Porsche beats Mercedes in GT World Challenge Monza opener

Porsche claimed first blood in a topsy-turvy opening round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup as the Dinamic Motorsport squad reprised its 2019 victory at Monza. 

Porsche beats Mercedes in GT World Challenge Monza opener
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Christian Engelhart, Matteo Cairoli and Klaus Bachler came through to claim victory at the end of the rain-effected event by 2.8s from the lead Auto Sport Promotion Mercedes-AMG GT3 shared by Raffaele Marciello, Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon. 

The best of the Dinamic Porsche 911 GT3 Rs had qualified only 12th, but Engelhart had propelled the car up to fifth place in the space of 17 laps after the entire field made a switch to wet-weather Pirellis when the rain arrived.  

Cairoli then moved the car through into the lead on a wet but drying track after staying on grooved rubber through the middle hour of the race. 

Bachler, who was part of the winning Dinamic line-up two years ago when the GTWCE was known as the Blancpain GT Series, emerged from the final round of pitstops with a lead of six seconds. 

That disappeared with a full course yellow that turned into a safety car proper, but when the race went green with 40 minutes to go the German driver was able to ease away from Gounon in the ASP Mercedes. 

The lead went up to almost five seconds, before Gounon edged back at the Porsche despite having his mirrors full of the Emil Frey Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo driven by Ricardo Feller. 

Engelhart said: "The unexpected ones are always the nicest ones. We didn't think we could do it; we didn't have the pace in qualifying. 

"The race just came to us: Matteo was quick in the rain and Klaus was flying at the end."

Feller crossed the line in third position just three tenths behind Gounon to secure the Silver Cup class victory together with Rolf Ineichen and Alex Fontana. 

Fontana sustained a puncture during the middle hour of the race, the call by the Swiss team to send him out on slicks when he pitted subsequently paying dividends. 

Feller had to fight off the advances of another car that had made an early stop for slicks, the Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3 in which Antonio Fuoco finished the race. 

Sportscar debutant Callum Ilott had been given slicks at the halfway mark and made rapid progress up the order in the car started by David Rigon. 

Fuoco was fourth when race went green for the final time, but crucially he had another of the Emil Frey Lambos, the lapped car with Albert Costa at the wheel, between him and Feller. 

The Ferrari driver set a succession of fastest laps in the closing stages after moving past Costa, but ended up a shade under half a second down at the chequered flag. 

The second of the factory-supported Iron Lynx Ferraris finished a further four seconds back in fifth position in the hands of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Come Ledogar and Nicklas Nielsen. 

The GPX Porsche squad run by ART Grand Prix took sixth place with its Silver Cup entry of James Pull, Stuart Hall and Benjamin Goethe. 

The pole-winning FFF Racing Lambo of Mirko Bortolotti, Marco Mapelli and Andrea Calderalli led the race until the race went yellow for the first time after 10 laps. 

Bortolotti pitted for a set of Pirelli wets only for his Huracan to crawl to a halt as he rejoined the track. The Lamborghini lost more than a lap while the Italian rebooted the electronics and ended up a lap down in 24th position at the end. 

The Haupt Racing Team Mercedes of Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Vincent Abril got into the lead during the second hour despite a lowly qualifying position and a poor start. Stolz was one of a number of drivers to sustain a failure of the left-rear wet tyre as the track dried. 

The HRT car made it home in 13th position, but the lead WRT entry of Kelvin van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts non-finished after it was hit by a similar issue. 

Pro-Am Cup honours were taken the Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Alexander West, Chris Goodwin and Jonny Adam. 

Race results:

