Dexter Müller and Yannick Mettler (both SUI) claimed their first win of the season in the PROAM class in the second of two eventful races in the International GT Open at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The duo in the #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of SPS automotive performance also picked up valuable points in the opening race, courtesy of pole position and fourth place in their class.
The race weekend began extremely promisingly for SPS automotive performance. In the first qualifying session on Saturday, which took place in rainy conditions, Yannick Mettler secured the overall pole position with the black and red #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3. Race one also started in wet conditions. Mettler defended his lead, but many crashes and the resulting safety car phases made it impossible to open a lead at the front. Nevertheless, the Swiss did continue to control proceedings and kept his pursuers at bay. Dexter Müller, who was yet to experience wet conditions this weekend, took over from Mettler in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and, by the time all the pit stops had been completed, slotted into second place overall. Müller was prevented from attacking the leaders, as another safety car neutralised the race and saw the field bunch back up again. At the restart, Müller again found himself battling for position at the front of the field, but was able to stop a number of rivals from passing him. The number 54 car was unable to launch a fightback, as the safety car returned to the track following another incident. With roughly five minutes remaining, the race was suspended by race control. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 of SPS automotive performance was classified in fifth place overall, which meant fourth place in the PROAM class.
On Sunday, start driver Dexter Müller began the 60-minute race from seventh place in the PROAM class. Müller initially stayed clear of any skirmishes and remained seventh in the class. Over the course of his stint, Müller climbed one place and handed the Mercedes-AMG GT3 over to team-mate Yannick Mettler in sixth place in the PROAM class. When the pit stop window closed, Mettler was still sixth and continued to make up ground with some extremely fast lap times, which were among the best in the whole field. With ten minutes of the race remaining, a safety car phase brought all the cars back together. By this point, Mettler was running fifth in the PROAM class when the race resumed shortly before the finish. He then produced a dream restart to climb into second place in the class and had soon closed in on the leader. On the final lap, Mettler benefitted from a mistake by the leader and crossed the finish line in first place in the PROAM class. This first class win of the 2022 season sees SPS automotive performance make up more ground in the championship.
The finale of this season’s International GT Open takes place from 14th to 16th October at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where SPS automotive performance will also contest the final round of the GT World Challenge Europe next weekend.
Yannick Mettler, #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3: “Awesome! Our first class win. We can be more than happy with our performance. In the opening race, we lacked that little bit of luck you need. However, we were then rewarded for our efforts in race two. Thank you to the whole team and Dexter for a great job.”
Stephan Sohn, team principal SPS automotive performance: “We are more than happy with this win. We did a good job in race one too, with pole position and fourth place. We are now obviously very motivated to push hard again at the finale in Barcelona.”