Saelens and Longin seal debut Pro-Am win for PK Carsport at Imola

Stienes Longin and Nicolas Saelens clinched their maiden Fanatec GT2 European Series outright and Pro-Am victory on their series debut on Sunday, converting their first pole position into the first win of the season for the PK Carsport Audi at Imola.

The duo bounced back in style after suffering a non-finish in the season-opening race on Saturday. A super start ensured Longin took the early race lead before extending a healthy advantage ahead of the pitstop window, but the PK Carsport crew didn’t have it all their own way.

A concerted charge from Michael Vergers in the High Class Racing Audi enabled team-mate Aurelijus Rusteika to jump into the lead after the pit stops. But a perfectly executed move out of Rivazza ensured Nicolas Saelens retook the top spot with 15 minutes remaining.

The Am battle was a slightly calmer affair, with Ebi Motors’ Gianluca Giorgi improving on Saturday’s impressive second place with his first class win, finishing fourth overall.

The second Fanatec GT2 European Series outing of the weekend, however, was called short due to Kevin Weeda’s heavy off in the Brabham Automotive Factory Racing car, from which he thankfully emerged unscathed.

Thrilling second race at Imola

The second race of the 2022 season rolled out in chilly conditions at the iconic Italian circuit on Sunday morning. After an extra rolling lap to enable the field to get their tyres up to temperature, it was Longin that timed his start to perfection to place his Audi out front and make good his escape. High Class Racing’s Vergers took off in hot pursuit closely followed by Stefan Rosina’s True Racing KTM in third and Bert Longin in fourth.

As the field settled in and the Pirelli tyres got up to temperature, the #1 Brabham was the car on the move, Anders Fjordbach posting a series of fastest laps in a bid to make up for lost time after an opening lap excursion at Rivazza to run fifth. Giorgi, meanwhile, took hold of the Am class lead from the start