5.03.2024 | News

GT4WS: Two out of three for Forsetti

Forsetti Racing claimed a sprint win and the endurance round at MotorLand Aragón as the British team’s Aston Martin Vantage GT4 proved the class of the field once more at the penultimate weekend of the series.

Race 1

Day stroked to a comfortable win in the opening sprint race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon to add to Forsetti’s impressive GT4WS trophy haul. The Aston Martin Vantage was untroubled from a safety car start introduced to save time in a busy racing schedule, Day quickly opening a gap and winning the 30-minute encounter by 14 seconds over Tom Lebbon’s Elite Motorsport McLaren.

“It was pretty good,” said an understated Day. “Once we got the gap from the start it was pretty chilled and I just tried to be nice and consistent to pull away more. The Aston is hooked up around here, all week we’ve shown good pace and it’s getting stronger.”

In contrast, the battle for second place proved much more fraught as Joel Mesch did all he could to relieve Lebbon of the runner-up spot. The green Schnitzelalm Mercedes made attack after attack on the yellow McLaren, but Lebbon kept his head to take the chequered flag just 0.117s ahead.

CV Performance Mercedes duo Lachlan Robinson and Charles Dawson squabbled over fourth place, Pro-Am driver Dawson impressing by leading his Pro class team-mate for much of the contest. But a late lock-up allowed Robinson through, with Dawson just fending off NM Racing’s Gulliermo Aso for the Pro-Am class win.

Race 2

Marcel Marchewicz edged Mikey Porter out of pole position by just 0.002s in the second qualifying session on Saturday, then converted that slight advantage into a compelling victory in the Sunday morning sprint race for the Schitzlealm Racing Mercedes team.

Porter was caught out by the tailwind down the back straight on the opening lap and outbraked himself into the hairpin, which allowed Elite Motorsport’s McLaren – driven this time by Zac Meakin – to move into second place.

Meakin then worked hard to pressure Marchewicz for the rest of the 30-minute race, but the McLaren just lacked top speed down the straight for the British driver to pull a move. Marchewicz took the chequered flag by just 0.036s, but then stopped out on the circuit with an electrical problem on the cooldown lap. Porter completed the podium in Forsetti’s Aston Martin Vantage.

“Marcel and I had a very good race,” said Meakin. “I made a few mistakes, he managed to pull a gap. I caught him, but it was then a bit too late. I should have applied a bit more pressure maybe to see if I could get something, but he did a fantastic job. The car feels good, we struggle a bit on torque, but it’s all going well. We’re going for a third win in a row in the endurance race later on.”

Ivan Eketchik strived all race to relieve CV Performance’s Alex Connor of fourth overall, and finally achieved his aim on the penultimate lap to also secure the Pro-Am victory in his Wimmer Werk Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4. NM Racing’s Alex Papadopulos was sixth overall and second in Pro-Am in his Mercedes AMG GT4, with SR Motorsport’s Enrico Förderer claiming the CT class in his Cayman GT4 CS.

Race 3

Elite Motorsport’s hopes of a third consecutive endurance race win for its McLaren were scuppered at the first corner when Emil Gjerdrum’s CV Performance Mercedes barged into the back of Lebbon’s Artura. Gjerdrum was punished with a drive-through penalty, after Lebbon had limped back to the pits with heavy damage and a puncture to the left-rear. The taped up car returned to the track two laps down.

Meanwhile, Forsetti’s Day established himself in the lead from Schitzelalm’s Marchiewicz, with Connor in the other CV Performance Mercedes holding third overall.

But the race was soon interrupted first by a safety car and then a lengthy red flag stoppage after Wilhelm Kunhe’s SR Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 CS caused heavy barrier damage in a crash at Turn 11. A decision was taken for driver changes to take place under the red flag conditions, leaving 27 minutes on the clock for what was now effectively a sprint race.

Mesch, now in the green Schnitzelalm Mercedes, appeared to have caught Forsetti’s Porter on the hop at the safety car restart and nosed into the lead into Turn 1 – only to spin on the exit of the left-hander. That left Porter well clear to claim a second endurance win of the season for his team, without breaking a sweat.

“Jamie did an amazing job to bring the car in to me in P1 and I finished it off,” said Porter. “Everyone in the team has done a great job in this winter series and I can’t thank everyone enough. It was a bit strange with the red flag and them letting us do the driver swap in the middle. The wind changes your braking points, but I managed it and brought it home in P1.”

But there was plenty to play out behind the winning Vantage. As Mesch recovered from his mistake at the restart, further around the lap Dawson in the #85 CV Performance Mercedes incurred heavy rear suspension damage in an incident that spelt the end of his race.

The focus for second overall came down to an entertaining two-car duel between Ekelchik in his Wimmer Werk Porsche Cayman and East-Racing Motorsport’s version driven by Manuel Lauck. The pair were also fighting for Pro-Am honours, with Ekelchik just getting the nod despite high pressure from his rival.

Mesch recovered well to claim back fourth overall and second in the Pro class on the last lap from Daniel Drexel’s Razoon More Than Racing Cayman, with NM Racing’s amateur class racer Max Huber claiming a fine sixth overall.

There was further drama on the last lap when NM’s Aso overshot the hairpin, allowing SR Motorsport’s Tim Neuser to finish seventh overall and first in the CT class.

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