The second event of the GT Winter Series will take place in Estoril, which promises a lot of excitement with a terrific starting field.
Already 2 ½ weeks before the race weekend at the westernmost circuit on the European mainland in Estoril, the GT Winter Series with its spectacular grid is causing anticipation. No less than 38 GT cars and sports cars are named for the second race event of the 2022/2023 season.
GT3 vs. LMP3 – who will take the overall victory?
While at the season opener in Portimao the GT3 grid was reduced to two cars for the race rounds due to technical and health reasons, seven cars have been named so far for the event at the gates of Lisbon. The Joos Sportwagentechnik Porsche of Michael Joos and Klaus Horn, which won both sprint races at the start of the season, will be on the grid again. The Good Speed Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, which won the one-hour Endurance race, will also start on the traditional circuit. In addition, the Phoenix Racing Audi and the two Olimp Racing cars, which retired during the event at the season opener, will return. In addition, the GT3 field will be bolstered by the Die Biermacher Racing Ferrari of Uwe Lauer and the Spanish E2P Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Pablo Burguera and Javier Morcillo.
The BE Motorsports Ligier JSP3 of Javier Ibran Pardo and Mathijs Bakker also wants to join the fight for overall victory. The arrow-quick LMP3 prototype was slowed down by the changeable weather conditions in the first race event and was therefore unable to show its usual performance.
GT4 – who beats the CV Performance Group?
In Portimao, the CV Performance Group dominated the action in the production-based GT category. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Simon Connor Primm and Luci Trefz won all three rounds on the Algarve coast, making the two drivers the championship leaders in the GT Winter Series after the first event. In Estoril, Christian Voß’s team will again be competing with two AMGs. With a total of eight cars, the GT4 category will also grow for the second race weekend. As at the season opener in mid-December, Overdrive Racing from Bulgaria will field a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport driven by Mikhail Mihaylov. East Racing from Sachsenring is also flying the Porsche flag. Thomas Röpke and Pedro Salvador will pilot the two older Caymans. The event in Estoril will be a special race weekend for Pierre Lemmerz, who will be supported by Daniel Schwerfeld. Lemmerz will contest his first car race with his Audi R8 LMS GT4! Also much anticipated is the debut of reigning champion team Schnitzelalm Racing in the 2022/2023 GT Winter Series season. Thomas Angerer’s racing team will take part in the race weekend in Estoril with two GT4 cars from AMG and will have exciting young drivers in the field.
Five Ferrari in Cup 1 class
While only Mertens Motorsport competed in the Cup 1 class in Portimao, five Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars will be on the grid at the second event. The successful British team FF Corse will field two of the Challenge cars. In addition, the racing team of former DTM star Jörg van Ommen will bring three cars to Estoril. For Van Ommen Racing, Dominik Schwager and Gabriela Jilkova, the overall champion of the 2020/2021 GT Winter Series season, will also be on the grid, two well-known GT drivers who will be on hand to offer advice and support to the team’s customers.
Porsche Cup classes will also thrill in Estoril
The Cup 2 class impressed in Portimao. With ten vehicles, the class for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was the best-staffed category on the grid. Two handfuls of one-make cup cars have also been entered for the second event so far. At the season opener, Dustin Blattner won both sprint races in the PRE car fielded by Manthey Racing – Igor Klaja and Polish racing pro Mateusz Lisowski won the Endurance race in the PTT Racing car. Huber Racing driver Johannes Kapfinger was also in excellent form, attracting attention with spectacular duels and thrilling the race series attendants.
Under these conditions, the Cup 2 class promises to be a blast again in Estoril! Bluemle Motorsport and Kurt Ecke Motorsport will be making their season debuts in the process.
The Cup 3 class also promises excitement after the wins in Portimao went to Andreas Greilung and Jens Richter in the MS Racing car and Mark Speakerwas in the Cayman of KKrämer Racing. A total of four cars will be competing in the Cayman Cup class in Estoril. The Swedish WILECO team will compete in the category for the first time this season with Ronnie Gustafsson and Thomas Tedenström.
Exoticism in Cup X
Things will get exotic in the Cup X class, which will consist of three cars in Estoril. ANS Motorsport will be making its debut in the GT Winter Series with a Nova NP02 driven by Jonathan Brossard. The French team will also field a Ligier JS2R for Julien Lemoine. Araújo Competição completes the class with a McLaren 570S Cup for local hero Alvaro Ramos.
After the season opener, CV Performance Group drivers Luci Trefz and Simon Connor Primm lead the overall standings with 27.51 points. On their heels is Dustin Blattner with 26.44 points. KTM rider Robert Schiftner is third with 22.25 points, but his Razoon team will not be able to compete in Estoril due to a scheduling conflict.
The event on the 4.360 kilometre circuit will take place on 14 and 15 January. While the first day will be used for practice, things will get serious on Sunday, 15 January. After a two-part qualifying session, the two sprint races will take place during the day before the one-hour Endurance race is held in the late afternoon.