Breakthrough victory for Ekris M4 GT4 in Competition102 GT4 European Series season finale
ZANDVOORT (9 October 2016) - Simon Knap and Rob Severs scored the first win for the Ekris M4 GT4 in the final race of the Competition102 GT4 European Series at Zandvoort. The Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport drivers enjoyed a one-two finish at their home track, albeit not in the expected order. Knap took the race win, after teammate Van der Ende was tapped into a spin late in the race. Jérôme Demay clinched the GT4 European Series AM drivers’ title in a dramatic season finale.
The Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport drivers started from the front row and were still first and second into the first corner. A crash on the pit straight, however, initially resulted in a safety car, before the race director decided to red flag the race and order the cars back into the pits. After the stranded cars had been removed and the track had been cleaned, the race was restarted.
After the restart, Van Oranje and Severs ran first and second all the way until they made their mandatory pit stops. This briefly handed the lead to Villorba Corse’s Patrick Zamparini, but once all the pit stops were made Ricardo van der Ende was back in the lead. Behind him it was the Villorba Corse Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 of Luca Anselmi and the second Ekris M4 GT4 of Simon Knap. Anselmi rapidly closed the gap to Van der Ende and the Italian started looking for options to pass the Dutch driver and his Ekris M4 GT4. Van der Ende defended his lead from the Italian, but with two and a half minutes plus a lap left in the race, Anselmi hit the back of Van der Ende’s car in the Tarzan corner.
Van der Ende spun and Anselmi took the lead, but soon after the Villorba Corse driver was given a drive through penalty for causing a collision. As he served the penalty, both Knap and Van der Ende passed the Maserati, making it a one-two again. The Dutch duo went on to take Ekris' first victory of the season, the first win for the Ekris M4 GT4 and second place in the GT4 European Series Teams' championship, behind new champions PROsport Performance. The RYS Team Hohenberg KTM X-Bow of Mads Siljehaug and Maciej Dreszer also passed the Villorba Corse Maserati, resulting in a third place finish and second place in the GT4 PRO drivers' championship for the Norwegian-Polish duo.
In GT4 AM Jan Kasperlik started the race with a 7.5-point lead over Jérôme Demay, but before the cars had made it to the first corner the German’s race was over. The Porsche GT4 Clubsport MRs of Kasperlik and Graeme Mundy made contact on the pit straight, sending both cars into the wall and out of the race. Kasperlik’s accident meant the Street Art Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 would only need to finish for Demay to claim the AM drivers’ title.
Demay’s teammate, Damien Dupont, who had taken the class lead on the opening lap held onto the lead until handing over to his teammate. Demay initially had a trouble-free run on his way to the title, before getting into a fight for position with the NMT Racing BMW M3 GT4. There was contact twice, before Tristan Boorsma passed Demay to take the lead and the race win. One corner later the Generation AMR Super Racing Aston Martin hit Demay, sending the French driver into a spin. Fortunately, Demay could carry on and he would finish seventh in class. With the first two cars in GT4 AM not eligible for points, Demay scored enough to claim the title. Sofia Car Motorsport finished the race in second place, with Autorlando Sport taking the final podium position.