Broken Rear Wing At Hockenheimring Derails Points Challenge For Hutchison

Strong drive from Scotland's Finlay Hutchison in GTWCE Endurance Rd4 unrewarded
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September 5, 2022

Broken Rear Wing At Hockenheimring Derails Points Challenge For Hutchison

Strong drive from Scotland's Finlay Hutchison in GTWCE Endurance Rd4 unrewarded

Team WRT racer Finlay Hutchison missed out on a solid haul of Silver Cup points during round four of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup season on Sunday, 4th September, when a broken rear wing spoiled an otherwise strong challenge at the Hockenheimring.

Racing competitively during the opening hour of the penultimate race of the 2022 campaign, the Dundee 22-year-old got the squad’s challenge off to a great start as he consistently moved up the overall order and towards the Silver Cup top 10 – having started 12th in class.

Team-mate Lewis Proctor continued the good work in hour two, running ninth in Silver ahead of the second driver change pit-stop, but everything went awry when the rear wing snapped which led to a delay in the pits ahead of Diego Menchaca’s stint in hour three. In the end, the Mexican took the chequered flag a frustrating 14th in class in the No.31 Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II.

“It was really unexpected what happened with the rear wing”, explained Hutchison, “The Audis are normally absolutely bomb proof, so for the rear wing to crack and snap off during Lewis’ stint was a real surprise and obviously caused us a big delay in getting the car repaired. It’s a real shame as we all raced strongly and could’ve taken away a pretty decent points finish.”

Very wet track conditions awaited the competitors at the start of free practice on Saturday, 3rd September, where the Team WRT entry ended up with the 13th fastest time in class. After more fine-tuning to the car and set-up during pre-qualifying, the trio went on to qualify 12th fastest for the race in Sunday morning’s final session – only 0.3 seconds shy of the Silver Cup top four.

Marking Hutchison’s first outing at the Hockenheimring since 2017 when he was a podium finisher on his debut in the Audi Sport TT Cup, the gap of five years didn’t have any impact as he got down to business well at the beginning of Sunday afternoon’s three-hour encounter.

Holding 12th place in Silver off the start, racing then fell under Safety Car conditions for a full half an hour following an excursion into the barriers for the No.38 McLaren at Turn Seven. When the action resumed Hutchison pressed on and gained several overall positions, and at the 45-minute mark he had moved into 11th in Silver and 25th in the outright order.

Setting the scene strongly for a sustained challenge, Hutchison pitted at the end of the opening hour to hand the Audi over to Proctor. When the order settled he was an improved 10th in the Silver Cup and 22nd position overall and towards the end of his stint he was ninth in class, an outright 19th, before the rear wing problem.

Following great work by the WRT mechanics to repair the car, Menchaca did all he could during the remaining hour of the race but with so much time lost, he had to settle for an eventual finish of 37th place overall and 14th in the Silver Cup.

“Hockenheim was a disappointment in the end for us, but we’ve still got one race to go and we’re all determined to end the season on a high”, added Hutchison, “I do want to say well done to Benjamin [Goethe], Thomas [Neubauer] and Jean-Baptiste [Simmenauer] for winning the Silver Cup title, they have had a great season and it’s good to see one of the WRT squads lifting the championship.”

Round five of the GTWCE Endurance Cup season, the final race of the campaign, will take place on Sunday, 2nd October, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

2022 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup – Silver Cup Standings

11th Finlay Hutchison/Diego Menchaca/Lewis Proctor, 24pts

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