SPS automotive performance takes GT World Challenge Europe championship

SPS automotive performance won the Team championship in the Pro-Am class of the Endurance Cup, which forms part of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS, with another class victory in the final race of the season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Valentin Pierburg (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Ian Loggie (GBR) claimed their third win of the season in the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3. In doing so, they picked up the points required to secure victory in the Team championship. Valentin Pierburg and Dominik Baumann ended the season in second place in the Drivers’ Championship.

The team set up a good starting position for the three-hour Endurance Cup race with a strong qualifying performance. Dominik Baumann set the fastest lap time by a Mercedes-AMG car and was instrumental in the black #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 starting the season finale from third place in the Pro-Am class.

No sooner had the field of almost 50 GT3 cars pulled off the start line, than a captivating battle developed between Ian Loggie, at the wheel for the first stint, and his rivals in the championship. The Scot set fast lap times throughout his stint to remain in contact with the competition, but was initially unable to make a move stick on the second-placed car in the Pro-Am class. After roughly 40 minutes of racing, Loggie took second place and immediately opened a comfortable lead, as his direct rivals were forced into the pits for an unscheduled stop. At the end of his stint, Loggie handed the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 over to team-mate Valentin Pierburg. The big lead over his rivals in the title race meant Pierburg did not need to take any unnecessary risks. The German managed second place and also set fast lap times during much of his stint. Dominik Baumann took over for the final turn of the 2022 season, as he had done in all the other races. In his final stint, the Austrian set extremely fast lap times to close in on the leader. With 20 minutes of the race remaining, Baumann moved to the front of the Pro-Am class and quickly opened a lead. At the end of the three-hour race, the number 20 car crossed the finish line in first place in the Pro-Am class with a lead of over 10 seconds. This latest class victory was enough to secure the title in the Team championship in this high-class racing series.

With three victories and two second places, the Willsbach-based team finished on the podium in every race, making them worthy winners of the Pro-Am Team title. As not all the drivers started consistently in this class, Dominik Baumann finished by himself at the top of the Drivers’ standings. Because regulations meant that this Drivers’ Championship was not possible, Baumann forewent his points from the 24 Hours of Spa and finished runner-up in the Driver standings together with his team-mate Pierburg. Ian Loggie and Martin Konrad, who have contested three and two races respectively for SPS automotive performance, are fourth and fifth in the final table.

The SPS automotive performance team returns to Barcelona in two weeks. From 14th to 16th October, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosts the finale of the International GT Open. Here too, the team from Willsbach still has a chance of winning the title in the PROAM class.

Dominik Baumann, Mercedes-AMG GT3 #20: “We are overjoyed. After finishing runner-up in the championship last year, we have finally done it. It was a tough season, but we have been rewarded for our consistency and good performances. It is obviously a shame that we are not also on top in the Driver standings, but that is down to the circumstances. I would like to thank the team and my fellow drivers for the great season.”

Stephan Sohn, team principal SPS automotive performance: “I am very proud of the whole team and the drivers, who have done a fantastic job all year. To hold your own in this extremely tough and demanding series, and to finish on top, is an incredibly hard challenge. However, we faced that challenge again and deservedly won the championship today.”