- Annual prize-giving event celebrates top performers from across the globe
- Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS champions collect silverware
- Mercedes-AMG receives global Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS title
- New season ready to launch at official test days (7/8 March)
The stars of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS descended on London last night (4 March) when the annual SRO Motorsports Group Awards celebrated the 2021 season and set the scene for the year ahead.
The event was attended by representatives from a wide variety of SRO series and saw leading performers from across the globe rewarded for their efforts during a gala ceremony at The Brewery London. The venue is situated at the heart of the city and within site of the Barbican, London's most striking example of post-war brutalist architecture.
This provided a suitably spectacular location, while the ornate 18th-century brewery ensured an equally special setting for the prize-giving. Team WRT Audi duo Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts took home the most coveted trophy of the evening, the overall Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS drivers' title, as well as their second successive Sprint Cup crown.
Indeed, this was a night of celebration for the WRT squad, which also collected all three overall teams' championships and the Pit Stop Challenge title thanks to the work of Alexandre Riquier and Gil Botelho. The haul was completed by the inaugural Environmental Award, presented to the most sustainable team across all championships. This acknowledged WRT's important contribution to SRO's Road to Carbon Neutrality competitor programme and showed appreciation for its environmental awareness.
The only overall title not collected by WRT was the Endurance Cup drivers' crown, which went to the Iron Lynx Ferrari trio of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Nicklas Nielsen and Côme Ledogar. The same team and driver combination were also recognised for their overall victory at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, which gave Ferrari its first overall triumph in the Ardennes since 2004.
The big winner in the Silver Cup was Lamborghini squad Emil Frey Racing, which emerged from a highly competitive season with a clean sweep of teams' championships. Alex Fontana was on hand to collect all three drivers' titles, with his Endurance Cup success having come alongside Rolf Ineichen and Ricardo Feller.
Lamborghini also won big in Pro-Am. Barwell Motorsport picked up the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and Sprint Cup titles, while Henrique Chaves was on hand to collect the drivers' championships he earned alongside Miguel Ramos. The Pro-Am Endurance Cup titles went to another Ferrari operation, with Sky Tempesta Racing sealing a teams' and drivers' double. Chris Froggatt accepted the award, which he will share with Hong Kong racer Jonathan Hui. Each title-winning driver also received a limited-edition watch from Rebellion Timepieces to mark their achievement.
Among the other prizes presented was the title for best-performing manufacturer in the global Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS. For a third year in succession this went to Mercedes-AMG, which scored a significant haul of points through its European representatives. The virtual world was also part of the ceremony, with last year’s Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series winners recognised for their achievements. Emil Frey Racing was crowned Pro champion, while Madpanda Motorsport collected the Silver Cup title.
Friday's SRO Motorsports Group Awards was staged on the cusp of the new Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS campaign, with the official test days set to run at Circuit Paul Ricard on 7/8 March. The traditional pre-season gathering will see this year's hopefuls descend on the French venue for two days of running ahead of a packed calendar, which opens at Imola on 1-3 April. With last season now fully in the history books, it is time for 2022 to take centre stage.