14.12.2022 | News

GT Winter Series enters the new season with exciting races

Team Joos Sportwagentechnik and Good Speed Racing win the GT Winter Series rounds in Portimao, which were characterised by changing weather and exciting motorsport, but also considerable driving discipline.

Sprint 1

Joos shines from start to finish
Michael Joos converted his pole already at the start, pulled away and held the lead easily. He left no doubt until the finish that he was the man of the race. The driver and team boss in personal union prevailed on a drying track and played out his experience, however, the fact that due to stomach upsets of the drivers both Olimp GT3s were dropped made life easier for him. Unfortunately, the Phoenix Audi did not compete either, as the gearbox gave up the ghost during practice. More excitement is on the horizon for the next races in the GT3 class.

Strong Cup cars dominate the scene
PRE operated by Manthey Racing driver Dustin Blattner finished second overall in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. As the Cup 2 class is the largest on the GT Winter Series grid, the German was honoured as the driver with the most points after the race. Fuad Sawaya, Johannes Kapfinger and Mladen Pavlovic (all 992 Cup) fought precise bumper-to-bumper duels for the other positions. In the end, Sawaya prevailed ahead of Porsche Sports Cup Suisse champion Kapfinger.

LMP3 with problems in changing conditions
In the LMP3 class, Christopher Brenier won in Easy Formula’s Ligier JSP3 to finish P6 overall. „It was anything but easy to hold my own in the field with the flounder on the partly damp, partly dry track,“ Brenier admits, who was visibly pleased with the class win and the Ligier he brought home in one piece.

Cup X and GT4 battle it out
KTM celebrated a double victory in the Cup X class with Motorsport Zentrum Ried. Martin Koch prevailed with the spectacular X-BOW GTX ahead of his teammate Max Grip, while the GT4s of CV Performance (Luca Trefz and Josef Knopp) had a fascinating duel in the early stages. In the end, the GT3-experienced Trefz prevailed over his Czech teammate and drove his Mercedes-AMG GT4 to class victory.

Senkyr with remarkable M4 GT4 world premiere, Cup classes fought over
The new BMW M4 GT4 performed well in its global debut in customer racing and was able to match the pace of its rivals. From the next GT Winter Series event in Estoril, the car will compete in the GT4 class, as it will not receive GT4 homologation from the SRO until 1 January. In Portimao, it therefore competed in the Cup X class for reasons of form, which did not prevent it from being at the front of the field in the GT4s.

Andreas Greiling (Cup 3) and Matthias Tomann (Cup 1) took the class wins in the other Cup classes. In the Cup 4 class, which was created at short notice for less powerful vehicles, Robert Schiftner prevailed in the Razoon – more than racing KTM X-BOW R.

Sprint 2

Joos and the Cup Porsche pack flawless
Joos also made short work of the second 25-minute sprint, winning seemingly effortlessly and unhindered.

Dustin Blattner in the Manthey Racing Porsche again took second position and was thus the best driver in the field in terms of points. Second place in the Cup 2 class went to Huber Racing driver Johannes Kapfinger, who seemed to be in excellent form this weekend. After a thrilling duel against Fuad Sawaya, the youngster was able to prevail and complete the overall top 3. Congratulations on this brilliant performance!

CV Performance the benchmark in GT4
In the GT4 class, the CV-AMG GT4 with the #85 won again, with Simon Connor Primm sitting in the cockpit for the second sprint. His teammate Nikolas Pirttilahti finished the race in second position in class. So there was no way around Christian Voss‘ team.

Action in well-staffed classes
Martin Koch triumphed again in Cup X, while Matthias Tomann in Mertel Motorsport’s Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo won the Cup 1 class. Mark Speakerwas in the KKrämer Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport rejoiced in the Cup 3 class. Razoon was again second in the Cup 4 class as Daniel Drexel from Austria won the round in his KTM X-BOW GT4. In the LMP class, Javier Ibran was unbeatable. The Spaniard from Valencia is the man of the hour in the GTWS and near-champion of the 2020/2021 season. He put in a good performance, although the changeable weather of Portimao in the otherwise sunny Algarve visibly affected him.

Endurance

Good Speed instead of Joos
Whoever thought the two sprint races had been weather-capricious had not yet experienced the Endurance. Because after the track started to dry, a rain shower started shortly before the end of the 60-minute heat. The high level of the entire amateur field became abundantly clear, because despite the sudden amount of water, there were no special incidents and the drivers had everything under control.

Good Speed Racing with Piotr Wira and the talented Dutch youngster Daan Pijl also made no mistake and steered their AMG GT3 to victory. It was the first race win in the GT Winter Series for the Polish team.

The Joos Sportwagentechnik Porsche, which was twice successful this weekend, took up the race from the pit lane as Klaus Horn was unable to rejoin the grid at the red pit lights. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they missed the correct pit stop window as Horn was called into the pits a lap early due to a missing radio system and then had to complete another lap. Fortunately, both were quick enough to still finish P4 overall and P2 in the GT3 class. Without the mishaps, day win number three would have been possible.

PTT Racing in front in the Cup Porsches
A Polish team also triumphed in Cup 2. The PTT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Igor Klaja and Polish racing pro Mateusz Lisowski prevailed in the class with the strongest field of ten cars. Thus, Klaja and Lisowski were also honoured as the drivers with the most points.

CV, the third – but Senkyr the fastest
In the GT4 class, the CV festival continued. Primm and Trefz took their third win of the day in the AMG GT4. The only GT4 in front of them was Senkyr’s M4, which had to start in the Cup X class. The world’s first customer sport race of this type went very satisfactorily for the drivers Robert Šenkýř and Richard Gonda and intensifies the anticipation for the next championship round in Estoril, where the flame-new bolide will start as a homologated GT4 for the first time. We are curious to see whether they can put pressure on the established class winners even under BoP conditions.

Razoon sweeps the board with four wins
In the Cup X class, the Razoon-KTM X-BOW took victory in the one-hour race for the first time with Denis Liebl and team owner Dominik Olbert. In total, the team enjoyed four wins on race day in Portimao, as Daniel Drexel also secured another Cup 4 victory in Endurance.

Tomann/Lopez and Greiling sovereign in their classes
In the Cup 1 class, Matthias Tomann and Francesco Lopez drove their Ferrari to Mertel Motorsport’s third win of the day. Andreas Greiling and Jens Richter won the Cup 3 class with their Porsche 718. Greiling is more than spoilt for victories, having cleared just about everything possible in the Swiss Porsche Sports Cup this year, but was visibly pleased with his good GTWS performance in the strong Portimao field.

Pardo and Bakker victorious despite spin
In the LMP3 class, GT Winter Series veteran Javier Ibran Pardo won together with Dutchman Mathijs Bakker, despite Bakker spinning off into the gravel in the opening minutes of the race, triggering the only safety car period of the entire race day. After the Ligier was recovered encouragingly quickly by the Portimao marshals, Bakker continued in the sports prototype and the safety car was quickly put back on standby.

Next stop: Estoril – 40 cars expected

The GT Winter Series continues at the traditional Portuguese circuit of Estoril. On 14 and 15 January, the race series organised by GEDLICH RACING will once again make a guest appearance on an FIA Grade 1 and thus Formula 1 homologated top circuit on the Iberian peninsula. Senna, Prost and Mansell once had a rendezvous here. Today, the newly asphalted track is in top form and is close to the beach and the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon.

Project manager Robin Selbach: „We expect at least as strong a grid for Estoril as in Portimao. I expect around 40 cars. There will be some new teams starting their winter season from January. We are already looking forward to the new year.“