Equipe Verschuur drivers Finlay Hutchison and Ricardo van der Ende secured their first GT4 European Series win of the season at the Misano World Circuit today. Starting from fourth on the grid, Hutchison moved into the lead early in the race, before handing the McLaren 570S GT4 to Van der Ende. The Dutchman then drove it to the finish, to claim Equipe Verschuur’s and McLaren’s first win in the series. RN Vision STS won Pro-Am, TFT Racing claimed victory in the Am class.
SILVER CUP: FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON FOR EQUIPE VERSCHUUR
Polesitter Dontje maintained his position at the start, followed by Ivan Pareras in the #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4. Behind them, Finlay Hutchison was on a mission and after first passing the #16 Racing One Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Markus Lungstrass, he then overtook Pareras and began to chase down Dontje. On lap five Hutchison passed Dontje to take the lead of the race and the British driver instantly pulled away from the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4.
As Hutchison continued to lead, the cars behind him engaged in a battle for the final podium position. Lungstrass and Simon Knap in the #1 MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 passed Pareras, but the fight allowed the #87 Team GT McLaren of Paul Rees and the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta of Will Tregurtha to close the gap and join the battle.
When the pit window opened yesterday’s race winner Razvan Umbrarescu and Dontje came in right away, while Hutchison stayed out for one more lap, before handing over to Van der Ende. Van der Ende rejoined the race in first place, only to hear that Nicolaj Møller-Madsen was given a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits with advantage. The Danish driver quickly served his penalty, losing valuable positions.
After all the cars had completed their mandatory stops, Van der Ende was leading Racing One’s Owega, with Stuart Middleton’s Ginetta in third place overall, right behind Owega. The British driver soon passed his German competitor, but within a matter of laps he himself had the #111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4 of Gabriele Piana appearing in his mirrors.
Van der Ende made no mistakes in the remaining laps and drove to a commanding victory, while behind him Middleton suddenly slowed and dropped out of the top three. Middleton’s issues elevated Piana to second place, while True Racing’s Reinhard Kofler saw an inspiring drive rewarded with third place in class and overall.
The #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 finished fourth in Silver Cup, ahead of the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, the #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 and the #110 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4. The Silver Cup top 8 was completed by the #1 MDM Motorsport BMW, which finished in ninth place overall.
RN VISION STS CLAIMS PRO-AM WIN ON LAST LAP
RN Vision STS drivers Pavel Lefterov and Miguel Cristovao won the Pro-Am class, after passing the #16 Racing One Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Markus Lungstrass and Hamza Owega on the last lap. Cristovao started the race from 17th on the grid, but gradually made its way forward through the field.
The Racing One Audi had been at the front of the field for the first part of the race, but eventually dropped down the overall order as the Silver Cup cars passed Owega. Lefterov began to close the gap to the Audi and on the last lap the Bulgarian driver managed to overtake Owega and claim victory. Phoenix Racing’s Gosia Rdest and Cedric Freiburghaus finished the race in third place, having been as high up as second place before the pit stops.
The #43 Allied-Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR of Jan Kasperlik and Hendrik Still finished in fourth place, ahead of the #77 Racing One Audi of Patrick Zamparini and Csaba Mor, the V8 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Luc Braams and Duncan Huisman and the #15 Schwede Motorsport Porsche of Dominik Schraml and Rudolf Schulte. The Street Art Racing Aston Martin, the second V8 Racing Camaro and the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin completed the Pro-Am top 10.
NIKI LEUTWILER RETURNS TO THE TOP OF THE PODIUM
Porsche Zentrum Oberer Zürichsee by TFT Racing driver Niki Leutwiler returned to the top of the podium, having finished in second place in Saturday’s opening race. The Swiss driver and the #222 Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR finished the race just outside the overall top 10, but 26.858s clear of the second placed Autorlando Sport Porsche 911 GT4 of Giuseppe Ghezzi and Alessandro Giovanelli. 3Y Technology drivers Gwenael Delomier and Sylvain Debs took third place with their #39 BMW M4 GT4.
Leutwiler’s second win and his fifth podium finish of the season mean that he is now just two points behind points leaders Alessandro Giovanelli and Giuseppe Ghezzi. The #76 Autorlando Sport Porsche spun during the race, but its lead over the third-placed car was big enough to not cause any major drama.
The second Autorlando Sport Porsche of Dario Cerati and Maurizio Fondi finished fourth in class, ahead of the #30 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Nicolas Vandierendonck and Johan Vannerum. CMR’s Eric Mouez and David Loger finished in sixth place, with Liesette Braams taking seventh. The #14 eSky WP Racing Team Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 and the #32 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 were the other finishes in the class.
Ricardo van der Ende, #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4: “Finlay did the hard work really. For him to start on P4, just really taking it easy, going forward and then, very adult, he took the lead. We kept on going, he really saved the tyres for me and I really had a brilliant car to drive to the finish. Thanks to Finlay and the team!”
Finlay Hutchison, #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4:“Hopefully that’s the tables turned and now it goes our way for the rest of the season. I had tons of pace in the car at the start and I managed to save the tyres. I don’t think it was all down to me. Now I look forward to Spa, where I have a double program. It’s going to be interesting.”
Pavel Lefterov, #112 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4: “I want to thank my team for the great car they provided for Misano, even though we were told that the BMW was not good at this track. We showed that the car performance was just perfect. I’m really happy that we were able to secure first place, because it was a risky one. We took first place in the last lap, so it was very close. I am now looking forward to Spa.”
Miguel Cristovao, #112 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4: “We had some problems in the races before, but here in Misano we got it all together and finally win the race. It’s very good for the team, because we needed it! I saved some tyres and Pavel then did a great job to finish it”
Niki Leutwiler, #222 Porsche Zentrum Oberer Zürichsee by TFT Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR: “It was such a good race, super clean, no mistakes and tactically it was the best race we ever did. I was able to run with the front crowd at the beginning, even though I didn’t want to. I really wanted to save the tyres, which was able to do. It was faultless, miraculous race, with no incidents and no safety cars. I have to congratulate all the others for this great race.”