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Sprint Cup Championship signed, sealed and delivered in Valencia!

Miguel Ramos and Dean Macdonald are the 2022 GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup Pro-Am Champions. The #188 McLaren pairing secured the title in the first of the weekend’s two, one-hour races at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

After taking a clean sweep of victories at the previous Sprint Cup round at Misano, Ramos and Macdonald had a clear lead heading into the final rounds at Valencia and they were able to take the title with a race to spare.

The duo were fighting for the win in Race 1 but a spin for Macdonald whilst battling with the #52 Ferrari sent the #188 McLaren tumbling back to fourth in class but that fourth place finish was enough to take the title. The #159 McLaren pairing of Manuel Maldonado and Nicolai Kjærgaard, who was standing in for Ethan Simioni, also had a turbulent Race 1 as Maldonado had to run off the track to avoid contact on Lap 1, but he and Kjærgaard fought their way back through to sixth place in class at the chequered flag.

A spectacular lap during qualifying for Race 2 saw Kjærgaard take third place overall and pole position in the Silver Cup class for the #159 McLaren. Macdonald wasn’t far behind him, taking ninth overall and the Pro-Am pole position.

Heavy rain on Sunday lunchtime left the track very wet so Race 2 was started under the Safety Car to make sure everyone got away without drama. Both Kjærgaard and Macdonald got away well and enjoyed some furious on track battles during the opening stint before handing their McLarens over to Maldonado and Ramos for the run to the flag.

Both drivers fought hard throughout the final stint, which got even harder at the end for those running on ‘wets’ when the track dried even further but they came through and took second place in their respective classes, the best result of the year so far for the #159 McLaren and another good haul of Pro-Am points for the #188.

“This is the first title that I have won and I’m glad to share it with Miguel,” said Macdonald. “It’s an amazing feeling and I’m very happy to have done it with Garage 59. The team has been faultless this year; it has been an incredible experience racing with them and I can’t thank them enough.”

The Sprint Cup title has been safely secured but attention now turns to the overall Pro-Am title, which is up for grabs at the final Endurance Cup round of the season, taking place in Barcelona on 2 October. Miguel Ramos has the advantage with a five-point lead so the season finale is set to be a three-hour thriller!


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