Bullitt Racing’s Romain Monti and Alex Lambertz won on their debut with the Spanish team in the Saturday race of the GT4 European Series at the Misano World Circuit with its #66 Mercedes-AMG GT4.
RN Vision STS was victorious in the Pro-Am class, with Selleslagh Racing Team clinching the Am class win at the Italian circuit.
The race got underway with Mads Siljehaug leading Patric Niederhauser into the first corner, followed by Euan McKay in the #8 Ekris and Benjamin Lessennes in the #14 Equipe Verschuur McLaren.
In the opening laps, the two KTM drivers carved out a five-second lead, before being told they would have to come in to serve a drive-through for not maintaining the starting speed. At the end of the ninth lap, both True Racing KTMs served their penalty, which allowed Euan McKay to take the lead.
On the next lap, however, the #8 Ekris suddenly slowed down and Stéphane Lémeret in the #9 CMR Alpine inherited the lead, followed by Romain Monti in the #66 Bullitt Racing Mercedes. The two drivers battled for the lead, with the Belgian driver keeping the Mercedes behind, until he suffered a left front puncture.
Monti then stayed out until the very end of the pit window, before handing over to teammate Alex Lambertz. Lambertz returned to the track with a nine second lead over Daniel McKay (Equipe Verschuur) and Alec Udell (MDM Motorsport). Right behind them, Gabriele Piana (RN Vision STS), Jan Kisiel (Leipert Motorsport) and Ricardo van der Ende (Ekris Motorsport).
Up front, Lambertz continued to lead, as McKay dropped down the order and behind the groups fighting for second and fourth positions. Piana eventually passed Udell to take second overall, but the gap to the race leading Bullitt Racing Mercedes was unbridgeable by that time.
After 33 laps and just 0.069 after the one-hour mark, Lambertz crossed the line to secure Bullitt Racing’s first win of the 2019 season, on his and teammate’s Monti debut race with the Spanish team. Gabriele Piana finished second on the road, ahead of the second-placed Silver Cup entry of Alec Udell. Jan Kisiel took third place in the Silver Cup in the #4 Mercedes he shares with Max Koebolt.
Phoenix Racing’s Nicolaj Møller-Madsen and Cedric Freiburghaus finished the race in fourth place in the Silver Cup, ahead of Ricardo van der Ende and Euan McKay (Ekris Motorsport) and The Camaro of Duncan Huisman and Francesco Pastorelli (V8 Racing). The #16 True Racing KTM, #9 CMR Alpine, #26 MDM Motorsport BMW and #24 Valvoline – True Racing KTM completed the Silver Cup top 10.
Pro-Am and Am
Gabriele Piana and Marius Zug stayed out of trouble, to claim their second class win of their 2019 GT4 European Series campaign. Piana finished the race in second place overall, well clear of the #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW of Ibrahim Okyay and Cem Bolukbasi, who claimed the first ever podium finish in the GT4 European Series for the Turkish team.
Marc Basseng and Phillip Bethke also secured their first podium of the 2019 season, after Basseng moved the #13 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes into the top three in the second part of the race. The German duo was the first of six Mercedes entries in the Pro-Am top 10. Jonathan Cecotto and Alessandro Giovanelli (Selleslagh Racing Team) finished fourth on their return to the series, ahead of Pro-Am points leaders Marcus Paverud and Luci Trefz (Leipert Motorsport).
A penalty for the #777 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes meant it dropped to sixth in class, after being third in class at one point during the race, with the #35 Rédélé Competition Alpine and #33 Bullitt Racing Mercedes completing the Pro-Am top eight.
Jean-Luc Behets and Johan Vannerum (Selleslagh Racing Team) claimed their third win of the season at Misano. The Belgian duo made it three from three in Italy, having won both races at the opening round of the season at Monza. Clement Seyler and Pascal Bachmann took second place to extend their Am class points lead, while Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur’s Liesette Braams and Gaby Uljee claimed the third podium step.
Romain Monti, #66 Bullitt Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4: “My last race in the championship in 2016 I got a win. I’m back and I got a win! It was amazing. The first time with this team, first time with Alex, first time with the car. In the end, we did good in the pits and on the track.”
Alex Lambertz, #66 Bullitt Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4: “For me it was just 25 minutes, but they felt really long. All in all, the car was good. I managed to keep the distance to the second car the same. It was the first race for me in the AMG, the first race in the series and the first race with the team and Romain, it was a good one!”
Gabriele Piana, #111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4: “From the moment I overtook the BMW, it was smooth sailing. I kept pushing, but not too much. It was quite a comfortable race and I could see that I was getting closer to the leader, but this wasn’t my goal. I was just waiting for the race to finish. I’m happy. We win, so it’s fine!”
Marius Zug, #111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4: “We tried to keep it clean and not race any Silver cars, but just focus on our class. We struggled in the previous races with penalties and crashes. But this time we kept it clean and it went perfectly.”
Johan Vannerum, #32 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4: “Things went really well. Had a great start and a long battle with the sister car of Guillaume Dumarey. I managed to bring it in on P1 and after that Jean-Luc did the same and we won it!”
