The GT Winter Series starts the new racing season with a spectacular grid.
The GT Winter Series starts its fourth racing season in Portimão. Six stops await the racing teams, with the season highlight in March at the Formula 1 circuit in Barcelona. The kick-off on the Algarve coast will see 37 cars on the grid. Other events during the season are now approaching 40 cars and are therefore likely to be reported as sold out soon.
Four car brands in GT3 class
In the GT3 class, fans can look forward to cars from Audi, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. Established teams from Germany like Phoenix Racing and Team Joos Sportwagentechnik will meet European teams like Olimp Racing, among others.
While Phoenix Racing driver Florian Blatter will celebrate his racing debut, Michael Joos has already achieved good results in the ADAC GT Masters and in important endurance races. The two Olimp Racing drivers Marcin Jedlinski and Karol Basz will travel to Portimão as reigning champions in the ProAM class of the International GT Open. Special attention should also be paid to Benji Hethrington, the Briton will be making his debut in the GT3 class with his Valluga Racing team, having last competed in British GT with a GT4.
As the season progresses, cars from Aston Martin and BMW can still be expected in the GT3 class, so GT Winter Series activity will continue to increase.
LMP3 drivers fight for overall victory
The two LMP3 Ligiers will battle it out with the GT3 cars for overall victory at the races in Portugal. GT Winter Series perennial contender Javier Ibran Pardo will start for BE Motorsport. In addition, Easy Formula will field a car for Gilles and Christopher Brenier.
KTM, Ligier, Lamborghini and Porsche in Cup X
A colourful mix of cars also awaits in the Cup X class. At the start of the season, cars from KTM, Ligier, Lamborghini and Porsche will compete in the Cup X class. GT3 Poland will start with a Lamborghini Hurácan Super Trofeo EVO driven by Gregorz Moczulski and Andrej Lewandowski.
A total of six KTMs will compete in the class. The Motorsport Zentrum Ried will be bringing two arrow-quick KTM X-BOW GTXs to the start. Razoon – more than racing will also enter one of the GTX KTMs. Dominik Olbert’s Austrian team will also field two X-BOW R and one X-BOW GT4.
Rounding out the class will be a Ligier JS2R from ANS Motorsport and a Porsche Cayman S from Sorg Rennsport driven by Christian Leukers.
World premiere in Portimao
There will be a world premiere in Portimão, the first time the new BMW M4 GT4 will start in a race in customer hands. Richard Gonda and Robert Šenkýř are the drivers of the Šenkýř Motorsport M4 GT4. The two drivers will be competing against rivals from Audi and Mercedes, even though the car will have to start in the Cup X class, as the car has not yet been approved and homologated by SRO for the start in the GT4 class and will only start in the GT4 class from the second event in January. Auto Lounge Racing will field two Audi R8 LMS GT4 cars on the circuit, which is well known from Formula 1 and MotoGP. In addition, CV Performance Group and the British Motus One Racing team each entered two Mercedes-AMG GT4s. This means that the brand new M4 GT4 will be able to compete directly with its German rivals at the GT Winter Series opener.
Large Porsche Cup starting fields
With ten vehicles, the Cup 2 class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars has the largest starting field. Renowned teams such as Black Falcon or the Porsche Carrera Cup champion team Huber Racing compete here in the GT Winter Series. KKrämer Racing, Laptime Performance, LMR Racar Motorsport, MS Racing, Lionspeed GP, PRE operated by Manthey Racing and PTT Racing will also be competing in the class. The grid already promises exciting one-make cup action before the two days of the event. PRE operated by Manthey Racing is the Porsche customer programme “Porsche Racing Experience”, which uses the GT Winter Series and the Endless Summer trackdays to train its customers.
The Cup 3 class, in which Porsche Cayman GT4 models compete, is no less action-packed. KKrämer Racing, MS Racing and Overdrive Racing from Bulgaria have entered a total of four cars.
In the Cup 1 class, MERTEL Motorsport will bring a Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo to the start, driven by Matthias Tomann and Francesco Lopez.
Three races per event
The GT Winter Series completes three races per event. Two sprint races last 25 minutes each, and the drivers also have to complete a one-hour race. The two sprint races will take place at the season opener on Tuesday, 13 December at 10:45 and 13:55. The one-hour race, which can be contested by one or two drivers, will conclude the event at 15:50. The race day will also be heralded by a double qualifying session at 9 am. On Monday, 12 December, five test sessions await the drivers and teams.