MDM Motorsport won the opening race of the GT4 European Series round at Circuit Paul Ricard. The #25 BMW M4 GT4 secured the race win after a long battle with the #8 Ekris Motorsport Ekris M4 GT4. MDM Motorsport also claimed third overall, whilst Redele Competition and eSky WP Racing Team won the Pro-Am and Am categories.
MDM MOTORSPORT LEADS M4 GT4 TOP 3 IN SILVER CUP
The Dutch team earned its first race win of the season, despite starting from the second row on the grid. American Alec Udell managed to get P2 on the opening lap, passing pole sitter Matthew George, but was unable to find a way past the Ekris M4 GT4 of former GT4 European champion Ricardo van der Ende.
Van der Ende continued to lead until the pit window opened, although Udell was always well within striking distance. MDM Motorsport decided to call in the #25 BMW before Ekris Motorsport made its stop, but the #8 Ekris was still leading as it rejoined the race. Euan McKay, however, was just a couple of tenths clear of Simon Knap.
After almost running wide at the ‘Double droits du Beausset’, Knap managed to stay right behind McKay and one lap later the Dutchman overtook the Ekris M4 GT4 in the same corner. In the remaining 20 minutes Knap was able to pull away and build up a gap. After 26 laps the Dutchman crossed the line and claimed the team’s first win since Hungary last season. McKay crossed the line in second place, 3.493s behind the race winning BMW, whilst Mark van der Aa secured third place for MDM Motorsport.
The #18 PROsport Performance Aston Martin finished in fourth place, ahead of the #7 Street Art Racing Aston Martin and the #16 True Racing KTM, completing a Silver Cup top six overall. Jan Kisiel and Max Koebolt finished seventh in class, after a penalty for Kisiel for causing a collision threw them back, whilst the Equipe Verschuur McLaren of Benjamin Lessennes and Daniel McKay retired early in the race.
VICTORY FOR ALPINE AND MASERATI IN PRO-AM AND AM CLASSES
In Pro-Am Alain Ferté and Gregoire Demoustier took their second win of the season in the #35 Redele Competition Alpine A110 GT4. Ferté finished the race a couple of seconds clear of the #718 Centri Porsche Ticino Porsche of Ivan Jacoma and Max Busnelli. RN Vision STS drivers Marius Zug and Gabriele Piana claimed yet another podium with the #111 RN Vision STS BMW.
The W&D Racing Team BMW and the two Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4s completed the Pro-Am top six, whilst the pole sitting Generation AMR SuperRacing Aston Martin finished in seventh place.
Lukasz Kreski and Maciej Marcinkiewicz claimed victory on their return to the GT4 European Series. The eSky WP Racing Maserati finished over 16 seconds clear of the Team GT McLaren of Bernhard Laber and Christian Danner. Street Art Racing’s Clement Seyler and Pascal Bachmann took another GT4 European Series podium, by finishing third in class.
IMSA Performance was fourth in class, ahead of Monza double race winners Selleslagh Racing Team and the #48 CMR Alpine.
The second GT4 European Series race at Circuit Paul Ricard will get underway at 11.30 tomorrow morning and will be streamed live on the GT4 European Series website and Facebook page.
Alec Udell, #25 MDM Motorsport BMW: “I slotted into third and then ultimately into fourth out of the start, but was able to get those two spots back going into the chicane and into turn 10. From there on it was head down and focus on the front. Ricardo made no mistakes. We had no problems in the pit stop and Simon drove a flawless race to the end.”
Simon Knap, #25 MDM Motorsport BMW : “I think we won it because we had a faster stop than the Ekris team, followed by a fast out-lap. The fight with the Ekris was great, Alec did a great job and it was a fantastic day. I’m very happy.”
Gregoire Demoustier, #35 Redele Competition Alpine: “We had a lot of problems yesterday, the mechanics worked very hard and we really wanted to have a good result to thank the mechanics and my team. It feels even better than Brands Hatch.”
Alain Ferté, #35 Redele Competition Alpine: “This victory feels very good! We weren’t at our best during the qualifying session but we managed to find a good set up for the race. Greg did an amazing start and we can say at we reached our objective. I am happy because the car is great thanks to the hard work of the team until late yesterday’s evening. This is a good sign for tomorrow’s race.”
Lukasz Kreski, #77 eSky WP Racing Team Maserati: “This is the first race for us this season and I’m very happy winning it. It was difficult, very crowded with 42 cars and I’m really surprised that we’re first.”
Maciej Marcinkiewicz, #77 eSky WP Racing Team Maserati: “Our first podium of the GT4 European Series. First race, first podium. Great. We will fight for the win again, for sure.”
Source. SRO Motorsport Group