CMR secured the first outright victory for the Toyota GR Supra GT4 in the GT4 European Series at Spa-Francorchamps. Stéphane Lémeret and Gael Castelli were victorious in the second and final race of the weekend.
In its tenth race in the GT4 European Series, Stéphane Lémeret and Gael Castelli gave the new Toyota its first overall win in the championship. It was the second time the #8 Toyota took a class win this season.
Gael Castelli and Antoine Potty led the field into La Source at the start, but soon the second of the CMR cars found itself trailing the #21 Allied Racing Porsche of Nicolaj Møller-Madsen, who had started in seventh place.
Potty and Møller-Madsen raced for second on the road, which allowed Castelli to pull away at the front and also resulted in Valentin Hasse-Clot closing in on the Porsche and the Toyota. By Les Combes Potty looked set to regain second position, but he out-braked himself and dropped behind Hasse Clot.
Hasse-Clot saw his chance and lined up an attack on Møller-Madsen into Bruxelles. The #27 AGS Events Aston Martin went around the outside and almost 20 minutes into the race, Hasse-Clot was in second place. Potty also repassed Møller-Madsen.
As the pit window opened, Castelli had a comfortable lead over the competition. The Allied Racing Porsches were the first ones in, followed a lap later by the two CMR cars and Hasse-Clot.
By the time Hasse-Clot came in for his stop, drama unfolded for two of the frontrunners. The #66 CMR Toyota never made it out of the pits again, while Jan Kasperlik went off into the tyre wall at Les Combes. The Pro-Am points leader quickly rejoined, but ultimately retired the #22 Porsche in the pits.
When all cars had completed their stops, the #8 CMR Toyota was still leading the race and Lémeret held an 18-second lead over Theo Nouet in the #27 Aston Martin. Nicolas Gomar (#89 Aston Martin) was third overall at 32 seconds.
Before Nouet could even think of ways to close the gap to the leading Toyota, he was handed a one-second stop and go penalty for a too short pit stop. With ten minutes left the young French driver came in to serve his penalty, which related him to third in the Silver Cup, behind the #30 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG of Willem Meijer.
At the front, the CMR team could tell Lémeret to ease off and after 21 laps the Belgian driver crossed the line to take the first outright victory for the new Toyota and the second class win of the 2020 season.
The #30 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG finished in second place, 13.480s behind the #8 CMR Toyota, with AGS Events’ Nicolas Gomar taking third overall and first in the Am category in the #89 Aston Martin.
Fourth across the line was Theo Nouet in the #27 Aston Martin, with the #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW of Cem Bölükbasi and Yagiz Gedik taking their second class win of the season with fifth overall, ahead of the #15 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG.
Jörg Viebahn in the #21 Allied Racing Porsche came home in seventh overall and second in Pro-Am, with the #98 Lestrup Racing Team BMW completing the Pro-Am top three and overall top eight. The #76 Autorlando Sport Porsche and #31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG completed the Am Cup top three.
Stéphane Lémeret, #8 CMR Toyota: “We knew that we were able to win overall and we did it in Spa! Yesterday it would have been possible already, but we had a problem. We’re so happy to do it today. The team and Gael deserved it; I just managed the tires. It is so nice to win an international race at Spa and it in front of the Belgian marshals.”
Gael Castelli, #8 CMR Toyota: "The aim being the fight for the championship's title, I am very happy about this result. We had a clean race all the way through and I managed to save the tyres during my stint as I know the track will get drier. Stéphane is a quick driver and I am very happy to share the wheel with him and the set up of the Toyota was great thanks to the job of the whole team."
Yagiz Gedik, #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW: “In the first couple of laps I just focused on the track as it was wet. I then kept my position and then I handed over to Cem. He got the job done and we’re first!”
Cem Bölükbasi, #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW: “It was unexpected for me, because I thought I was going for third place. I asked the team where the third placed car was, because my pace was good but I wasn’t catching anybody. They told me we were leading the class. It feels good. The pace was good, we made no mistakes and that gave us the win!”