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Costa/Altoè take third successive win to set up spectacular Sprint Cup finale

11 October 2020

Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoè took their third straight Sprint Cup victory in the season's penultimate race to set up a four-way title showdown at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. 

The #163 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini led the majority of 60-minute contest, only briefly slipping back during the pit stop phase. Costa handled the first stint and faced only a brief spell of pressure from Maro Engel (#4 HRT Mercedes-AMG). Altoè was at the controls for the second half and survived a quick safety car period to capture another win.

Engel had moved into second with a blistering start from fifth on the grid, but was required to hand one place back for cutting a corner. This promoted Ferd Vervisch to second in the #66 Attempto Racing Audi. The Belgian driver handed over to Nicholas Schöll, who delivered an excellent stint to secure second spot. 

Luca Stolz completed the podium after taking over from Engel. The German duo closed on the championship lead, finishing one spot ahead of the #32 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT machine of Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts. Timur Boguslavskiy was fifth in the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG he shares with Raffaele Marciello, while the #31 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT crew of Kelvin van der Linde and Ryuichiro Tomita completed the top six. 

The #25 Sainteloc Racing Audi was seventh, followed by the top-three Silver Cup cars. AKKA ASP took victory, with Jim Pla and Benjamin Hites triumphing for the first time in 2020. They were followed by the #2 Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG and the #14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini. Meanwhile the championship was settled in favour of the fourth-place finisher, with Steven Palette and Simon Gachet doing enough to clinch their class title with a race to spare. 

Pro-Am was also decided, and in some style. Sky Tempesta Racing came back from an opening-lap collision to seal victory on the final tour, Chris Froggatt making the winning pass on Valentin Pierburg's #20 SPS Mercedes-AMG. The #52 AF Corse Ferrari completed the class podium.

This afternoon's season-ending Sprint Cup contest will get underway at 16.30 with four title contenders. Long-time leaders Weerts and Vanthoor have 72.5 points, three more than Stolz and Engel. Costa and Altoè are also firmly in contention on 69, while Boguslavskiy is just 7.5 points back, with teammate Marciello set to start the deciding race from pole. Follow the action live on the GT World Challenge Europe website and Facebook page, as well as the GT World YouTube channel.