Dutch outfit Ekris Motorsport has sealed the 2017 GT4 European Series Teams’ title with its Ekris M4 GT4, while drivers Ricardo van der Ende and Max Koebolt have claimed the overall Drivers’ championship.
With only 50 points up for grabs at next weekend’s season finale at Circuit Paul Ricard, Ekris Motorsport holds a 106-point lead over second-placed Energy By ART and the Porsche Cayman Clubsport MR GT4 entered for French racers Grégoire Demoustier and Alain Ferté.
“Once again, a fantastic achievement by the entire team,” team principal Dick van Ekris commented after last weekend’s penultimate round of the season in Barcelona.
With the GT4 European Series encompassing the Northern Cup and Southern Cup, competitors have been eligible for the overall title when they enter all six rounds in their own championship as well as three selected meetings in the other series.
That way, Northern Cup contestants for the European crown are also competing at Pau, Barcelona, and Paul Ricard. Meanwhile, participants from the Southern Cup have raced at Brands Hatch, Zandvoort, and the Nürburgring.
For each round, competitors have scored points towards the overall standings, which have been calculated on a separate basis and reserved for season entries only.
With 12 wins out of 16 races, Ekris Motorsport, which had already claimed a pair of titles in the Northern Cup, has been the dominant force in this year’s campaign.
“Another title in the bag!” enthused Van der Ende. “For me, it is the 22nd championship title of my career. I am delighted with the success for our team!”
“Winning the overall European title makes us really happy and it is a great reward for our team!” added Koebolt.
If overall championships are already decided, the battle for the runner-up spots in both the Teams and Drivers’ standings remains wide open between Energy By ART and TFT Racing’s Porsche fielded for Spanish ace Ander Vilariño and Swiss racer Niki Leutwiler. The two outfits have shown great consistency all year long and will enter the final round of the season only 11 points apart.
Outside the top-three positions, the gaps are equally close with only 40 points covering Equipe Verschuur (McLaren), Las Moras Racing (McLaren), Classic & Modern Racing (Ginetta), CD Sport (Porsche), and Generation AMR SuperRacing (Aston Martin).
All teams and manufacturers involved in the overall GT4 European Series championship will now head to the French Grand Prix venue, which plays host to the season finale on October 14-15 with two 60-minute races with mandatory driver changes.
“Now, we have achieved all our goals and we can conclude the season at Circuit Paul Ricard without any pressure,” said Ekris Motorsport team manager Stian Boers.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group/Photo. Chris Schotanus/SRO Motorsports Group