GT4 European: Bullitt Racing wins at the Nürburgring

© Dick Bogaerts

Romain Monti and Alex Lambertz scored their second win in the GT4 European Series at the Nürburgring this afternoon. The Bullitt Racing pairing bounced back from a disappointing Zandvoort weekend with victory in the penultimate round of the season. An exciting final race on Sunday is in prospect, as none of the Silver Cup title contenders finished on the podium and the title fight will go down to the wire.

RN Vision STS drivers Marius Zug and Gabriele Piana won the Pro-Am category in today’s race, while Johan Vannerum and Jean-Luc Behets took another Am class win.

Pole-sitter Euan McKay dropped some places after a slow getaway off the line, but into the first corner he was back behind the #66 Bullitt Racing Mercedes again. Behind him Simon Knap was third in the MDM Motorsport BMW and Equipe Verschuur’s Daniel McKay was in fourth, while the Silver Cup-leading Leipert Motorsport Mercedes was down in ninth.

Max Koebolt tried to push forward, but on the fifth lap he ran wide after passing the #16 True Racing KTM. As a result, Koebolt dropped down to 12th place, behind the KTM drivers and the two PROsport Performance Aston Martins. At the front, Monti pulled out a gap of almost two seconds over Euan McKay, while Knap was able to shake off Daniel McKay’s McLaren.

The Ekris Motorsport team opted to bring Euan McKay in soon after the pit window had opened. Two laps later Bullitt Racing’s Monti came in to hand over the #66 Mercedes to Alex Lambertz, with the German rejoining right in front of the Ekris M4 GT4, now driven by Ricardo van der Ende. After all stops had been completed, they were fighting for the lead again with, Alec Udell in the #25 MDM Motorsport BMW in third place. Benjamin Lessennes in the Equipe Verschuur McLaren rejoined in seventh place overall, with Jan Kisiel in ninth position.

Lambertz managed to keep Van der Ende behind and slowly began to pull from the Dutchman, while also trying to look after his tires. With 15 minutes left on the clock, Udell was still third, but on lap 21 the American was passed by Reinhard Kofler in the True Racing KTM and Nicolaj Møller-Madsen in the Phoenix Racing Audi.

The overall top 10 remained unchanged in the remaining laps and after 28 laps around the 5.1 km German circuit it was Lambertz who crossed the line to take his and Romain Monti’s second win of the season for Bullitt Racing. Ekris Motorsport’s Ricardo van der Ende and Euan McKay took second place, followed by True Racing’s Reinhard Kofler and Patric Niederhauser and Phoenix Racing pairing Nicolaj Møller-Madsen and Cedric Freiburghaus.

With MDM Motorsport drivers Alec Udell and Simon Knap taking fifth place and Leipert Motorsport pairing Max Koebolt and Jan Kisiel finishing in eighth place, the title fight is wide open. Both crews will start the final race of the 2019 campaign on 146 points and under normal circumstances, the best placed pairing at the finish will win the GT4 European Series Silver Cup. Daniel McKay and Benjamin Lessennes stay in third, now 18 points behind the leaders, with 25 points to play for.

In Pro-Am Marius Zug and Gabriele Piana did what was asked of them to stay in the title race, by winning the race. The RN Vision STS pairing finished the race 23.916s ahead of the Leipert Motorsport Mercedes of points leaders Luci Trefz and Marcus Paverud, who benefited from problems for Allied-Racing’s Nicolas Schöll late in the race.

As a result, Trefz and Paverud will start the final race of the season with an 18-point lead over the RN Vision STS drivers. Schwede Motorsport drivers Jan Rehnig and Dominik Schraml took third place, ahead of the #718 Centri Porsche Ticino and #21 Allied-Racing Porsches.

Selleslagh Racing Team’s Jean-Luc Behets and Johan Vannerum scored their fourth Am class win of the season. The Mercedes drivers beat points leaders Pascal Bachmann and Clement Seyler by almost four seconds.

By finishing in second place, the Street Art Racing drivers extended their points lead, but with CMR’s David Loger and Eric Mouez taking third in today’s race the title fight will be decided in the final race of the season.

Romain Monti, #66 Bullitt Racing Mercedes: « At the start I had a better reaction time than the others, so I managed to get into the first corner in first place. Then I just tried to manage the gap as much as possible. We did a perfect job, the best job on track. »

Alex Lambertz, #66 Bullitt Racing Mercedes: « I came out of the pits more or less right next to Ricardo and I had a fight right from the beginning. It was a hard racing, but completely fair. It was nice racing. In the end I struggled with a puncture on the right rear, but all in all it was a perfect race for us. »

Marius Zug, #111 RN Vision STS BMW: « We’re happy with the win, we did all we can. Our aim is 50 points this weekend. The start was quite difficult, but then the race settled down. I looked after the tires for Gabi, so that he could finish the race. We were just focused on Pro-Am, so I’m happy. »

Gabriele Piana, #111 RN Vision STS BMW: « You can’t be unhappy when you win a race. In the second stint it was difficult to keep up the pace. I wish we could have fought for the podium overall. We can only win the two races and see what happens. »

Jean-Luc Behets, #32 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes: « I had a bit of a difficult start but managed to regain those positions. It was quite hot in the car and we had to cope with the tires, but we managed to pull out a nice lead in the first stint and then Johan finished it and secured the race win. »

Johan Vannerum, #32 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes: « We lost a couple of places at the start but recovered them within a couple of laps. Jean-Luc managed to build a nice lead, I took over and managed to take the win. I’m happy with this result. »

Marcel ten Caat,