Jean-Luc Behets, #32 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4: “Johan had a great first stint and I was able to do my stint without taking any risks. We tried to gain as many positions in the overall standings. Tomorrow, we hope to do the same!”
Jan Kisiel and Max Koebolt emerged victorious from a dramatic GT4 European Series Sunday race at Misano.
The #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 lost the lead ten minutes from the end of the second one-hour race, but last-minute drama for the #9 CMR Alpine handed victory to the Leipert Motorsport crew after all.
Kisiel and Koebolt leave the Italian circuit with the Silver Cup points lead. Schwede Motorsport and Street Art Racing claimed class wins in Italy.
Having started from second on the grid, Ricardo van der Ende passed Jan Kisiel to take the lead on the run down to the first corner, with Pierre-Alexandre Jean slotting into third place. Van der Ende in the #8 Ekris M4 GT4 immediately pulled out a comfortable two-second gap, which he extended to three seconds before his car suddenly decelerated due to an heat-related issue.
The time-loss resulted in Van der Ende dropping to fourth place, with Kisiel in the #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes taking the lead on lap 11. Van der Ende quickly recovered third place and then went after the CMR Alpine of Jean. Shortly after he had passed Jean, the Ekris hit problems once more and Van der Ende dropped to fourth again.
A full course yellow during the pit window as a result of the #15 NM Racing Team Ginetta G55 GT4 was the signal for most teams to come into the pits for the mandatory driver change. Racing resumed after all teams had completed their pit stop and with 25 minutes left on the clock.
On the restart, Max Koebolt was still leading the race for Leipert Motorsport, with Stephane Lemeret (CMR), Euan McKay (Ekris Motorsport), Francesco Pastorelli (V8 Racing) and Simon Knap (MDM Motorsport) behind him. It didn’t take long before Lemeret began to close in on Koebolt.
Ten minutes from the end Lemeret caught Koebolt and overtook him to take the lead. Koebolt was unable to challenge the Belgian driver, but with just over a minute left on the clock, the Alpine suffered a front-left puncture and Koebolt moved back into the lead. One lap later he was shown the checkered flag, claiming Leipert Motorsport’s second Silver Cup win of the season.
Just over six seconds behind the race winning Leipert Motorsport Mercedes of Koebolt and Kisiel, it was the #8 Ekris of McKay and Van der Ende that finished in second position, with yesterday’s race-winning Bullitt Racing Mercedes of Lambertz and Monti claiming the third podium step in the Silver Cup.
The V8 Racing Camaro came home in fourth place, ahead of the #25 MDM Motorsport BMW. Academy Motorsport and Street Art Racing claimed sixth and seventh in class, with Phoenix Racing, Equipe Verschuur and PROsport Performance completing the Silver Cup top 10.
Pro-Am and Am
Schwede Motorsport’s Jan Reinig and Dominik Schraml were the first to cross the finish line in the Pro-Am class, beating Leipert Motorsport drivers Luci Trefz and Marcus Paverud. The #777 Schwede Motorsport took the lead before the pit window opened, after the #15 NM Racing Team Ginetta retired from the class lead.
After the pit stops, Rehnig rejoined behind Trefz but with less then ten minutes remaining in the race he overtook the #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes and went on to win his first race in the GT4 European Series and the first race win with the Mercedes for Schwede Motorsport.
Jan Kasperlik secured Allied Racing’s third class podium finish of the season in the #22 Porsche by finishing in third place, only 0.433s ahead of the first of the two Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes entries. The #13 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes finished sixth in class, followed by the #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW and the #35 Redele Competition Alpine.
CMR’s David Loger and Eric Mouez started from pole in the Am class and held onto the lead for a very long time, but eventually, it was the #17 Street Art Racing Aston Martin of Pascal Bachmann and Clement Seyler. The #32 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes crossed the line in second place, with the CMR drivers taking third.
Max Koebolt, #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4: “I knew my main rivals were behind me, so I didn’t really defend when the Alpine attacked. Scoring as many points as possible was the main target. I stayed close to him and then he suffered a puncture two laps from the end. After that I just stayed safe, avoiding debris on the track and won the race.”
Jan Kisiel, #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4: “The main target was to score points, as many as possible. P3 yesterday, P1 today, taking the championship lead. Great job by Leipert Motorsport. They did an enormous job with the car and I could feel that today on the track. Everything is going in the right direction!”
Dominik Schraml, #777 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4: “My start was great, then I had a hard fight with Møller-Madsen. Our pace was good. After the pit stop, Jan did a brilliant job. It was amazing.”
Jan Rehnig, #777 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4: It was a great relief to win the race. The car didn’t want to start after the pit stop and we had some problems, but it was great. It’s a very good result and I’m very happy about it!”
Clement Seyler, #17 Street Art Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4: “I had to manage the temperatures, I could overtake some cars in the beginning. I then managed the tyres for Pascal. I had a really good stint, we had a quick pit stop and Pascal did a great job and he took the win in our category.”
Pascal Bachmann, #17 Street Art Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4: “The race was good. We saved the car essentially, I had some temperature warnings, but it was fine. I was driving conservatively and just wanted to last the car to the end. It was a good day on the track.”