Niklas Krütten enjoyed a successful debut at the opening round of this season’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe: in Monza, the 20-year-old WRT driver from Trier and his team-mates Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (FRA) and Calan Williams (AUS) battled their way to third place in the Gold Cup.
In doing so, Krütten earned a spot on the podium in his first race in this series. The trio in the BMW M4 GT3 showed their class in qualifying, when they achieved the second-best combined time in their class at the “Temple of Speed”.
In temperatures around 22 degrees Celsius and under a cloudy sky, Krütten started the three-hour race in Italy from 15th on the grid in the 590-hp number 30 BMW M4 GT3. In the early stages of the race, he repeatedly showed great skill to hold his ground against the opposition. The former ADAC Stiftung Sport driver demonstrated his sensational pace in thrilling battles with cars from the Pro class. After a good hour, Krütten handed over to Calan Williams with the car in the top ten and leading the Gold Cup. As the race progressed, however, the trio dropped two places into third. When Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer took over at the wheel for the final stint, he was hot on the heels of the second-placed car, but unable to pull off an overtaking manoeuvre. After three hours of racing, Krütten celebrated a podium finish on his debut in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe.
Niklas Krütten: “A podium at the season-opener is a good result. We can be happy with that. However, I believe we could have done even better. My team-mates did a great job and got the best out of the car. We will now analyse the race and come back even stronger. I am very confident and looking forward to the next race at Brands Hatch.”
Round two of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe takes place at Brands Hatch in Great Britain from 13th to 14th May 2023.