PRESS RELEASE: 17th September 2023
Silver Cup podium small consolation for VSR at Valencia
Fanatec GT World Challenge by AWS, Sprint Cup – Valencia
Spain hosted the penultimate round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge by AWS Sprint Cup this weekend with thirty-nine cars on the grid at Valencia. Changes in the VSR line-ups saw Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli race the number 60 Pro car and Maximilian Paul join Nemoto behind the wheel of the 163 Silver Cup entry. There was no change for the 119 Silver Cup car with both Baptiste Moulin and Marcus Paverud continuing with VSR.
Testing on Thursday was followed by free practice on a wet but drying track on Friday morning. It was dry for Pre-Qualifying and promising times were set by the VSR Lambo’s with the 60 car finishing up fourth fastest. Out in Q1 were Caldarelli, Moulin and Nemoto. In a damp session marred by multiple track limits infringements for almost all drivers the top VSR qualifier was Nemoto, third in the Silver Cup. Moulin was eighth fastest in class and Caldarelli lined up for the race on row fifteen. A chaotic start saw three mid-field runners spin in the middle of the pack at the first corner. Avoiding the carnage Nemoto slipped down to sixth in Silver Cup whilst canny driving from Moulin saw him move up to fourth in class. Caldarelli made up a handful of positions too but when the race went green he was side swiped by Rossi and light damage to the 60 car compromised it’s performance for the rest of the race. By the time the pit window opened Nemoto was up to fifth in class. The Japanese driver gained a further place when a technical issue at the pit stop caused the retirement of the 119 sister car. Nemoto handed over to Paul on lap seventeen and three laps later Caldarelli pitted for Mapelli. When the pit window closed Mapelli was running in seventeenth overall and Paul was a comfortable third in class. After little movement throughout the field and an incident free second stint the VSR cars took the chequered flag with Mapelli fifteenth and Paul third in class, a welcome return to the podium for the VSR Silver Cup entries.Sunday morning qualifying was run on a wet track following early morning rain. After a red flag at the midway point it was a scramble for all the drivers to find space on the track to set a time. At the end of the session it was the Silver Cup drivers Paverud and Paul who impressed. Paverud qualified fifth and Paul sixth, separated by just one thousandth of a second. They were pipped to the Silver Cup pole by Patrese whose lap was just five hundredths better than Paverud’s. Mapelli qualified the 60 car in twelfth position. Paverud’s race lasted only four corners as he was tagged from behind by an Audi at T3. The contact caused a puncture and at T4 the VSR car spun into the gravel. Paul ran second in Silver Cup until a technical issue sidelined his Lamborghini before the pit window opened. Mapelli hauled his Lamborghini up to eighth before the pit window opened and then handed the car over to Caldarelli. Caldarelli passed his stint trying to overtake the Audi of Evraud but in the end had to settle for eighth place. This became twelfth after a time penalty for track limits was applied to the final results.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge by AWS Sprint Cup concludes in a month with a final double header at Zandvoort.