The second event of the Sprint Cup in GT World Challenge Europe saw SPS automotive performance take class victory in race two of the weekend in Zandvoort. Valentin Pierburg (GER) and Dominik Baumann (AUT) produced a flawless performance in the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to take a deserved race win in the Pro-Am class in the SRO series. Third place in race one and the provisional lead in the Sprint Cup rounded off an impressive team effort this weekend.
SPS automotive performance produced a flawless apperance in GT World Challenge Europe at Circuit Zandvoort. After third place in the opening race, Valentin Pierburg and Dominik Baumann in the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finally made it onto the top step of the podium to claim the first class win for the Willsbach-based team in GT World Challenge Europe.
Starting Saturday’s opening race from third place in the Pro-Am class, Valentin Pierburg was able to hold onto that position in the early stages. For much of his stint, Pierburg was able to stay in touch with the second-placed car. However, Pierburg lost a little ground towards the end of his time behind the wheel at the demanding track in the dunes. Dominik Baumann, who took over in the cockpit of the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 after the pit stop, closed back in on second place over the remainder of the race. Towards the end of the race, Baumann was back within striking distance of second place, but was unable to launch a decisive attack and had to settle for third place at the end of race one.
In an eventful race two on Sunday, Baumann came from third place on the grid to lead the Pro-Am class early on in the race. At the wheel of the black Mercedes-AMG GT3, he defended his lead in dense traffic and was one of the last drivers to come in for the mandatory driver changeover, closely followed by the second-placed car in the Pro-Am class. After a perfect pit stop, Valentin Pierburg, who had taken over from Baumann, rejoined the race in first place. Pierburg consistently extended his lead in the eventful closing stages of the race, and went on to take the chequered flag as the class winner. After a host of podium finishes, SPS automotive performance finally claimed a deserved Pro-Am victory. The successful weekend sees the team climb into second place in the Driver and Team competition within GT World Challenge Europe. The team from Willsbach tops the Pro-Am class in the Sprint Cup competition.
Next up for the team, ahead of the next Sprint Cup races in GT World Challenge Europe, which take place in Misano (Italy) from 2nd to 4th July, is this week’s official test for the highlight of the season: the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Stephan Sohn, team principal SPS automotive performance: “We are proud and happy to have finally got a win. Both drivers and the whole team did a flawless job. And we had a little more luck on our side than in recent races. Unfortunately, we have no time to celebrate, as we have to focus on the tasks ahead of us. However, the result will definitely give us a lift.”
Dominik Baumann, #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3: “We are super happy. Finally our first win. I initially had to get used to the new circuit in Zandvoort, as I had never driven this layout before. This morning’s qualifying did not go so well for me on the drying track. However, this turned out to be an advantage in hindsight. Our rivals ahead of us got caught up in all the jostling, which resulted in a lot of battles and contact, while we were able to stay out of trouble and take the lead. The pit stop was superb and Valentin drove flawlessly to complete the win.”