Updated: Sep 26, 2021
Text: Rick Kiewiet
Images: SRO Media
Two races, two wins. That's the score for Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini after two days racing through the Dutch dunes of Zandvoort. Saturday the Swiss team took a commanding victory with the Silver Cup #14 car driven by Alex Fontana and Ricardo Feller. On Sunday, they were helped a bit by a failing battery in the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes of Boguslavskiy and Marciello, after which the #163 of Norbert Siedler and Albert Costa inherited the lead not to give away in the remainder of the race.
The first three grid positions remarkably all went to Silver Cup entries: Ricardo Feller scored pole in the #14 Emil Frey Lamborghini, with GT newcomer Ulysse de Pauw in the #107 CMR Bentley alongside him on the first row. Juuso Puhakka in the #7 TokSport Mercedes took third and found the field's first Pro car next to him: Norbert Siedler in the #163 Lambo. The usual front runners all had a difficult qualifying: Boguslavskiy and Marciello (#88 AKKA ASP Mercedes) and Stolz and Engel (#6 Toksport Mercedes) still made it into the top-10 in 7th and 9th, but Weerts and Vanthoor (#32 WRT Audi) were only 15th, while Adrien de Leener and Christian Engelhart (#54 Dinamic Porsche) were even 18th.
From the start, first Feller and in the second part of the race Alex Fontana, left no doubt about who was going to win the first race of the weekend. Both drivers made not a single mistake, made a late and fast pit stop and were matched by no one, resulting in a nearly 10 second lead over the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes of Boguslavskiy and Marciello at the finish. Marciello was 4th after the pit stops and quickly moved passed Tomita in the #31 WRT Audi. He then closed the gap to Pierre-Alexandre Jean in p2 but the top speed of the Bentley made it hard to take over. The Italian found a way passed with 7 minutes remaining, which was too little to catch up to the leading Lamborghini. Jean managed to hold p3 ahead of Tomita, who did finish 3rd in the Silver Cup.
For title favorites Stolz and Engel in the #6 TokSport Mercedes and Weerts and Vanthoor in the #32 WRT Audi it was a race to quickly forget. Stolz and Engel were on their way to a reasonable finish when a spin from Engel dropped the car to 7th, right in front of the #32 of Vanthoor in 8th.
British success in Pro-Am as Miguel Ramos and Henrique Chaves drove the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini 15 seconds clear of the #52 Ferrari of Machiels and Bertolini.
Raffaele Marciello continued his excellent form at Zandvoort on Sunday morning and secured Pole Position for race 2. Behind him, the #32 WRT Audi in the hands of Dries Vanthoor recovered from his failed qualy-session Saturday and qualified second. Christian Engelhart did the same and put the #54 Dinamic Porsche on p3. Albert Costa had put the #163 Emil Frey Lamborghini 4th ahead of Pierre-Alexandre Jean in the #107 CMR Bentley.
The first half of the race was completely dominated by Marciello. He pulled away from the start untroubled and created a gap up to 15 seconds at the pit stops half way. More interesting was what happened behind him. At the start, Christian Engelhart in the #54 Porsche managed to squeeze his car ahead of the #32 Audi of Dries Vanthoor into 2nd. Vanthoor clearly didn't have the best car during the opening laps, as Engelhart and Marciello quickly drove off, while a lap later Vanthoor himself fell victim to both Costa and Jean, dropping him back to 5th.
Before the stops, Vanthoor managed to reclaim p4. The Emil Frey team decided to call the #163 in early, successfully undercutting the #54 Dinamic Porsche with Adrien Deleener now at the wheel. After the stops. Boguslavskiy still led comfortably, ahead of Siedler (#163 Lambo) and Vanthoor, who also got passed the #54 Porsche. The second of the Emil Frey Lambo's, the #14 of Feller and Fontana, had by now climbed up to 5th overall and the lead in the Silver Cup after their 16th (!!!) grid position. The remainder of the race was characterized by bad luck. First victim was the #88 Mercedes of Boguslavskiy which suffered a dead battery. They gave up the lead to Siedler in the #163. Next up was the #54 Porsche of Deleener who was hit by steering column problems. Finally, the #32 WRT Audi of Weerts and Vanthoor was dealt a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
Meanwhile, the Emil Frey Lamborghini's flew through the remainder of the race unscathed. The #14 made it a 1-2 at the finish, followed at a respectable distance (24s) by Vanthoor. Lappalainen and Jack Aitken made it an even better race for Emil Frey by finishing 4th. Ulysse De Pauw and Pierre-Alexandre Jean finished a strong weekend in p5.
After Zandvoort, the Sprint Cup standings are led by Ricardo Feller from the Silver Cup with 41.5 points. Weerts, Vanthoor and Feller's teammate Alex Fontana are half a point down with 41. Albert Costa, Raffaele Marciello and Boguslavskiy follow in 3rd with 28.5 points.
Next race in the Sprint Cup is in 2 weeks, as Misano stages race 5 and 6 in the Sprint Cup, ahead of the season's blue ribbon event at Spa in the last weekend of July.
Rewatch race 1 and 2: