June 4, 2023

The Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed trio of Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Fabian Schiller continued their quest for honours in the Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS Endurance Cup by finishing second overall in the six-hour race at the Paul Ricard circuit in France on Saturday evening. 

The 777 Mercedes crew held third overall behind the Tresor Orange 1 Audi and the pole-sitting AKKODIS ASP Team Mercedes, crewed by Raffaele Marciello, Timur Boguslavskiy and Jules Gounon, through the first 90 minutes of the race. The leading trio held station through two and a half hours before the Rowe Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly moved ahead through the three and a half-hour mark and the Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed car climbed to third. 

The Rowe Racing BMW continued to lead heading into the remaining 90 minutes but the 777 Mercedes was overtaken by the Sainteloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 and slipped to third. Al-Manar Racing found a way through in the closing stint to regain second place with the top nine cars all running on the same lap. Marciello managed to fend off the late challenge from Stolz to pass the chequered flag and give the AKKODIS ASP Team Mercedes the race win by just 9.883 seconds after 183 laps. 

The Sainteloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 crew came home in third. The all-German Al-Manar Racing trio had made a sensational start to the weekend’s action with the fastest time in the free practice session, a lap of 1min 54.965sec enough to beat the AKKODIS ASP Team Mercedes by 0.017 seconds. Marciello, Boguslavskiy and Gounon got their revenge by winning the Q1 session with a tour of 1min 53.745sec. The Al-Manar Racing Mercedes came home in third behind the AF Corse Francorchamps Motors Ferrari 296 GT3. 

Al-Manar Racing’s Mercedes followed the second of the AF Corse Francorchamps Motors Ferrari 296 GT3s to the chequered flag to take second place in the Pro Cup category in Q2 and finished second again behind the AKKODIS ASP Team Mercedes in Q3. With the three sessions combined, Engel, Stolz and Schiller lined up second on the grid behind the pole-winning AKKODIS ASP Team Mercedes and ahead of the two AF Corse Francorchamps Motors Ferrari 296 GT3s. Driving the Mercedes-AMG GT3 running under the Al-Manar Racing by Getspeed banner, the car 777 trio had opened their account at Monza in April and qualified in eighth of the Pro Cup entries, with pole position and the eventual win going to Rowe Racing’s Philipp Eng, Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly. The Al-Manar Racing car suffered technical issues in the middle stint of the race, retired and eventually finished 15th of the Pro Cup runners after running as high as second overall following a superb opening stint by Maro Engel. The next race in the series is the 75th running of the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa on June 29th-July 2nd.

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