SPS automotive performance picked up its first points in the Endurance Cup of the GT World Challenge Europe at the Nürburgring.
Willsbach – The trio of Christian Hook, Florian Scholze and Nico Bastian (all GER) finished ninth in the PRO-AM category to score the first points for SPS automotive performance in the Endurance Cup in the second endurance race of this season’s GT World Challenge Europe at the Nürburgring. The six-hour race, with a high-class field of 47 cars, featured many battles for position and safety car phases.
In a very challenging qualifying, it proved difficult for the team to get in a clean lap: at times, there were more than 40 cars on the 5.148-kilometre Grand Prix Circuit at the Nürburgring. As a result, the #44 Mercedes-AMG GT3 had to start the race from down in 44th place – or eleventh place in the PRO-AM class. An eventful start to the race saw Christian Hook climb a number of positions and hand the car over to Florian Scholze in 38th place. Scholze and Hook then alternated at the wheel of the number 44 car, before Nico Bastian took over for a double stint at the end of the race. Bastian continued to make progress through the field, courtesy of consistently quick lap times in the Mercedes-AMG GT3. After 171 laps of racing, he crossed the finish line in ninth place in the PRO-AM class. This position earned the team from Willsbach its first points in the Endurance competition.
SPS automotive performance returns to action next weekend at the next event in the GT World Challenge Europe. Circuit Magny-Cours in France hosts round two of the Sprint Cup in the SRO series.
Stephan Sohn, team principal SPS automotive performance: “The car worked very well and we were able to keep up with the lap times of the fastest Mercedes-AMG cars. We still lack a bit of consistency in qualifying and in the race. If we can reach this consistency, we can definitely compete for the leading positions in our class.”
Nico Bastian, Mercedes-AMG GT3 #44: “We struggled a little in qualifying, as we did in Imola. We still need to improve in that regard. As a PRO-AM car, it is extremely difficult to make any progress in a race like this when you start from the back of the field. However, I was very happy with my stint. I was up there with the front-runners in terms of lap times. That shows what potential the overall package has. We must now find a way to exploit this potential in the coming races.”
Result GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup Nürburgring*:
|54||Porsche 911 GT3-R||Dinamic Motorsport||Matteo Cairoli (ITA), Christian Engelhart (GER), Sven Müller (GER)|
|88||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP||Timur Boguslavskiy (RUS), Felipe Fraga (BRA), Raffaele Marciello (ITA)|
|4||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Mercedes-AMG Team HRT||Vincent Abril (MCO), Maro Engel (GER), Luca Stolz (GER)|
|19||Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo||Orange 1 FFF Racing Team||Elia Erhart (GER), Hiroshi Hamaguchi (JPN), Phil Keen (GBR)|
|44||Mercedes-AMG GT3||SPS automotive performance||Christian Hook (GER), Florian Scholze (GER), Nico Bastian (GER)|
* excerpt subject to confirmation by the organisers