GRENIER HAD QUALIFIED 11TH AND DROVE THE FRIST STINT OF THE RACE
The second weekend of racing for the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS is taking place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Italy with three races to be presented.
Today saw two qualifying sessions take place and Mikaël Grenier was on charge of Q1 where as teammate Norbert Seidler drove in Q2.
Grenier was classified in 11th place after having a better lap time taken away from him for exceeding track limits.
Right from the start, there were hard battles to gain places but contact was avoided. Grenier gained a position while the second Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Hurraca GT3 EVO driven by Altoè lost three places after the first lap.
With not a lot of opportunity to pass on the Misano circuit, Grenier kept the pace with Altoè during his stint and managed to keep the #26 Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 behind.
With 35 minutes to go, as soon as the pit window opened, Altoè dove in the pits leaving Grenier with one more lap to gain an advantage before coming into the pits for a driver and tire change.
Grenier came in from 7th one lap later to let teammate Norbert Seidler take the wheel.
When all pit stops were completed, Siedler occupied 11th place having moved ahead of Albert Costa in the sister #163 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO
At the front, quite a fight initially between the Lexus Tech 1 Racing and CMR Bentley during the first half of the race. It looked to be continuing after the pits stop rounds until the Lexus ran into trouble not long after coming out of the pits.
The Bentley now running up front looked like it was to be sailing to a victory until the full course yellow.
With an extremely tight battle ahead, AKA Mercedes AMG driver Benjamin Hites spun ahead of a group of five cars. With most avoiding the spinning car, one unfortunately collided with the #89 Mercedes AMG that brought out the full course yellow; Seidler was ninth at the time.
The pace car regrouped everyone and with 10 minutes to go, the green flag was waved.
Upon the restart, Dries Vanthoor made a superb move with a late passing maneuver in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 on the Bentley which had to surprise its driver Nelson Panciatici and took the lead. Kelvin van der Linde in the other Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 took advantage of the move to follow through in second place.
Siedler managed to keep his ninth place initially. As the fight for places intensified, he unfortunately lost a couple of spots on the following lap.
At the checkered flag, Dries Vanthoor crossed the line 0.8s of a second ahead of van der Linde and Panciati came in third 3.4s behind second place.
Norbert Seidler finished in 11th place and Alberto Costa eight for Emil Frey Racing.
There is a second and third race tomorrow, Sunday, with a qualifying session for race 3 scheduled at 9am local time.
For Race 2, Seidler will be taking the green flag from 10th place for the #14 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO leaving Mikaël Grenier to drive the second stint.
Race 2 is scheduled for 11:20am local time(5:20am EDT) and the third race at 3pm local time(9am EDT).
Image: Emil Frey Racing
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