Next weekend (12/13 February 2022), the Jerez GTWS event will herald the second half of the 2021/2022 edition of the season. The field could not be more colourful. No fewer than 29 race cars will be competing for the day’s victory and the GTWS championship trophy. It is close and it is far from decided who will claim the title.
No less than three drivers share first place in the points table of the GT Winter Series 2021/2022. Theo Oeverhaus, who has won everything there was to win so far with his CV Performance AMG GT4, is at the top of the list with 129 points, as are the two Olimp Racing drivers Karol Basz and Marcin Jedlinski, who started the season on AMG and Audi and switched to Ferrari 488 GT3 for Estoril and won again. With 120 points in the standings, they are followed by no fewer than four drivers, all piloting a BMW M2 CS Racing in the eponymous Winter Cup. Michael Sander and Marcel Marchewicz of Schnitzelalm Racing are not only tied on points with BMW España drivers Nerea Marti and José Manuel Milagros, but also have the same number of victories – it doesn’t get any closer than that.
GT4 class strength
Once again, the GT4 class is particularly well equipped. No less than 11 of these cars are on the Jerez circuit, which is not only considered to be one of the warmest in terms of weather, but also has the reputation of being the “little Spa-Francorchamps” due to its fluid layout. Reigning champions Haub and Jilkova will be competing in the number 1 DRAGO Racing ZvO AMG GT4. Their toughest opponent so far has been Theo Oeverhaus, who has been giving them a hard time all season. In Estoril, however, the champs were able to put themselves in the best possible position and make up ground. In Jerez, the ZvO riders now have the best chance to regain the championship lead, because CV Performance and thus also Oeverhaus will not start.
The young Moritz Gisy, who as a rookie has already shown a lot of spirit in his racing one Aston Martin, and three Porsches from KKrämer Racing (Julian Netzband, Pavel Fatyushin, Karl Heinz Meyer) will be back. Newcomer to the season Andreas Greiling has taken Jens Richter as second man for his MS Racing Porsche 718 GT4 CS. With him, he established himself well in the Porsche Sports Cup of Switzerland last summer and is now continuing his programme at the GTWS.
Excitement could be brought into the mix by ex-professional driver Markus Lungstrass. He shares the second racing one Aston Martin with Henrik Pedersen. We are curious to see whether this line-up can fight its way to the front in the GT4 class.
WILECO driver Kenneth Ahnelöv from Sweden competed for the first time as a racing rookie in Estoril and drove a 718. In Jerez he wants to continue his good performance. By the way, WILECO is sending two more drivers into the race, but more about that later (Cup R).
Cup R – Fights preprogrammed
The diversity in the Cup R class will be exciting, because here two Porsche 992 Cup (Ocar Löfquist, Mattias Kjellin, both Kjellin Racing) will fight against a 991.2 (Ulrich Ziegler and David Assfalg, HP Racing) as well as the venerable but still nippy 997 GT3 of Chris Hillaby, entered by Mental Motorsports Marbella. “Disturbing” the harmony is Ralf Schuchmann of Die Biermacher. Racing with the Ferrari 458 Challenge, which is not only visually and acoustically one of the most beautiful cars in the field, but with the mid-engine could be quite competitive on the winding track of Jerez de la Frontera. By the way, the two Kjellin drivers are also part of the WILECO team from Sweden. Oscar Löfquist caused a sensation in Estoril when he mixed with the big boys and finished on the podium in the overall standings!
Pardo at the front?
At the front of the field, the question will be whether Javier Ibran Pardo can take another overall win. His last success was in Estoril. For the Spaniard, Jerez is almost a home race, but at least he is very familiar with the circuit. His Ligier LMP3 entered by BE Motorsport has the necessary speed for the overall victory on paper, but as usual in racing, all components have to fit together on the day of the event for the big success to come out of it.
Olimp Racing will make it difficult for him – they have brought their famously fast Audi R8 LMS, but this time it will not be driven by the regular drivers, but by Stanislaw Jedlinski and Krystian Korzeniowski. The regular crew Karol Basz and Marcin Jedlinski, on the other hand, are on the AMG GT3, as are the two Piotrs in the field (Wira and Bednarek). Their AMG GT3 is entered by Good Speed Racing.
The salt in the soup is once again a Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo from Die Biermacher. Racing. The team, which is as good-humoured as it is well-prepared, not only advertises hop products from the Pfungstädter brewery, but is also particularly fond of serving them in the paddock after work.
A brand new addition and a feast for the eyes: the 991.2 GT3 R from the Porsche Centre 5 Lakes, driven by Jörg Deisow. In addition to its expertise in road cars, the Porsche Centre near Munich attaches great importance to its racing genes – which are to be put to the test in Jerez.
As Jerez is the penultimate race of the season (the finale in Barcelona will take place on 12/13 March), it is eagerly awaited whether any preliminary decisions will be made here. Perseverance and reliability pay off in the GTWS just as much as pure speed. Our forecast: the real race for the championship title has only just begun, and the order of the standings is likely to be shaken up once again.
The two Jerez sprint races of 25 min. each will take place on Sunday, 13.3. at 12:20 and 14:50, while the 45-minute Endurance with compulsory pit stop will rise at 17:10, thus ending shortly before the Andalusian sunset.