Class podium for SPS automotive performance at Red Bull Ring

SPS automotive performance was on the PROAM podium again at round five of the International GT Open at the Red Bull Ring. Dexter Müller and Yannick Mettler (both SUI), at the wheel of the #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3, finished third in their class in the opening race. The duo then had to settle for eighth place in an eventful race two.

The International GT Open weekend at the Red Bull Ring was defined by autumnal weather conditions and a number of incidents. Having struggled in the first qualifying session, Dexter Müller and Yannick Mettler had to settle for eleventh place on the grid in the PROAM category. Müller, who started the opening race of the weekend in the number 54 car, immediately made up a number of positions on a damp track at the start. Over the course of his stint, Müller made more progress through the field in the black and red Mercedes-AMG GT3, and the Swiss handed over to his team-mate and compatriot Yannick Mettler in fifth place in the class. A safety car during the pit stop window shook up the field. By the time everyone had completed their mandatory stops, Mettler found himself running sixth in the class. He then launched his fightback. Lap by lap, Mettler advanced up the standings. With roughly 15 minutes of the race remaining, the number 54 was third in the PROAM class and within striking distance of the second-placed car going into the final few laps. However, they ultimately ran out of time and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 crossed the finish line in third place.

Mettler started Sunday’s second race from sixth place in his class. He defended his position at the start and set about finding a way forward. However, he was unable to gain any positions during his stint. Just as the pit stop window closed, the rain began to fall. Müller, who like all his rivals had headed out on slicks, coped well with the damp conditions and initially climbed into third place. After a safety car phase, as a result of a number of cars skidding off the track, there was another incident at the restart. The safety car was ordered back out to lead the field. This eliminated the advantage of the shorter stationary time during the pit stop, and also wiped out the resulting lead. The race resumed with just four minutes remaining, and Müller was overtaken by a number of rivals in the final sprint. A time penalty imposed by race control for an infringement during a pit stop meant the #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3 ended race two in eighth place in the PROAM class.

The next opportunity for Dexter Müller and Yannick Mettler to score more points will be in two weeks’ time, when the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza hosts the next International GT Open weekend from 23rd to 25th September.

Stephan Sohn, team principal SPS automotive performance: “A weekend of highs and lows for us. Because we had very unsettled weather in the free practice sessions, we were unable to find the optimal set-up for the car. We were secretly hoping for rain, as our performance was better in the wet. Despite this, we still managed to finish on the podium in the opening race. We were then a little unlucky with the safety car phases and the time penalty in race two. Otherwise, we could perhaps have been looking at a better result. Despite this, everyone did a good job and we are looking forward to Monza.”