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GT World Challenge Europe: BMW M Team WRT kicks off 2024 Sprint Cup season with a victory.

BMW M Team WRT has started the 2024 season of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup with a victory. Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts (both BEL) won the first of two races held on Sunday at Brands Hatch (GBR) in the #32 BMW M4 GT3.

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Brands Hatch. BMW M Team WRT has started the 2024 season of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup with a victory. Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts (both BEL) won the first of two races held on Sunday at Brands Hatch (GBR) in the #32 BMW M4 GT3. Their teammates, Valentino Rossi (ITA) and Maxime Martin (BEL), who are participating in individual starts in the Sprint Cup with the #46 BMW M4 GT3, were unrewarded for their strong performances.


Starting from third place, Vanthoor brought the #32 car up to second before the driver change. With a perfect and swift pit stop, BMW M Team WRT ensured that Weerts returned to the track as the leader. After an hour of racing, the team celebrated a well-deserved victory for Vanthoor and Weerts. Rossi/Martin finished fifth but dropped to 15th due to a time penalty.


In the second race, Martin and Rossi managed to climb up to a temporary sixth from 11th on the grid. However, a few minutes before the end, while lying in P8, Rossi reported steering issues and had to head into the pits. Weerts and Vanthoor, starting tenth, crossed the finish line in seventh.


In the Silver Cup, Team WRT’s #30 BMW M4 GT3 was successful: Sam De Haan (GBR) and Calan Williams (AUS) finished the two races in second and third positions in the class, respectively, securing podiums in their category.


Reactions after the races at Brands Hatch:


Vincent Vosse (Team Principal BMW M Team WRT): “It’s a great way to start the Sprint Cup season with a win here at Brands Hatch. Dries did a great job to take P2 after a few laps and then the pit crew did an excellent job, they were one and a half seconds quicker than anybody else, which brought us to P1 and Charles finished the job in the best way. It was a pity for the number 46 car of Valentino and Maxime. They were in P5 at the end of race one, but got a penalty for speeding in the pit lane. In race two, unfortunately an issue stopped them after they had put in a strong chase through the field. But they also did a great job.”


Dries Vanthoor, #32 BMW M4 GT3: “The first lap of race one was very interesting. I gained a position and then lost it again. So I tried to hunt down the Ferrari in front of me. It was difficult, I just tried to make no mistakes and to drive as fast as I could. It was crucial to stay as close to P1 as possible. Then the boys did an amazing pit stop and Charles did a great job to keep P1 and the win. Race two was a bit more difficult as we started from tenth. Finishing seventh was the best we could do. Now I’m looking forward to the next race.”


Charles Weerts, #32 BMW M4 GT3: “Dries did a great job qualifying us in third for race one. Then he had a very good start to the race. When we came to the pit stop, the guys in the pits did an amazing job – as we are used to from them. So we were able to take the lead in the pit, which was crucial in a way as it would have been very, very difficult to do so on track. So they played a very big part in this victory. It has been a great start to the season and that win will give us momentum for the next rounds.”


Maxime Martin, #46 BMW M4 GT3: “It’s not been the weekend we were expecting, but it’s always nice to come here and race on an old school track. It was still a very positive weekend for the team, as they had a victory with the sister car. We had some good fights and good fun. Let’s see what Misano brings!”


Valentino Rossi, #46 BMW M4 GT3: “I got my first podium with the BMW M4 GT3 here at Brands Hatch, but this time it was more difficult! Yesterday we suffered a lot but today it was better. Unfortunately, I had a problem with the steering in the second race, where I had to retire and we also had a penalty for speeding in the pit lane in race one. Anyway we suffered more than we expected, but it was still a pleasure to race at Brands Hatch! Let’s see what we can do in Misano!”


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