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German GT4 Series Wraps Up at Hockenheim

GT4 Oct 24, 2023 11:23:56 AM Sontek Racing 4 min read


Saturday, Race 1

Sami-Matti Trogen stepped in for qualifying. It was his turn, for the final time this season, to take the #35 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 for some flying laps. Unfortunately Balance of Performance system (BoP) had clipped the wings from the flying Bavarians we saw in the previous race at Sachsenring. As a result, 20th place was best Trogen could manage.

Starting so far back is always difficult. Trogen did well to gain couple of positions in the opening lap though, and held his ground until safety car froze the race after 20 minutes of driving. Next 15 minutes were spent in a slowly moving queue, while the pit stop window was postponed.

The race resumed and about half the field steered right into the pit lane. It was time for a driver change. Among those was Trogen, who had climbed to 15th. Brand new French GT4 champion Enzo Joulié climbed in with hopes of securing some all-important points. Meanwhile, German GT4 was at its finest, with the lead group seeing some hard but clean battling, constant position changes, and great action.

Jannes Fittje emerged from the pack victorious, taking the checkered flag with his AVIA W&S Motorsport Porsche. He was partnered by David Jahn. Hugo Sasse and Mike David Ortmann brought the Prosport Racing Aston Martin home sixth, clinching the driver’s championship. They made history too, becoming the first pair to win consecutive German GT4 titles.

As for Enzo Joulié, he had to use lot's of energy to cope with a break problem. The French driver made a good work to stay in points, ultimately finishing 15h.

Sami-Matti Trogen:

”In qualifying we struggled with the grip, especially at the front. Couldn’t get best out of the car as a result. We made some changes for the race and they made it better to handle. I gained some positions there, and had good pace until the safety car came out."

"We had issues with the brakes, caused by all the stopping and accelerating we had to do at slow speed behind the other cars. Some other BMW’s had similar issues with theirs as well. After the restart the pedal just bottomed down and I lost a lot of places. It caught me out because in GT4’s you cannot monitor the brake data live like you can in GT3. Thankfully Enzo managed cool the brakes after the pit stop and they started to work fine again. Great recovery from Enzo! He was able to bring the car home in points.”

Results, Race 1:

1) #31 David Jahn/Jannes Fittje – AVIA W&S Motorsport – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
2) #4 Marc de Fulgencio/Denis Bulatov – EastSide Motorsport – Mercedes-AMG GT4
3) #30 Max Kronberg/Hendrik Still – AVIA W&S Motorsport – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
4) #85 Jan Philipp Springob/Simon Connor Primm – CV Performance Group – Mercedes-AMG GT4
5) #6 Nicolaj Möller-Madsen/Ivan Ekelchik – Wimmer Werk Motorsport – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

15) #35 Enzo Joulié/Sami-Matti Trogen – Walkenhorst Motorsport – BMW M4 GT4

Sunday, Race 2:

If Saturday’s qualifying was difficult, Sunday’s turned out to be even more so. Enzo Joulié was unable to post a representative laptime before the red flags cancelled the session 4 minutes earlier than scheduled. As a result the #35 Walkenhorst Motorsport had to start from 25th position.

The race start was messy in many fronts, with many drivers anxious to finish their season well. Joulié netted a few positions early on in his stint. Joulié’s driving time was affected by the safety car on Saturday, so it seemed only fair he got to extend his stint this time, coming in with 25 minutes remaining. His duties for the season were done.

Trogen re-joined outside the points, in 20th place. Then it was his turn to put on a fine display of driving, and once the checkered flag flew, the #35 once again finished in a points-paying position – 15th. The race was won by Max Kronberg and Hendrik Still for AVIA W&S Motorsport, driving a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4.

Sami-Matti Trogen:

“Enzo was on a good quali lap when the red flag came out. That was a real shame. The start wasn’t very good and we had to battle a lot. It was a very difficult race for me too, when I got in the car there was once again a real lack of grip, this time in the rear. We couldn’t get out of the corners well and overtaking became very difficult as a result, and the car was so slippery. 15th was really the best we could manage today."

"Overall the season didn’t quite go according to the plans. It was pretty much up and down - good races and bad races. No luck either, tyre explotion at Sachsenring just underlining our misfortunes. Only the season opeining race really went as we planned. On a more positive note, it was great to get a lot of close racing under my belt, and visit a lot of great racetracks. It was definitely a good learning experiences, and something we can take with us going forward.”

Results, Race 2:

1) #30 Max Kronberg/Hendrik Still – AVIA W&S Motorsport – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
2) #2 Marat Khayrov/Gabriele Piana – Bonk Motorsport – BMW M4 GT4
3) #1 Hugo Sasse/Mike David Ortmann – Prosport Racing – Aston Martin Vantage GT4
4) #75 Daniel Gregor/Finn Zulauf – AVIA W&S Motorsport – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
5) #5 Tim Reiter/Leon Wassertheurer – Bonk Motorsport – BMW M4 GT4

German GT4 Series, Final Standings:

1) #1 Sasse/Ortmann – PROsport Racing – 203 points
2) #85 Bulatov* – Eastside Motorsport – 159 p.
3) #31 Jahn/Fittje – AVIA W&S Motorsport – 148 p.
4) #4 Primm/Springob – CV Performance Group – 130 p.
5) #34 Hantke/Jansen – Walkenhorst Motorsport – 115 p.

13) #35 Trogen/Joulié – Walkenhorst Motorsport – 65 p.

Sontek Racing