Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana claim 2023 Silver Cup title and the Teams' crown for Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport with comfortable win from pole for #2 BMW
Pro-Am Race 2 victory for #42 Audi, Am Cup win for #10 Porsche, making it a champions' clean sweep
Grégory Guilvert and Christophe Hamon celebrate previously secured Pro-Am Cup title in the #42 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT4
Alban Varutti, alone at the wheel during two events this season, is Am Cup driver's champion with a wide margin for AVR-Avvatar in the #10 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS, which he shared with Julien Piguet in the eight remaining races
After a confident Race 2 in the season's last event at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana took the win and the 2023 Silver Cup title. With that, the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club can now crown the champions in each of its three categories.
Given the results from Saturday's Race 1 in Barcelona, the 2023 GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club Silver Cup title battle came down to a two-horse race. But it was always going to be a tough ask for Benjamin Lariche and Robert Consani in the #3 Team Speedcar Audi to keep Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana away from the ultimate goal. The championship leaders had placed their #2 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 on pole position for Race 2 – five spots ahead of the #3 Audi – and started with a healthy 16-point advantage.
When the #2 BMW charged off into the lead, the #3 Audi got swarmed by traffic and had to run wide in turn 1. Rejoining the track was not done the proper way and when race control inflicted a five-second time penalty, Lariche/Consani knew that any title hopes would require miracles. Miracles did not come, but further drama did when the time penalty was not served during the pit stop, and another 15-second penalty was added with 20 minutes left.
All Michael Schrey had to do was keep it together up front, and he did just that to take the chequered flag in the #2 BMW, ahead of the #78 McLaren of Denning/Mitchell and the #5 Mirage Racing Aston Martin of Day/Del Sarte, the latter recovering from their heartbreaking DNF on Saturday. Guilvert/Hamon won Pro-Am in the #42 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi and Varutti/Piguet took Am Cup honours in the #10 AVR-Avvatar Porsche, making Race 2 in Barcelona a true champions' party!
That final chequered flag concluded this season's racing action in the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club, which can now officially crown all three 2023 champions.
Am Cup: #10 AVR-Avvatar Porsche
Alban Varutti and Julien Piguet were simply invincible in the #10 AVR-Avvatar Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS and secured the 2023 Am Cup title with a wide margin. After yet another win here in Barcelona, AVR-Avvatar can celebrate further, and even if Piguet missed out on two of this season's meetings and has to leave the official drivers' title to Varutti alone, he will certainly take part in a toast to their season!
Pro-Am Cup: #42 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi
Grégory Guilvert and Christophe Hamon had looked solid all season and secured the Pro-Am Cup title in the season's penultimate event at Hockenheim by executing a perfect “stay out of trouble and bring it home” strategy. The French duo proved utterly reliable in all rounds this year, and bagged a well-deserved title for Saintéloc Junior Team.
Silver Cup: #2 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW
No class in the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club was as open as the Silver Cup. Even if on several occasions early on, Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana seemed to dominate in their #2 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW M4 GT4, the duo managed just two race wins before coming to Barcelona, and were actually struggling to find good pace in the penultimate round at Hockenheim.
That left the championship battle wide open until the very last race, but in the end Schrey/Piana did what they had set out to do: win for the third time this season in the final race, to finally secure that coveted Silver Cup championship in style!
Berkay Besler and Tom Edgar, in the “other” BMW, gave their M4 competitors a proper run for their money this season. They took a maiden win in Misano's Race 2 in the #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 and scored heavily on many occasions. But after taking home just four points from the final event in Barcelona, they end the season in third place on the Silver Cup board.
And what to say about Benjamin Lariche and Robert Consani? They gave it all they had, all season long, in the bright orange #3 Team Speedcar Audi R8 LMS GT4. Some truly spectacular overtakes brought spice to this year's racing action, all the way to the final stages of Race 2 in Barcelona. In the end their bravery is rewarded with a runner-up position in Silver Cup.
Six rounds, twelve races, dozens of sessions, many hundreds of overtakes and spectacular racing moves. And now, three well-deserved champions!
That wraps up the 2023 season of the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club. And as the series waves goodbye to Barcelona, time now to start looking forward to another spectacular 2024 season and – as a more than worthy intermezzo – the 6 Ore di Roma GT4 endurance event which takes place at Vallelunga in Italy on October 28/29.