The season finale of the GT Winter Series in Barcelona on Sunday, March 13, 2022 was marked by capricious imponderables, surprise successes and a very close championship battle. In the end, the Schnitzelalm Racing team with Marcel Marchewicz and Michael Sander was to take home the crown. The special concept of the GTWS brought almost 40 drivers from all over Europe to the entry lists.
Qualifying – „Quick Gaby“ blows away „the big ones
After the GT Winter Series had celebrated a flawlessly sunny season so far, it suddenly rained cats and dogs in sunny Catalonia. The Teixeira family coped particularly well with these conditions. While Antonio took pole with his Ligier LMP3 prepared by Monza Garage and was flanked by the Team Thor LMP3 with Addun Gudmundsson on row one, brother Manuel made it to the second row of the grid in 4th place with the SR8. Sandwiched in between was the picture perfect matte black Bullitt Racing Aston Martin GT3 with Valentin Hasse-Clot.
Gabriela Jilkova achieved a special feat, because she left all the other cars behind her, except for the Bullitt and the three prototypes, and drove the DRAGO Racing ZvO AMG GT4, which was inferior on paper, to P5 overall! An impressive rain performance by the talented blonde.
Etienne Ploenes, starting on the RN Vision Cayman GT4 Clubsport, achieved a similar feat in the second qualifying session, as he drove to a fabulous 4th place overall and made a huge splash.
Sprint race 1 – In the wet the hour of the „small ones“ strikes
In race 1, the Monza Garage LMP3 initially drove in front, but could be caught by the Bullitt Aston, which also secured the overall victory.
Still in the first lap one of the Radicals from the „Nevada Cup“, a series consisting exclusively of Radicals and other prototypes, spun and caused the first of two safety car phases, which pushed the field together again. The restart went smoothly.
„Quick Gaby“ meanwhile drove her dash blithely and did not let herself be deprived of the sovereign victory in the GTS class. Only Daniel Drexel, who was racing the Razoon KTM XBOW GT4, was able to get close to her. However, it did not come to the duel, because he rolled out two laps before the end of the race. Apart from the prototypes and the two Cup Porsches of Andreas Sczepansky (Kurt Ecke Motorsport) and Ulrich Ziegler (HP Racing), Jilkova did not let anyone pass her. Bravura performance!
By the way, Marcel Marchewicz in the BMW M2 CS Racing of Schnitzelalm showed himself similarly superior. He finished immediately behind Jilkova and Ploenes, leaving all but the two fastest GT4s behind him and cementing his title claim. Meanwhile, the toughest competitor, BMW Spain, sent Nerea Martí into the race, who also proved to be a rain queen in P12 overall.
Uwe Lauer on his Die Biermacher.Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 also did very well. He got along better and better in the wet and was able to snatch P2 in the GTR class.
By the way, the most strongly occupied class was once again the so-called „Cup S“. Here Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which otherwise hardly find any fields of activity in national and international motorsports, romp around, but in the GTWS they find their own starting class. Harry Verkerk shows that it is possible to compete in the championship with a Cayman Type 981 that is no longer quite as fresh as it once was. The special GTWS points system with its approach of equal opportunities taking into account the class strength brings him to P5 in the championship table at the end. A credit to consistently good performance in a class with high performance density.
Sprint race 2 – Carrie Schreiner drives to the front in dry conditions
The sun is back in Spain – and with it the chance for some very special catch-up races. This was also the goal of Carrie Schreiner, who, together with DTM-experienced Peter Terting, lined up in the brand-new Schnitzelalm Racing AMG GT3. They had to tackle Sprint 2 from the back of the field due to a car change, but that didn’t stop Carrie from plowing through the entire field to finish her racer P3 overall and thus P1 in the GTR class (ahead of the Biermacher Ferrari and the Bullitt Aston). That was worth seeing!
Incidentally, at the start Manuel Teixera in the Radical SR8, which looked half the size, slipped past his brother Antonio in the LMP3. The joy did not last long, because Manuel came off the line and had to let brother pass again. The latter continued to pull away from the field, his victory was never in jeopardy.
In the Cup R class Andreas Sczepansky showed that his racing experience from the German Carrera Cup has left its mark. He took the class victory ahead of the well-known fast David Assfalg (HP Racing 991 Cup) and Matthias Karlowski (Classic & Speed 991 Cup). Ralf Schuchmann once again made the Cup R field colorful and ran in a good fourth place in Cup R. In terms of engine sound, his Ferrari 458 Challenge entered by Die Biermacher.Racing won the overall classification anyway.
Daniel Drexel made up in Sprint 2 for what he was unable to do in the wet due to a defect. He should be very satisfied with P3 on his KTM.
Once again the Cup S class was exciting. In the end it was once again the Teixeira name that dominated, because while the sons were beating fast lap times on prototypes, the daddy (Antonio sr.) was piloting a Cayman 981 GT4 and after many fights won his class ahead of the RFF-Racing Cayman (Patrick van den Berg) and Andrius Zemaitis in the Pro GT Motorsport Cayman 981.
Endurance with championship decision – Schnitzelalm Racing takes the crown
In Endurance, the average of the fastest laps from both qualifying sessions decides the starting grid. Here, enemy contact threatened in the 45-minute race, because the two championship leaders, Schnitzelalm Racing and BMW Spain, were right behind each other. In the race, however, both showed their professionalism and fair fights without exception. In the end Marchewicz/Sander won not only the Endurance but also the overall standings. But not without first demonstrating their driving class by finishing P11 overall and in the midst of many GT4s. Congratulations!
The ZvO duo Haub and Jilkova had hope until the end to be laughing third and still get the championship, because they pushed themselves by constant season performances on P3 of the championship table and had vital chances for the title until the Endurance – but only if the two BMWs would clear each other, which as mentioned did not happen. This left them with a P3 in the standings and victory in the GTS class, which can’t be called anything other than a great success.
Again, Schreiner/Terting started from the back and again drove to class victory. And this despite the fact that the race control had set the pit lights to red due to a technical error during Schnitzelalm Racing’s spotlessly clean pit stop, which cost the squad considerable time, but ultimately did not prevent them from winning.
Lena Knötzl achieved something almost unbelievable. She drove her very first race ever in Barcelona and promptly won the Endurance together with teammate Andreas Mayrl in the MS Racing Cayman 718. The happiness about this was written all over her face. In general, the quota of fast women at the GTWS in Barcelona was remarkably high.
Ulrich Ziegler left a special scent mark, because he drove his 991 Cup right at the front of the overall field and left several GT3 behind him, before he handed over to David Assfalg and both won the class at the end.