Class podium for SPS automotive performance at Hungaroring
At the third event of the International GT Open at Hungaroring, Dexter Müller and Yannick Mettler (both SUI) scored another podium finish in the PROAM category with third place in the #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3 under the CBRX by SPS entry. The young driver duo Reece Barr (IRL) and Mikaeel Pitamber (RSA) also earned valuable championship points with sixth place in the sister car #20.
After good performances in the practice sessions on Friday, the Willsbach-based team entered the first qualifying session on Saturday with optimism. However, heavy traffic on the track caused some difficulties for Reece Barr in the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in particular, so that the young Irishman was unable to set an optimum lap on the Hungaroring. As a result, Barr and Pitamber had to settle for eighth on the grid in the PRO class. Dexter Müller, who was competing in the sister car #54 in the PROAM class, also did not get beyond ninth starting position in his category.
The first race over a distance of 70 minutes also proved to be difficult for your driver pairings. On the narrow and demanding Grand Prix track, both Reece Barr and Dexter Müller were involved in minor incidents. As a result, both drivers lost a few positions. Despite good driving performances and two strong recoveries in the field of 32 cars, both cars remained outside the points. Yannick Mettler, the final driver in the #54, finished in seventh position in the PROAM class. Mikaeel Pitamber, who had taken over the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 from Reece Barr, finished ninth in the PRO category.
In the second race, Yannick Mettler in the #54 started from second position in the PROAM class. After the start, Mettler battled for positions in the top ten overall and handed his car over to Dexter Müller at the mandatory pit stop. Throughout his stint, Müller fought against his competitors for the podium positions. At the end of the one-hour race distance, the #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3 was classified third in the PROAM category. Mikaeel Pitamber, who made the start in the #20 from seventh position in the PRO category in the second race, initially lost a few places in the starting phase. However, a smart pit stop strategy and a strong run by Reece Barr saw the silver Mercedes-AMG GT3 move up to sixth place. Barr defended this position until the finish. The young driver duo thus once again collected valuable points for the championship.
The next event of the International GT Open is just over a month away. Rounds six and seven will be held at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France from 21 – 23 July.
Mikaeel Pitamber, #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It was a good start to the weekend until we had to change our set-up due to a sudden switch in conditions. But the whole team did a great job and got us back to where we needed to be. A good end to the weekend with a good points haul and a great performance from us and the whole team.”
Reece Barr, #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It was a bitter sweet weekend where we started strong in practice. But our Saturday was hampered by having a lot of traffic in qualifying, which set us back for race one. But race two was very strong, we improved the set-up a lot and the car was fast. To come from P13 at the start to P6 overall was a strong performance. Again, some ups and downs, but the champagne is coming, I can feel it.”
Stephan Sohn, team principal SPS automotive performance: “Unfortunately, we didn’t have luck on our side on Saturday. Today things went much better and we were able to turn our performance into results again. The team worked very well and rewarded themselves again with a podium and more championship points. Big kudos to everyone.”