Miguel Ramos and Henrique Chaves beat the heat at a sweltering hot Misano in Italy, taking both Bronze Cup wins of the weekend in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup. As this was the first Sprint event that included the Bronze Cup runners, they also take an early lead in the title fight.
Qualifying 1 on Saturday saw Henrique Chaves grab an incredible third place overall and the Bronze Cup pole position in the #188 McLaren. Nicolai Kjærgaard was right behind him, taking fifth place overall, which was fourth in Pro Cup, for the #159.
As 42 cars barrelled into Turn 1 at Misano, the car to the left of Kjærgaard was hit by another car, which pushed him into the side of the #159 McLaren, sending it into the oncoming traffic. Nicolai managed to complete the opening lap but had to pit with race-ending damage. Chaves meanwhile was ahead of the drama, holding on to third place throughout his run before handing the car over to Ramos for the second half of the hour-long race. Miguel did an amazing job, bringing the McLaren home in 13th place but, crucially, in first place in Bronze Cup, sealing the duo’s first win of 2023.
If the teams thought that Saturday was hot, Sunday had a sting in the tail as temperatures soared, making it tough on even the youngest and most athletic drivers.
This time around, Benji was able to avoid any trouble in the #159 and after a couple of laps had managed to move up a spot to ninth. Ramos dropped to third in Bronze Cup before a safety car period slowed the race while a damaged barrier was repaired. Both cars dived in as the pit window opened to handover to Kjærgaard and Chaves.
Henrique immediately set about piling the pressure on the Bronze Cup leading Porsche and, with just 12 minutes to go, he made a great move and took the lead, which he kept all the way to the flag to secure the second win of the weekend. Nicolai also had a good run and crossed the line in tenth place overall.
The next round of GT World Challenge Europe is just two weeks away but before that the team will travel to Portimao in Portugal for the next British GT round where Miguel Ramos will join Marvin Kirchhöfer in the #88 McLaren. The driver line up in the #93 McLaren remains unchanged.
Henrique Chaves - #188 McLaren
“It was almost a perfect weekend; we only missed the second pole position by a tenth but it was a very good result for us. The pitstops were flawless so thank you to the team for that. We struggled a bit with the car in today’s race but we were still very competitive so we just need to keep working hard like this so we can win again.”
Benji Goethe - #159 McLaren
“It was a tough and extremely hot weekend but I am happy we were able to finish in the points. Disappointed about yesterday as I think we could’ve fought for a podium. I enjoyed my stint today and had some fun battles out there. The team did a mega job and we made some great progress. Bring on Nürburgring!”