Two more Sprint Cup rounds of the 2022 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS took place this weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Italy. The battle for the championship continued in soaring temperatures and it was the #188 McLaren 720S GT3 of Miguel Ramos and Dean Macdonald that led the way in the Pro-Am class taking a clean sweep of pole positions and race victories.
These results give Ramos and Macdonald a clear lead in the Pro-Am Sprint Cup standings, while Ramos continues to lead the battle for the overall GT World Challenge Europe Pro-Am drivers title.
Ramos got proceedings off to a strong start by taking Pro-Am pole position in the first Qualifying session on Saturday. Manuel Maldonado took ninth in the Silver Cup class in the #159 McLaren for the start of Race 1.
Both Ramos and Maldonado got away well at the start of Race 1, which was immediately neutralised with the appearance of the Safety Car to help the recovery teams remove two stranded cars from Turn Eight. Once the race got going again, both Garage 59 McLarens had fast, trouble-free runs.
At the pit-stops, Macdonald jumped into the #188 McLaren and didn’t look back, taking the chequered flag 30 minutes later as the Pro-Am winner with a comfortable 15-second lead. Now onboard the #159 McLaren, Ethan Simioni also had a strong run and despite taking a penalty for track limits, the Canadian took sixth in the Silver Cup at the flag.
Macdonald took up the challenge on Sunday and delivered a top result with another Pro-Am pole position for the #188 McLaren while Simioni took fourth in the Silver Cup class for the sister McLaren.
Macdonald and Simioni got away well at the start of Race 2 on Sunday, avoiding some early contact that saw the Safety Car launched almost immediately. When the race went green again, both drivers had a clean run to the pit stop window when they came in to hand their cars over to their teammates.
The second half of the race went smoothly for the #188 McLaren, now in the hands of Ramos. He never relinquished the lead and took the car to the flag, scoring the second Pro-Am victory of the weekend. In the #159 McLaren, Maldonado was running strongly in fifth place in Silver Cup but dropped to ninth at the end when an issue with the car forced him to finish in the pit lane. The #159 McLaren had suffered what looks like a drive line issue but the team will investigate further once back at base.
Next up for Garage 59 is the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, which gets underway on Saturday 30 July at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.