Title fight continues as GT4 European Series returns to Budapest
30th August 2018
The GT4 European Series is back on track this week (August 31-September 2) following the summer break and returns to Hungary for its second visit ever to the Hungaroring. The title race is heating up heading into this weekend’s race at the 4.381 km circuit just outside Budapest. 45 cars have been entered for the fifth round of the 2018 season.
SILVER CUP: TITLE RACE HEATING UP
Championship-leading HHC Motorsport drivers Stuart Middleton and Will Tregurtha have an 18-point lead over Phoenix Racing’s Milan Dontje and Nicolaj Møller Madsen. The #5 Phoenix Racing Audi scored three wins, but a non-finish in the second race at Spa and a second place for the Ginetta have handed Middleton and Tregurtha the lead with four races still to come.
MDM Motorsport’s drivers Simon Knap and Max Koebolt (BMW) are still in contention for the title, trailing the Phoenix Racing duo by just nine points, while Pierre-Alexandre Jean and Stéphane Tribaudini’s successful Spa weekend means they can’t be ruled out either. At the Hungaroring the CMR drivers will be back behind the wheel of the Alpine A110 GT4.
The battle for fifth in the Silver Cup continues at the Hungaroring with the #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4 of Ricardo van der Ende and Finlay Hutchison leading the #111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4 of Gabriele Piana and Razvan Umbrarescu by seven points. Also still in contention are Nico Rindlisbacher and Paul Rees (#87 Team GT McLaren), Reinhard Kofler (#22 True Racing KTM) and Marcus Paverud and Ivan Pareras (#2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes).
The Silver Cup entry is completed by Lecher Racing, Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport, Felbermayr-Reiter and 3Y Technology and second cars from MDM Motorsport, True Racing and RN Vision STS.
PRO-AM: EXPERIENCED DRIVERS JOIN THE SERIES IN HUNGARY
Pro-Am points-leaders Marc Basseng and Phillip Bethke will share the wheel of the #13 Schwede Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR again, while title rivals Csaba Mór and Patrick Zamparini have changed team in an attempt to close the 17-point gap.
The Hungarian and his Italian teammate have opted to race the #31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 this weekend, instead of the Racing One Audi R8 LMS GT4 that was used in the first four rounds of the season. As a result, Racing One has reshuffled its line-up with Dutchman Jules Szymkowiak joining Markus Lungstrass in the #77 Audi and Portuguese driver Francisco Guedes joining Hamza Owega in the #16 Audi.
Spa race winners Bullitt Racing will also have a revised driver lineup in Hungary. Reigning British GT champion Seb Morris will race with Stephen Pattrick, standing in for Andy Meyrick who is still recovering from an accident at the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
South African Jordan Grogor pairs up with Wolf Nathan in the #18 V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, while Henri Kauppi will join Jan Kasperlik in the #43 Allied-Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR. The Finn made his series debut at the Nürburgring season finale in 2017.
Other series returnees this weekend are Wolfgang Risch and Sascha Halek in an HP Racing-entered Mercedes-AMG GT4 and Micah Stanley and Alain Valente in a Team GT McLaren 570S GT4, one of three cars entered by the German squad this weekend.
Phoenix Racing will run two Audi’s in the Pro-Am class, with BMW being represented by 3Y Technology, W&D Racing Team, RN Vision STS and, for the second time this season, Lestrup Racing Team. Other entrants are the two Aston Martin Vantage GT4s of Street Art Racing and Academy Motorsport, as well as the second entries of V8 Racing and Schwede Motorsport.
AM: AM CUP TITLE COULD BE DECIDED THIS WEEKEND
Swiss driver Niki Leutwiler can seal the Am class title in Hungary. The Porsche Zentrum Oberer Zürichsee by TFT Racing driver has a 40-point lead with 100 points still to play for in the remaining four races. Alessandro Giovanelli and Giuseppe Ghezzi (#76 Autorlando Sport Porsche) know they will have to finish ahead of Leutwiler to prevent him from securing the title during the penultimate round of the season.
The Italian drivers will face strong competition during the fifth race weekend of the season. CMR’s David Loger and Eric Mouez return with their new Alpine A110 GT4, while Sylvain Debs and Gwenael Delomier (3Y Technology BMW) will defend their third place in the standings.
A pair of Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4s, McLaren 570S GT4s entered by Las Moras Racing Team by Equipe Verschuur and Team GT, the #42 Allied-Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR and the second Autorlando Sport Porsche 911 GT4 will complete the Am category at the Hungaroring.
Friday, August 31st
10:00 – 11:00 Free Practice 1
13:15 – 14:15 Free Practice 2
16:55 – 17:45 Qualifying (20’/10’/20)
Saturday, September 1st
12:20 – 13:20 Race 1
Sunday, September 2nd
11:15 – 12:15 Race 2
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 1990’s, 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-basedBlancpain 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 a shareholder), while SRO expanded its successful platform East in 2017 by establishing the 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 inauguralSuzuka 10 Hours, and the California 8 Hours of Laguna Seca.
SRO is also strong domestically. The multi-class British GT Championship, over which it has presided since 2005, pairs GT3 with GT4 machinery. The FFSA French GT Championship, for many years run by SRO, returned to the fold in 2017, and was added to the existing GT4 European Series. GT4’s incredibly successful first season in France provided SRO with the blueprint and confidence to expand the class’ European footprint further. Three new regional series to support the flourishing GT4 class are added in 2018: GT4 Nordic European Cup, GT4 Central European Cup and GT4 Belgium Cup.
In addition, SRO’s world-renowned Balance of Performance regulations are licensed by other series running GT3 and/or GT4 machinery, such as Super GT in Japan, the Australian GT Championship, the ADAC GT Masters and the VLN in Germany and the China GT Championship. SRO works also closely with the FIA when organising its prestigious Macau FIA GT World Cup race.
While Macau caters solely for professional teams and drivers, SRO also understands the important role amateurs play in GT racing’s global success and sustainability. That is why it operates the SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Circuit Paul Ricard in southern France – and Curbstone Track Events, which provide the ultimate track driving opportunities on world-renowned circuits. Many of its clients have subsequently graduated to the Blancpain GT Sports Club, the first competitive stepping stone towards gaining the confidence and racecraft required to compete in a Pro/Am environment.
SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel and has offices in London, Paris, Liège and Hong Kong. Its dedicated team of full-time and freelance staff work with the support of numerous national sporting authorities and sanctioning bodies to offer teams, drivers and manufacturers the world’s best professional, Pro/Am and amateur GT racing platforms.