Dexter Müller and Yannick Mettler (both SUI) secured third place in the PROAM championship in the International GT Open, courtesy of fourth place in a thrilling final race of the season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Swiss duo also finished in the points in Saturday’s opening race, crossing the finish line in sixth place.
Yannick Mettler was at the wheel of the #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the start of race one on Saturday. Starting from second place in the PROAM class, Mettler made up one position in the overall classification before the first safety car neutralised the race for the first time with just a few minutes on the clock. Mettler defended second place at the restart and remained in touch with the leader. However, he was unable to find a way past his rival, due to cars from other classes in front of him. Following another safety car phase, the team decided to bring him in late for the mandatory pit stop and driver changeover. As such, Mettler handed over to team-mate Dexter Müller as the overall leader. By the time Müller had waited the longer stationary time during his pit stop, as required following the class victory in Monza, the black and red Mercedes-AMG GT3 initially slotted into third place in its class. A number of battles for position in the final stages of the 70-minute race saw Müller concede a few positions to his rivals before eventually crossing the finish line at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in sixth place.
Dexter Müller started the second race of the weekend, this time lasting one hour, at the wheel of the #54 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and lined up in eighth place in the PROAM class. Müller initially stayed clear of the battles for position in a field consisting of 26 GT3 cars in total. The Swiss driver did lose one position, but came through the eventful early stages unscathed, while many of his rivals were involved in collisions and contact. A well-timed mandatory pit stop allowed the team to gain a few places in the PROAM class. Yannick Mettler, who had taken over from Müller in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, set off in pursuit of the front-runners in the final stint of the season, setting some impressive lap times in the process. Shortly before the end of the race, Mettler overtook the PROAM champion elect to take fourth place in the class – a position he retained through to the finish. This result puts the two SPS automotive performance drivers third in the final PROAM table – level on points with the runner-up.
SPS automotive performance returns to action in two weeks. At the FIA Motorsport Games, from 28th to 30th October at Circuit Paul Ricard, the Willsbach-based team will run the GT3 cars for Team Germany and Team Switzerland, with both Dexter Müller and Yannick Mettler at the wheel again.
Stephan Sohn, team principal SPS automotive performance: “A big thank you goes to our drivers and the whole team, who once again did a very good job. We can be very happy with third place in the championship. We scored points in virtually every race, took one class victory, and claimed a number of class podiums. In this racing series, it is by no means a given that you will finish every race. Our consistency has paid dividends again.”