Immediate victory for Guelinckx and Longin in the PK Carsport Audi
In Monza, the opening round of the Fanatec GT2 European Series 2023 was completed. For the PK Carsport team, it was an eventful weekend, but one that Peter Guelinckx and Stienes Longin managed to conclude with a victory.
Two races are held during a Fanatec GT2 European Series weekend. For both races, Guelinckx and Longin conquered pole position in the Pro-Am category. This not only provides a favorable starting position, but also bonus points for the championship. A good start to the weekend for PK Carsport's troops, but a few seconds after the start of the first race, there was no sign of it. Peter Guelinckx was forced onto the grass when braking for the first chicane and hit another car. The damage was too extensive to continue the race. "One of the KTM drivers closed the door, but if I had started more aggressively, he would never have had the opportunity to squeeze in front of me," Guelinckx admitted honestly. At PK Carsport, however, they were determined to set the situation straight during the Sunday race. At the start, polesitter Stienes Longin immediately took the lead.
"Due to missing the first race, we didn't have the ideal setup," the Leuven native explained. "In addition, the gearbox was a bit temperamental when downshifting at high revs. On a circuit like Monza, that's not ideal. But, I wasn't too worried about that, not even when Pierre Kaffer's Audi managed to overtake me. Our main competitor, the duo Hassid-Beltoise, was still behind us." After the mandatory driver change, Peter Guelinckx quickly regained the lead. "One day is clearly not the same as another," Guelinckx said with a broad smile. "When I was chased by a KTM, I was told it would get a time penalty. Anthony (Kumpen, team manager) told me to stay calm and that there was nothing wrong.
Since I had already noticed in my mirrors that the driver had been braking too late for the Parabolica a few times, I didn't put up much resistance. I didn't want to risk both of us sliding off the track in a collision. Once he had passed me, I could stay close and make sure Hassid's Audi didn't get any closer. Wisdom and strategy triumphed today!" Guelinckx eventually crossed the finish line with almost a six-second lead over Henry Hassid, securing the first victory of the season. "This race has shown that we can compete for the title this season," Stienes Longin stated afterward.
"Peter has clearly made even more progress over the winter, and we can certainly compete at the front." The final word is for attentive spectator Bert Longin, who for the first time this year is not competing in the Fanatec GT2 European Series. "A different experience indeed," Longin Sr. smiled. "But I could establish one thing: winning feels just as good on the pit wall!" The second weekend of the Fanatec GT2 European Series will take place at the end of May on the Austrian Red Bull Ring.