GT4 EUROPEAN SERIES SET FOR EXCITING NÜRBURGRING FINALE
This weekend, the twisty and undulating 5.148 km Nürburgring will stage the sixth race weekend of the 2018 GT4 European Series. The concluding round brings the curtain down on an action-packed season that has seen a record number of entries taking part in the championship. With the titles in all categories still to be decided, the Nürburgring race weekend promises to be a thriller!
All titles are still to be decided in the Eifel, with a winner-takes-all final race on Sunday still very much possible. Three crews are separated by just eight points in the Silver Cup, while in Pro-Am the margin between first and second is just three points ahead of the final round of the season.
Max Koebolt and Simon Knap (#1 MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4) lead the Silver Cup drivers’ title battle after five rounds with 133 points, having won just one race so far this season. Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton (#55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4) have scored two wins, yet they are two points shy of the lead.
Milan Dontje and Nicolaj Møller-Madsen are currently third, eight points off the lead, despite having won three races so far this season. The Phoenix Racing drivers failed to score twice this season and, as it was in recent seasons, it is consistency that counts in the GT4 European Series.
Spa-Francorchamps race winners Pierre-Alexandre Jean and Stéphane Tribaudini (#35 CMR Alpine A110 GT4) as well as Misano race winners Razvan Umbrarescu and Gabriele Piana (#111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4) still have a mathematical chance to win the title but need a perfect weekend to close the gap – let alone win the title. Jean and Tribaudini are 41 points behind, with Umbrarescu and Piana another four points off the lead.
In Pro-Am a double win for Markus Lungstrass (Racing One Audi R8 LMS GT4) put him right back in contention for the drivers’ title. Schwede Motorsport’s Phillip Bethke and Marc Basseng hold a narrow three-point lead over Lungstrass. The #13 Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR of Bethke and Basseng won three races so far this season and only failed to score points at Misano. Lungstrass, who won four of the last six races, had three no-scores in the first four races.
Patrick Zamparini and Csaba Mor are currently third in Pro-Am, trailing the leading Porsche by 36 points. After switching from Audi to Mercedes in Hungary, things will change again in Germany. Mor will join Jan Kasperlik in the #43 Allied-Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR.
Niki Leutwiler could clinch the Am title in Saturday’s race, with the Porsche Zentrum Oberer Zürichsee by TFT Racing driver leading Alessandro Giovanelli and Giuseppe Ghezzi. Only a top three finish for the Autorlando Sport drivers and a bad day for the leader could change this. Nothing is settled, however, setting up a memorable finale at the Nürburgring.
Racing One leads the way in the team championship. Through the 2018 season, Martin Kohlhlaas’ team has amassed five class victories and 187 points, which puts them ten points ahead of TFT Racing. Schwede Motorsport (162) and Autorlando (160) are currently third and fourth, but with points awarded in each category, it is highly likely that the title fight will not end on Saturday.
The Ford Mustang GT4 is poised to make its series debut at the Nürburgring season finale, as Eric De Doncker joins the Am category in Germany. De Doncker is one of eight drivers making their first appearance the GT4 European Series this season.
Horst Felbermayr Jr will race the #24 Felbermayr-Reiter KTM X-Bow GT4 with Gottfried Pilz, while Gilles Magnus joins Bas Schouten in one of the Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4s. Laurent Jaspers and Mathieu Detry will race in a Jac Motors entered Audi R8 LMS GT4 and Andreas Patzelt, Valentin Aguirre and Alexander Mies join Mike David Ortmann in the two Porsche Cayman PRO4s entered by PROsport Performance this weekend.
The sixth round of the season will get underway on Friday with practice sessions at 12.25 and 17.15 CEST. Qualifying will take place on Saturday at 11.30, followed by the first race late on Saturday afternoon, at 16.55. The final race of the season gets underway at 10.05 on Sunday morning. All races will be shown live on the series’ website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Marcel ten Caat
SRO Motorsports Group, the architect of modern GT Racing
Over the past 25 years SRO has specialised in the promotion and organisation of motorsport series around the world.
Inextricably linked with GT racing’s revival in the early 1990s, currently SRO predominantly promotes series that adhere to the successful GT3 and GT4 regulations. Indeed, these rules – a common framework allowing manufacturers, teams and drivers to compete equally with one another – have helped to establish SRO as the global leader in customer GT racing. Today, SRO’s influence and organisation can be seen around the world. Its flagship continues to be the European-based Blancpain GT Series, which features both the Sprint and Endurance Cups. Its annual highlight remains the iconic Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The same Pirelli tyres and Balance of Performance parameters governing the Blancpain GT Series have also been adopted in the United States by the Pirelli World Challenge (of which SRO is the controlling shareholder), while SRO expanded its successful platform East in 2017 by establishing Blancpain GT Series Asia.
In addition, the world’s best GT races from all four corners of the globe are brought together under the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The 2018 edition features four events – the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours, and the California 8 Hours of Laguna Seca.
EDITED by AC