7th place for Grenier/Siedler in GT World Challenge Europe Race 2 at Magny-Cours
#14 LAMBORGHINI HURACAN GT3 EVO STARTED FROM 10TH ON THE GRID FOLLOWING A PODIUM FINISH THE NIGHT BEFORE
Race 1 was full of action on-track as this was the first race to be held at night time, a good preparation for the upcoming Total 24hr of Spa coming up at the end of October.
It was back to business for the #14 Emil Frey Racing this morning for race 2 qualifying with Norbert Siedler at the wheel to try to put the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo as far up the grid as possible amidst a very tight field of GT3 cars.
Siedler came short of pole by 0.262s and qualified in tenth place for the 60 minutes race 2. The top 18 cars on the grid were within a second.
Off the start, there was a bit of mayhem as Jules Gounon spun his CMR Bentley in the middle of the pack and cars had to avoid him by going off-track creating a huge cloud of dust. Lots of debris on track caused a full course yellow and then a safety car to bring the cars back together.
Upon the restart, contact happened between the #163 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Alberto Costa and the #66 Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Fredieric Vervisch sending the Audi driver into the tire barrier. The race kept going and Siedler was shown in ninth place. At the time of pitting, the #14 came in occupying eight place.
Once everyone cycled through their pit stop, Mikaël Grenier now at the wheel of the #14, was shown in eight place still. At that point, Grenier was quite a ways from seventh place driver Oscar Tunjo in the #2 Toksport WRT Mercedes as there was a good fight for positions fourth to seventh place.
Lap after lap, Grenier drove hard to close that gap and finally caught up to the Mercedes driver with only a couple of minutes to go and managed to pass Tunjo for seventh. And it is where the #14 ended race 2.
While at the front, the Silver Cup #26 Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 of Steven Palette/Simon Gachet crossed the line with a comfortable 8.243s lead over the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Timur Boguslavskiy/Raffaele Marciello in second and race 1 winner #4 HRT Mercedes AMG GT3 of Luca Stolz/Maro Engel only half a second behind the #88 car.
Five Audi R8 LMS GT3 and three Mercedes AMG GT3 in the top 10 surrounding the Lamborghini of Mikaël Grenier/Norbert Siedler. Emil Frey Racing is closing the gap to these teams as the season evolves which is promising for the coming races.
The sister car #163 was also in the running for a top ten finish until the series’ official gave them a stop-go penalty for making avoidable contact with the #66 Audi R8 of Fredieric Vervisch. They then crossed the line in 12th place.
With two top ten finish this weekend, Grenier and Siedler currently sit in eight place overall in the GT World Challenge Series Powered by AWS Sprint Cup as Emil Frey Racing sits in fifth in the team standings.
The next race on the schedule is to take place at Zandvoort (Netherlands) on September 25-27 for another Sprint Cup event.
Image: Emil Frey Racing