Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport #2 BMW (Schrey/Piana) and Xwift Racing Events #8 Toyota (Potty/Cheli) in close Silver championship battle
Saintéloc Junior Team #42 Audi (Guilvert/Hamon) leads the way in Pro-Am
AVR-Avvatar #10 Porsche well ahead in Am class as Julien Piguet re-joins Alban Varutti in Misano
With the 2023 season now over halfway, the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club heads to northern Italy for round four at Misano (July 13-15). A whopping 26 Silver entries, 15 Pro-Am crews and 7 Am cars will battle it out for all-important championship points before the six-week summer break.
Silver: Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport #2 BMW (Schrey/Piana) seeking to hold off strong competition
With 86 points after six races, Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana have enjoyed a strong start to the season in the Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport #2 BMW M4 GT4. The brand new car has shown excellent pace on three very different tracks and is looking to be a strong contender throughout the season. But nothing comes for granted in Silver class. The BMW crew has seen an impressive charge by the Xwift Racing Events #8 Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO over the two previous rounds, to claim second place in the rankings. Antoine Potty and Etienne Cheli recovered from a lowly 1-point score at the opening round in Monza to bag two memorable wins in the rain at Circuit Paul Ricard and Spa-Francorchamps, bringing their total to 81 points, just five off the leading BMW.
Berkay Besler and Tom Edgar, in the Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport #12 BMW M4 GT4, head to Italy running third in the championship. Behind them, Benjamin Lariche and Robert Consani's Team Speedcar #3 Audi R8 LMS GT4 will be aiming to climb up the championship ladder at Misano. They've had a season of ups and downs so far, combining three strong results (one of which an outright win) with three non-scoring races. If they can find that extra bit of regularity in Misano, the #3 Audi is not out of the championship race yet.
Pro-Am: Confident Saintéloc Junior Team #42 Audi (Guilvert/Hamon) leads before eager Alpine and Porsche crews
They looked promising from the very beginning, and thus far Grégory Guilvert and Christophe Hamon have confirmed in the Saintéloc Junior Team #42 Audi R8 LMS GT4. The all-French tandem has won Pro-Am class in the opening races of the first three events. They failed to score only once: in the last race at Spa-Francorchamps where accidental contact by a competitor forced them to retire.
With 106 points on the table, Guilvert/Hamon are 18 units ahead of their closest Pro-Am rival: the Code Racing Development #36 Alpine A110 GT4 EVO which has also scored class wins on two occasions in the hands of Antoine Leclerc and Loïc Villiger. The latter will be replaced by a still to be announced driver in Misano. With 66 points, the W&S Motorsport #30 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS of Hendrik Still and Max Kronberg is a provisional third in Pro-Am. A true achievement after a woeful first weekend for the team in Monza, giving them the edge by a single point over the TSR Team Spirit Racing #18 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 of Markus Lungstrass and Lorenz Stegmann, who point at fourth after a great Pro-Am victory in Spa-Francorchamps.
Am class: AVR-Avvatar #10 Porsche (Varutti/Piguet) back with double occupancy to defend sizeable lead against Alpine and Porsche entries
He drove the car solo in four out of six races, but in Misano Alban Varutti will be joined again by his codriver Julien Piguet to continue a stellar first half season in the AVR-Avvatar #10 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS. Five-time winner and runner-up on one occasion, the Porsche crew has a firm grip on Am class halfway through, their 144 points outranking the closest rival by 37 units...
However, those closest rivals are not to be dismissed. Alain Ferté and Laurent Hurgon have been scoring massively in the Autosport GP LS Group Performance Alpine A110 GT4 EVO, turning an impressive five out of six Am pole positions into an uninterrupted series of podium finishes and 107 points in total. Behind them, the fight for 3rd in Am is getting ever closer, with both the GPA Racing #72 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (Jimenez/Grizaud) and the Centri Porsche Ticino #75 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS (Leutwiler/Jacoma) putting in strong performances on a regular basis.
With BMW, Audi and Porsche leading the way in the different classes, a further two brands (Toyota and Alpine) completing the top 3-standings and teams with four more brands (Mercedes-AMG, Aston Martin, Chevrolet and McLaren) eager to make a stand, Round 4 of the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club at Misano is looking very promising indeed.
It all starts with an official paid test session on Thursday, July 13, from 9.00 to 13.00 CEST. Two Free Practice Sessions are scheduled for Friday, July 14 at 11.10 and 17.20 CEST,
Qualifying opens the live coverage from Misano on Saturday at 10.00 CEST, followed by Race 1 later that same day, at 17.30 CEST.
Race 2 concludes the fourth event of the season on Sunday, July 16 at 10.25 CEST.
Both qualifying and the races will be streamed live in English, French and German via the GT4 European Series website and the GTWorld YouTube channel.