Fanatec GT Endurance was back to its very best in 2022, with big grids, highly competitive races, and a truly spectacular TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. Akkodis ASP emerged as the standout squad, taking an emotional victory in the Ardennes and then holding its nerve to secure the overall teams’ and drivers’ crowns.
Team WRT concluded its long partnership with Audi by sweeping the Silver Cup class, while Inception Racing won the new Gold Cup category. Honours were shared in Pro-Am, with AF Corse taking the drivers’ crown and SPS Automotive Performance earning the teams’ title.
As ever, the season produced plenty of noteworthy numbers and fascinating facts. With everything settled, now is the ideal time to dig into data that made this a vintage Fanatec GT Endurance campaign.
• 2022 represented the 12th season of competition for the Endurance Cup. The championship has now contested 60 races since its launch in 2011, adding up to 465 hours of competition.
• Louis Machiels has participated in all but a handful of those events at the wheel of an AF Corse Ferrari. The Belgian enjoyed a superb 2022 campaign, securing a third Pro-Am win at this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa and adding the Endurance Cup drivers' title in his class
• At Spa, Machiels became the first and to date the only driver to reach 50 participations in the Endurance Cup. Christopher Haase made his 49th appearance at the season finale, so the Audi Sport ace is poised to join Machiels on a half-century of races next term.
• Hockenheim was a new addition to this year's calendar and became the 10th different venue to host the Endurance Cup. At 4.6 km, it was also the shortest track to stage the series in 2022. Spa-Francorchamps is the longest at 7 km, and is also the only ever-present circuit on the schedule.
• This season's Endurance Cup ran for 1,004 laps, an increase of five compared with 2021. The only car to complete the full distance was the #50 ROWE Racing BMW, an impressive feat given that its young crew of Dan Harper, Max Hesse and Neil Verhagen were all series rookies.
• The average number of cars taking the start in the Endurance Cup this season was 54, an increase of seven compared with 2021. The biggest grid (66 cars) came at the TotalEnergies of Spa, which drew its second-largest entry since GT rules were adopted in 2001.
• Eight teams representing five different brands scored an overall podium this term. Iron Lynx (Ferrari) was the most successful, taking a win, two runner-up finishes and a third, while Akkodis ASP (Mercedes-AMG) earned one finish on each step of the podium. GetSpeed (Mercedes-AMG) was the only team to earn a maiden overall podium this term, doing so by finishing third at Imola.
• This was the first Endurance Cup season in which no team scored a maiden overall victory. Team WRT earned its seventh win, Dinamic Motorsport scored its fourth, Akkodis ASP won for the third time, while both Iron Lynx and Saintéloc Racing took their second victories.
• It also marked the fifth season in succession in which no outfit won more than a single race. The last time that a team earned two wins in the same campaign was Grasser Racing at the start of 2017. The last time a brand won back-to-back was Porsche in the opening two events of 2021.
• Audi now stands alone as the most successful manufacturer in Endurance Cup history. Saintéloc Racing's victory at Hockenheim was the German marque's 10th, making it the first to reach double figures. Porsche is second with nine wins thanks to Dinamic Motorsport’s triumph in the finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while BMW is third with eight.
• Victory at Imola saw Team WRT establish itself as the most successful squad in the Endurance Cup. The season-opening race marked its seventh win in the championship, one more than Marc VDS. Among active outfits, Dinamic Motorsport is second to WRT with four wins. What's more, the Italian squad became the only team in series history to win in four consecutive seasons by triumphing at the finale.
• With a total of six wins, Mercedes-AMG was the most successful brand across all classes this term. The German marque earned one overall victory courtesy of Akkodis ASP and a Silver Cup win with Al Manar Racing by HRT, while SPS Automotive Performance scored a trio of Pro-Am triumphs and took the Bronze Cup win at Spa.
• Belgium, Italy and Switzerland were each represented by three overall race winners this term. The other nations whose drivers stood on the top step were Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, South Africa and Spain.
• With 18 cars, the Silver Cup was the biggest class on the grid at Hockenheim. This marked the first time since the Endurance Cup travelled to the Nürburgring in 2015 that Pro was not the biggest category. The trend continued for the season finale, which also saw Garage 59 qualify fourth overall with its #159 McLaren, achieving the best grid slot of the year for a Silver Cup runner.
• The biggest championship-winning margin in the Endurance Cup saw the Team WRT Audi trio of Thomas Neubauer, Benji Goethe and Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer finish 49 points clear of their closest opposition in the Silver Cup. The smallest saw Akkodis ASP take the overall drivers' crown by just two points.
• The first three races of the 2022 season were won from pole position. Combined with the final two races of 2021, this made for a record five consecutive victories from P1 on the grid. The sequence was snapped at Hockenheim, where Saintéloc Racing won from fifth, while Dinamic Motorsport won from P2 at Barcelona.
• Inception Racing bagged championship honours in the new Gold Cup class. The British squad took its first win of the season at Circuit Paul Ricard, finishing ninth overall and a lap clear of its closest rival. This made the trio of Brendan Iribe, Ollie Millroy and Frederik Schandorff the only Gold Cup drivers to register overall championship points in 2022.
• With no restrictions in place, this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa drew an impressive 73,000 spectators to the Belgian venue. The 2022 edition also featured returns for the parade and Saturday night music concert, as well as a bustling paddock atmosphere.