The MDM Motorsport team has claimed its third win of the GT4 European Series. The #25 BMW crew of Simon Knap and Alec Udell celebrated victory in the second race of the weekend at Zandvoort. Leipert Motorsport drivers Luci Trefz and Marcus Paverud scored their third won of 2019 in Pro-Am, while Eric Mouez and David Loger secured CMR’s third victory in the Am category.
The second race of the weekend at Zandvoort got off to a bad start, when six cars collided on the pit straight only moments after the lights went to green. All drivers involved walked away unscathed. The race was red-flagged and was restarted behind the safety car, after all debris had been cleared.
On the restart Daniel McKay retained the lead, followed by Jan Kisiel, Jamie Vandenbalck and Simon Knap. Kisiel stayed within striking distance of the race leading Equipe Verschuur McLaren, while behind him Knap closed in on the cars ahead of his MDM Motorsport BMW.
The Dutchman rapidly closed the gap to the Street Art Racing Aston Martin and on lap 5 he passed the Belgian driver into Tarzan corner. One lap later the safety car was deployed, after Jorge Cabezas Catalan’s ended in the gravel trap after contact with the #22 Allied Racing Porsche.
Daniel McKay pulled away immediately at the restart, with Knap launching a successful attack on the #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG for second place. In front of his home crowd, Knap went on to chase McKay and two laps after he had moved into second position, he passed the Equipe Verschuur McLaren to take the lead. The battle for the lead allowed Kisiel, Ekris Motorsport driver Euan McKay and True Racing’s Reinhard Kofler to close in.
As soon as the pit window opened, Knap came in to hand over the BMW to teammate Alec Udell, which allowed the Equipe Verschuur McLaren to move back into the lead. Three laps later the McLaren also made its stop and Reinhard Kofler in the KTM briefly took the lead for True Racing. Unfortunately, the team lost a couple of seconds when the KTM stalled on its way out, but Patric Niederhauser managed to recover some of the lost time later in the race.
After the pit window had closed, MDM Motorsport’s Alec Udell was leading Ricardo van der Ende, whose Ekris Motorsport team jumped from fifth to second place during the pit stops. Benjamin Lessennes returned the Equipe Verschuur McLaren in third place. The top three was separated by just one second, with Max Koebolt another second behind in fourth place.
Behind them, Nicolaj Møller-Madsen initially battled for fifth with Niederhauser, until the KTM driver lost momentum at the Hans Ernst corner. This gave the Phoenix Racing Audi driver some air to breathe and a chance to focus on Koebolt ahead and attack the Mercedes. The battle for position allowed Niederhauser to get back as well, but time ran out for any of the drivers to gain a position.
After one hour, Udell crossed the line to secure MDM Motorsport’s third victory of the season. The #8 Ekris of Van der Ende was second across the finish at 1.265s from the winner, with Lessennes taking third place in the Equipe Verschuur McLaren at 1.723s. Max Koebolt secured valuable points for Leipert Motorsport by finishing fourth, followed by the #1 Phoenix Racing Audi of Møller-Madsen and Siljehaug, the True Racing KTM of Kofler and Niederhauser and the #68 V8 Racing Camaro of Finlay Hutchison and Olivier Hart.
LEIPERT MOTORSPORT DRIVERS EXTEND PRO-AM LEAD, CMR WINS IN AM
In Pro-Am Luci Trefz and Marcus Paverud ruled from lights-to-flag. The Leipert Motorsport crew started from pole position and only briefly handed over the lead to the Rédélé Competition Alpine during the pit window. After all the teams had completed their stops, the #2 Mercedes-AMG was back in the class lead and Marcus Paverud, who had taken over the wheel from Luci Trefz, went unchallenged to the chequered flag.
The #30 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG of Kay van Berlo and Angélique Detavernier came home in second place, followed by the #69 V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Luc Braams and Duncan Huisman. Huisman passed the RN Vision STS BMW three laps from the end, to secure his first podium finish of the 2019 season. Behind the #111 BMW, the #35 Alpine took fifth place, with the #13 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG finishing in sixth place.
A late pass resulted handed Eric Mouez and David Loger the win in the Am class. The CMR drivers had been in second place behind the #31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG, but right before the end of the race, Loger passed the Mercedes. Liesette Braams and Gaby Uljee in the #11 Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur McLaren finished their home race in third place
Simon Knap, #1 MDM Motorsport BMW: “It feels so nice, I’m so happy! Really happy for myself as we finally won, happy for Cedric as it is a new partnership this year, but I think I’m most happy for the guys at Phoenix Racing. They had a hard time this year. They gave us a good car in many races, sometimes we were not able to fight for the win but still managed to get good results and now finally we won.”
Alec Udell, #1 MDM Motorsport BMW: “It feels really good. The first victory since a long time. We already had some podiums, but this one feels a lot better. We put it all together with the team. The team did an amazing job, a really good pit stop, Nicolaj did a proper start and kept it clean and I just needed to finish and overtook one car. I’m really happy!”
Luci Trefz, #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG: “This is the confirmation that when a race goes normal, we win. We are clearly the fastest pairing there is now in Pro-Am. It is good to bounce back after Misano, but of course us being us we don’t bounce back easily. I had a good start, 80% of the job was done there and then I had some good battles, so it was a good stint.”
Marcus Paverud, #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG: “I need to thank the team to get the car repaired in time. Even though we didn’t have time to put in the setup we wanted, we still won the race, so we can be happy with the win. We gained some points in the fight for the championship, but tomorrow we’ll have to fight again."
Eric Mouez, #48 CMR Alpine: "I had a good stint. In our category we were all together. David had a great second stint and overtook the leader in the last lap."
David Loger, #48 CMR Alpine: "I found the right rhythm in the car and it was easy to drive. I tried to catch up, as the Mercedes was quicker. It was quite complicated, but on the last lap I tried to overtake but went onto the grass, after that we battled and I passed him."