Team WRT on top as Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS returns to action at Hockenheim

Team WRT on top as Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS returns to action at Hockenheim

Team WRT led the way in Thursday's pre-event test at Hockenheim to kick off preparations for this weekend's Fanatec Endurance round at the German venue. 

Dries Vanthoor posted a 1m37.435s lap with just two minutes left in the four-hour session to move the #32 Audi ahead of the #111 JP Motorsport McLaren by 0.033s. This capped a strong showing from the Ingolstadt marque, with the #25 Saintéloc Junior Team and #31 Team WRT entries finishing fourth and fifth. 

The latter also topped the Silver Cup order thanks to Diego Menchaca, while the #87 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG was second in class and seventh overall. Winward Racing led the Gold Cup class with its #57 Mercedes-AMG, finishing 12th overall. Pro-Am honours went to the #52 AF Corse Ferrari, which finished 26th overall and edged the rival #188 Garage 59 McLaren by 0.079s. 

This weekend's event will mark the penultimate stop on the Fanatec Endurance tour and is the championship's first visit to Hockenheim. A 49-car field will tackle Sunday's three-hour race, including a handful of alterations to the originally published entry list.

Five of these changes concern Silver Cup squads. Patrick Assenheimer adds local knowledge to the #90 Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG line-up, while Mick Wishofer will do the same by joining Konsta Lappalainen and Stuart White in the #14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini. Wishofer replaces Tuomas Tujala and will remain on-board for the season-ending event at Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya. 

Another German driver will join the #27 Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini crew, with Jusuf Owega slotting in alongside Brendon Leitch and Isaac Tutumlu Lopez. Owega, who has previously contested a number of Fanatec Sprint events, with be the seventh driver to pilot the #27 Lambo this season. 

Mikkel O. Pedersen replaces Mauro Calmia in the #56 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche. The Danish driver is no stranger to the Italian squad having driven for Dinamic last term and joined it's line-up at this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. Ethan Simoni has stood down from the #159 Garage 59 McLaren due to Covid. He is replaced by Dean MacDonald, who drove the sister car at Spa and also represents the team in Fanatec Sprint competition. 

There is a single change in the Pro class as Kim-Luis Schramm takes over from Juuso Puhakka in the #66 Attempto Racing Audi. Finally, there is a rare amendment to the established Sky Tempesta Racing line-up as Martin Konrad replaces Jonathan Hui in the #93 Mercedes-AMG. The British squad will once again contend for Gold Cup honours this weekend. 

Cars will be back in action tomorrow at 14:55 for the Bronze Test, while the full field will be on-track from Saturday morning.  Live coverage begins with Free Practice and continues for the remainder of the event, culminating in Sunday's three-hour race. As ever, the action will air in English, German, French and Italian on the GTWorld YouTube channel.

Friday 2 September

14:55: Bronze Test

Saturday 3 September

09:45: Free Practice LIVE
14:05: Pre-Qualifying LIVE
18:45: Fanatec Esports LIVE

Sunday 4 September

09:45: Qualifying LIVE
15:00: 3-Hour Race LIVE