Koebolt/Van der Ende take first win
Ricardo van der Ende and Max Koebolt claimed their first victory of the GT4 European Series Northern Cup season at the Red Bull Ring circuit. The Ekris Motorsport Ekris M4 GT4 took the lead during the second part of the race and went on to win overall, while also taking the first ever Silver Cup victory in the series. Luc Braams and Duncan Huisman won the PRO-AM class, while Achim Mörtl claimed a debut victory in AM.
Two incidents on the opening lap resulted in an early safety car period, with the Finlay Hutchinson’s McLaren suffering severe damage. At the restart, polesitter Huisman kept van der Ende and Andy Meyrick behind, but the Bullitt Racing driver was quicker than the two Dutch drivers in front of him and soon overtook both. Behind the overall top three, Alessandro Giovanelli and Mörtl battled for the AM class lead and fourth overall. Unfortunately Giovanelli was not able to keep up the fight and he was forced to park the Autorlando Sport Porsche in the pits with an engine failure.
When all teams had completed their mandatory pit stop during the pit window, Bullitt Racing’s Stephen Pattrick was back in the lead, followed by Koebolt. Pattrick’s team had made a mistake though and the race leader was given a one-second stop and go penalty. Koebolt wasn’t aware of the penalty of the car in front of him and attacked the McLaren, just when it pulled into the pits.
Just ten minutes from the end Daniel Rymes went off into the gravel trap, triggering a second safety car. Seven minutes later the race was restarted. Koebolt made no mistake and kept Las Moras Racing driver Braams and RYS Team Schönramer/Racecom’s Mörtl behind. After 27 laps Koebolt crossed the line to take Ekris Motorsport’s first win of the season and the team’s first ever Silver Cup victory. Braams and Huisman claimed the PRO-AM win by finishing second overall, with Mörtl winning the AM class in third overall.