Second win of the season for SPS automotive performance at Paul Ricard

In the second race of the Endurance Cup in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, SPS automotive performance claimed another class win in the Pro-Am standings at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Valentin Pierburg (GER), Martin Konrad and Dominik Baumann (both AUT) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 #20 chalked up the second win of the season in a dramatic closing phase to this six-hour race. This result sees the trio defend their lead at the top of the table in the Pro-Am category of the Endurance championship in this top-class race series.

More than 50 GT3 cars battled for the best spots on the grid in the qualifying session for the six-hour race on the Grand Prix circuit in the south of France. This led to some heavy traffic on the track and all drivers struggled to find a clear lap. Pierburg, Konrad and Baumann were able to master this task, claiming second position in the Pro-Am class and providing themselves with a good starting position for the race on Saturday evening.

Starting driver Martin Konrad, who replaced Ian Loggie at short notice, dealt well with the tumultuous early laps to defend the second position. Konrad and Pierburg shared driving duties at the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 #20 during the first two thirds of the race. During their stints with heavy traffic and several full-course yellow and safety car phases, both drivers continued to battle for a podium finish in the Pro-Am category. The penultimate pit stop unfortunately saw the team forced to sit out a time penalty that had been applied by race control. This initially knocked the black Mercedes-AMG GT3 back somewhat. Dominik Baumann was completing a double stint at the wheel of the #20 in the final third of the race and had to close the gap on the leaders from third place.

Lap after lap, Baumann produced fast times to close in on the leading group and was also able to benefit from time penalties applied to his rivals. Baumann then moved into second position just before the start of the final hour of racing. As the race continued, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 #20 consolidated that second position. A safety car phase just before the end of the race moved Baumann closer to the leader in his class again. In this dramatic closing phase, the Austrian driver overtook the leader on the penultimate lap and crossed the finishing line first to win the Pro-Am class in the second race of the season. This second win in the second race of the 2022 season sees SPS automotive performance successfully defend the lead in the Endurance Cup Pro-Am standings in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS.

In two weeks, SPS automotive performance will be appearing at the International GT Open in Spa-Francorchamps. At the end of the July, the highlight of the season in the Endurance Cup for the GT World Challenge Europe will take place at the same location; the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.

Dominik Baumann, Mercedes-AMG GT3 #20: “Of course, it is extraordinary to win the race here. We were in P3 for a long time and we were able to benefit from the penalty against our rival. It’s just crazy that we were able to win here in the end. We had already done very well in qualifying and had a good starting position. I wouldn’t have thought it possible that we would win here today. But the performance of the whole team was simply brilliant.”