The Garage 59 team’s triple-header of a GT World Challenge Endurance Cup round, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and double GT World Challenge Sprint Cup rounds culminated in a victory for the #188 McLaren at Zandvoort. This was the second win of the season for Miguel Ramos and Dean Macdonald who also took top honours at Magny Cours just over a month ago.
Ramos got the Zandvoort weekend off to a flying start, taking Pro-Am pole position for the #188 McLaren in the first Qualifying session. Unfortunately just four laps into Race 1 the car suffered an alternator issue so Ramos was forced to pit for repairs. The car was fixed before the end of the one-hour race and Macdonald managed to join for a couple of laps just to check over the car so it was ready for Race 2 on Sunday.
In the #159 McLaren, Manuel Maldonado scored a seventh place starting spot for Race 1. After a brief skirmish with the gravel trap on Lap 1 he quickly recovered and set off after the pack. After handing the car over to Simioni for the second half of the hour, Ethan got his head down and finished 14th overall, which was sixth in Silver Cup.
The start of Race 2 split the fortunes of the two Garage 59 McLarens. As Dean Macdonald shot off after the leaders, Ethan Simioni tripped over a Lamborghini on a crowded track during the formation lap and received a drive through penalty for his troubles. This pushed him to the back of the field and despite a spirited and determined drive from Simioni and later Maldonado, the #159 McLaren finished Race 2 in ninth place in class.
Dean Macdonald spent the first half of Race 2 in a dogfight with ex-F1 driver Christian Klien in the #111 McLaren, who was unable to shake the Scot off his tail. Throughout this run, Macdonald set multiple fastest overall sector times, showing his impressive pace. The challenge from the #111 fell away after the pit stops when it tangled with an Audi on its out lap, leaving Miguel Ramos to enjoy leading Pro-Am all the way to the chequered flag!
“We have been the fastest Pro-Am car this weekend,” said Ramos, who leads the title fight for Pro-Am drivers. “ We showed our pace with both pole positions but we had some bad luck yesterday. Today it went our way and we got the win so I’m very happy.”
“All credit to the team for getting us fixed and back out yesterday so we weren’t going into the unknown today,” added Macdonald. “It’s great to be able to show what a good car we have and what a good team we have and hopefully throughout the rest of the season we can get a few more wins.”
Even though the triple-header is complete, the Garage 59 team has one more event before taking a weekend off as the Official Spa Test gets underway this coming Tuesday.