Pos.  No.  Driver  Team/Car  Laps   Delay/Retirement 
1 54  Matteo Cairoli
Christian Engelhart
Klaus Bachler
Dinamic Motorsport
2 88  Raffaele Marciello
Jules Gounon
Daniel Juncadella
Akka ASP Team
79 2.886
3 14  Rolf Ineichen
Alex Fontana
Ricardo Feller
Emil Frey Racing
79 3.141
4 71  Davide Rigon
Antonio Fuoco
Callum Ilott
Iron Lynx
79 3.613
5 51  Alessandro Pier Guidi
Nicklas Nielsen
Come Ledogar
Iron Lynx
79 7.799
6 30  Benjamin Goethe
Stuart Hall
James Pull
Team WRT
79 15.607
7 57  Russell Ward
Philip Ellis
Mikael Grenier
Winward Racing
79 19.506
8 31  Ryuichiro Tomita
Frankie Bird
Valdemar Eriksen
Team WRT
79 23.391
9 26  Frederic Vervisch
Finlay Hutchison
Sainteloc Racing
79 26.060
10 56  M.O.Pedersen
Andrea Rizzoli
Romain Dumas
Dinamic Motorsport
79 33.042
11 87  Thomas Drouet
Simon Gachet
Akka ASP Team
79 34.062
12 66  Mattia Drudi
Kim-Luis Schramm
Christopher Mies
Attempto Racing
79 44.844
13 Maro Engel
Luca Stolz
Vincent Abril
79 45.172
14 188  Alexander West
Chris Goodwin
Jonny Adam
Garage 59
Aston Martin
79 49.410
15 99  Alex Arkin Aka
Dennis Marschall
Tommaso Mosca
Attempto Racing
79 55.224
16 19  H.Hamaguchi
Phil Keen
Orange 1 FFF Racing Team
79 56.939
17 33  Benjamin Hites
Patrick Kujala
Rinaldi Racing
79 1'04.867
18 40  Jordan Love
Miklas Born
Yannick Mettler
SPS automotive performance
79 1'05.381
19 159  Valentin Hasse-Clot
Alex MacDowall
Garage 59
Aston Martin
79 1'12.044
20 Oscar Tunjo
Paul Petit
Marvin Dienst
79 1'12.372
21 77  Miguel Ramos
Henrique Chaves Jr.
Adrian Amstutz
Barwell Motorsport
79 1'17.049
22 Hubert Haupt
Ricardo Sanchez
Patrick Assenheimer
79 1'28.082
23 163  Norbert Siedler
Albert Costa
Giacomo Altoè
Emil Frey Racing
78 1 Lap
24 63  Mirko Bortolotti
Marco Mapelli
Andrea Caldarelli
Orange 1 FFF Racing Team
78 1 Lap
25 Florian Scholze
Olivier Grotz
Nico Bastian
GetSpeed Performance
78 1 Lap
26 34  Marco Wittmann
Sheldon van der Linde
David Pittard
Walkenhorst Motorsport
78 1 Lap
27 16  Tim Zimmermann
Kikko Galbiati
Clemens Schmid
GRT Grasser Racing Team
78 1 Lap
28 20  V.Pierburg
Dominik Baumann
SPS automotive performance
78 1 Lap
29 52  Louis Machiels
Andrea Bertolini
AF Corse
78 1 Lap
30 93  Chris Froggatt
Jonathan Hui
Eddie Cheever
Sky Tempesta Racing
78 1 Lap
31 107  Nelson Panciatici
Gilles Vannelet
Stuart White
77 2 Laps
32 35  Martin Tomczyk
Timo Glock
Thomas Neubauer
Walkenhorst Motorsport
75 4 Laps
  10  Karim Ojjeh
Jens Liebhauser
Jens Klingmann
Boutsen Ginion Racing
52 Retirement
  90  E.P.Companc
Rik Breukers
Madpanda Motorsport
49 Retirement
  114  Jack Aitken
Arthur Rougier
Emil Frey Racing
40 Retirement
  32  Charles Weerts
Dries Vanthoor
Kelvin van der Linde
Team WRT
29 Retirement
  38  Ollie Wilkinson
Ben Barnicoat
Rob Bell
29 Retirement
  22  Matt Campbell
Earl Bamber
Mathieu Jaminet
GPX Racing
26 Retirement
  11  Francesco Zollo
Tim Kohmann
Giorgio Roda
Kessel Racing
18 Retirement
  69  Sam De Haan
Callum MacLeod
Rob Collard
RAM Racing
8 Retirement
  25  Adrien Tambay
Christopher Haase
Sainteloc Racing
2 Retirement
  70  Brendan Iribe
Ollie Millroy
Inception Racing
1 Retirement
  222  Jan Kasperlik
Nicolas Schöll
Julien Apothéloz
Team Allied-Racing
0 Withdrawn

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