Racing at the Nürburgring is often a rollercoaster ride and the latest round of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS proved to be no exception. The #93 Sky Tempesta McLaren, run by Garage 59, delivered a brilliant late race charge to take second place in Bronze Cup and extend the lead in the Endurance Cup standings for Eddie Cheever, Chris Froggatt and Jonathan Hui.
The #188 McLaren of Henrique Chaves, Louis Prette and Miguel Ramos, battled back after a difficult start to take fourth in class. This result moves the #188 to just nine points from the overall Bronze Cup Championship lead. In the #159 McLaren, Benjamin Goethe, Marvin Kirchhöfer and Nicolai Kjærgaard, had to come back from a frustrating Qualifying result, finishing 13th overall and 11th in the Pro Cup class.
Sunday morning’s Qualifying session was wet and despite some impressive lap times, the aggregate results put the #159 McLaren in 16th place overall and 13th in class, with the #93 and #188 in fourth and fifth in Bronze Cup class positions.
When the race got underway on Sunday afternoon, all three Garage 59 McLarens had to scatter to avoid the drama at the front with Louis Prette coming off the worst in the #188 as he had to stop to avoid contact. He quickly recovered but had dropped ten places. Benji Goethe managed to gain two places in the chaos and Chris Froggatt hauled the #93 McLaren up six spots!
After the first pit stops, the McLarens were holding fourth and fifth in Bronze Cup, which was 27th and 31st overall, in the hands of Jonathan Hui and Miguel Ramos, with Nicolai Kjærgaard in 15th place overall in the #159.
After joining the race fourth in Bronze Cup, Cheever was soon up into third place and set off after the second place Bronze Cup car. With just five minutes left on the clock he made his move to take second place. This result marks four-in-a-row Endurance podiums for the #93 McLaren and extends their Championship lead.
In the #159 McLaren, Kirchhöfer was frustrated by traffic but still managed to gain two places to come home 13th overall and 11th in the Pro Cup class. Meanwhile, in the #188 McLaren, Chaves was ripping through the field and moved up from seventh in Bronze Cup to fourth at the flag. If only he had had one more lap!
It was a tough race for the drivers who all did an incredible job. Prior to the race, each McLaren 720S GT3 had been given an extra 10kgs of weight to carry, thanks to a Balance of Performance adjustment so the drivers had to work extra hard for the results.
Chris Froggatt - #93 McLaren
The perfect result for the penultimate round of the championship, finishing ahead of the two championship rivals and extending the lead. I couldn’t be happier!
Jonathan Hui - #93 McLaren
What a great team result! Another podium in this ultra-competitive championship means a lot as it’s always hard work. We had a great race car today so huge thanks to the team and for McLaren’s support. We extend our lead in championship but it’ll go down to the wire in Barcelona undoubtedly with a proper fight right to the end.
Marvin Kirchhöfer - #159 McLaren
I was hoping for a Top 5 this morning but Qualifying didn’t go our way, which put us on the back foot for the race. The weather conditions were quite difficult and once the times were combined, we were only 16th on the grid. The car felt difficult during the race and I was stuck in traffic for a lot of my stint as I just couldn’t go on the attack. I feel frustrated for the guys as we pushed as hard as we could but didn’t take any points today. I hope we can have a more positive end to the season.
Henrique Chaves - #188 McLaren
That was a hard race. We definitely had the potential for a top result so what happened to Louis at the start was tough. We had a good fight back though and I think if I had had one more lap we could have been on the podium. We’re totally focused on the overall championship now. Next up is Sprint Cup at Hockenheim for myself and Miguel. We have a successful history together in Sprint so we want to keep that going.