with him. Dörrbecker’s stint came to an end on lap one hundred and Paverud took over for the run into the night with a full tank and new tyres. As the race entered the final third the cars on a more regular pit-stop strategy began to enter pit-lane and Paverud jumped back up the order to run seventh in class before a slow puncture forced him back in and down to twelfth. Barely half an hour later another puncture saw him pit once again after a slow in lap. As the race entered the final hour Paverud broke back into the top ten Pro-Am cars. With just over thirty five minutes left he pitted for the last time and Moulin got back in to take the 163 to the flag.

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