Sam De Haan and Charlie Fagg, drivers of the Optimum Motorsport McLaren #69, have been officially proclaimed as the 2023 Champions of the International GT Open following the ruling of the FIA International Court of Appeal that on Tuesday admitted the final appeal, brought by Optimum Motorsport, regarding the results of Race 2 at the Red Bull Ring.
As known, the way one of the safety car procedures was applied during that race led one contender, Team Motopark, to lodge a protest, which was initially dismissed by the Stewards and later accepted by the Court of Appeal of the Spanish Motorsport Federation (RFEdA).
That decision induced the cancellation of the results of that race, which have now been reinstated by the final decision of the FIA ICA.
As a consequence of this final decision, De Haan and Fagg are confirmed as Champions, finishing with the same points (119) as Simon Reicher and Christopher Haase (Eastalent Racing), but winning by number of race wins (2 to 1). Diego Menchaca (Team Motopark Mercedes) is third, with 111 points.
The full FIA ICA decision and its grounds will be notified in the forthcoming days.
Proving how close and fierce the competition was last year, these three contenders battled for the title up to the very last lap of the final race at Barcelona, with Reicher and Haase being the provisional Champions while the final results of Red Bull Ring were pending, on equal points with Menchaca but with better results.
Any of the three contenders would have deserved to be crowned, and all can be proud of their achievements. With their success De Haan and Fagg give Optimum Motorsport a much-sought first overall title in the series, while Eastalent Racing is confirmed as the winning Team in what was its very first campaign in the series. Motopark, in its maiden year in international GT racing, makes the top 3 in both the Driver and Team standings.
The FIA ICA decision does not impact the final results in the classes, with Marco Pulcini and Eddie Cheever (AF Corse Ferrari) winning in Pro-Am and Heiko Neumann and Timo Rumpfkeil (Motopark Mercedes) taking the Am honors.
The 2023 GT Sport Awards Ceremony, where all of them will be honored, is scheduled to take place in Madrid next week.