Leipert Motorsport Mercedes takes dominant win in race 2
5 May 2019
Leipert Motorsport took a commanding victory in the second GT4 European Series race at Brands Hatch this afternoon. Jan Kisiel and Max Koebolt in the #2 Mercedes-AMG GT4 led the race from start to finish to claim their first win of the season. The #35 Redele Competition Alpine A110 GT4 won the Pro-Am class, with Street Art Racing's #17 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 taking the Am class win.
At the start, Jan Kisiel took the lead from Equipe Verschuur's Daniel McKay on the run down to Druids, who seemed to lose another position when Akhil Rabindra put his PROsport Aston Martin next to the #14 McLaren. However, Rabindra ran wide and made contact with the RN Vision STS BMW of Gabriele Piana. The PROsport driver was given a drive-through, whilst Piana retired his car in the pits.
Kisiel managed to keep the rest of the field behind during his stint. Ricardo van der Ende, who had passed McKay to take second, was able to stay right behind the #2 Mercedes, until he made a mistake and spun the #8 Ekris M4 GT4.
McKay opted to pit one lap before the rest of the top six, but his gamble didn’t pay off. A quick stop by the Leipert Motorsport team saw Max Koebolt, who took over the #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4, rejoin in the lead. McKay’s teammate Benjamin Lessennes dropped to third, behind Jamie Vandenbalck in the #7 Street Art Racing Aston Martin.
A small mistake by the Street Art Racing driver handed Lessennes the second place, and Vandenbalck was pushed out of the top three by Cedric Freiburghaus in the #1 Phoenix Racing Audi, with Patric Niederhauser in the race 1 winning KTM X-Bow GT4 passing him to take fourth not much later.
The battle for third between Freiburghaus and Niederhauser became the battle for second, when Lessennes was given a drive-through for exceeding the track limits. The penalty meant the #14 Equipe Verschuur McLaren tumbled down the order, but he still finished in the points.
Despite losing most of his 16-second lead as a result of a late safety car, deployed to safely recover a car from the gravel trap, Koebolt kept his cool to retain the lead when the green flags were waved for the final lap. After 36 laps the Dutchman took the checkered flag to notch his first race win of the 2019 season.
Freiburghaus took second place for Phoenix Racing, with Niederhauser taking third on behalf of True Racing. The #7 Street Art Racing Aston Martin, #24 Valvoline – True Racing KTM and #8 Ekris Motorsport M4 completed the overall and Silver Cup top six.
There was plenty of drama in Pro-Am in the second race. Marc Basseng had taken a comfortable lead, but just before the pit window opened his Mercedes-AMG GT4 suffered a puncture and the German was forced to hand over the lead to Tom Wood in the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin.
In the end, however, it was the #35 Redele Competition Alpine A110 GT4 of Gregoire Demoustier and Alain Ferté that claimed Pro-Am victory, in only its second weekend in the series. Race 1 winners Luci Trefz and Marcus Paverud in the #2 Leipert Mercedes finished second, ahead of Tom Wood and Fiona James in the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin.
Street Art Racing’s Clement Seyler and Pascal Bachmann bounced back from their race 1 penalty, to clinch victory in the Am class. Las Moras Racing by Equipe Verschuur finished second, after the #48 CMR Alpine went off into the gravel on the final lap.
Max Koebolt, #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 (1st Silver Race 2): “I had to keep up the pace Jan had, which was very high. The car was just great, and I kept pushing, as you never know what happens. Jan had created a nice gap and I was able to extend it. At the safety car restart, I knew I could surprise the two backmarkers behind me and create another gap. That resulted in the win.”
Gregoire Demoustier, #35 Redele Competition Alpine A110 GT4 (1st Pro-Am Race 2): “I’m really happy, because the team is new. It’s the first season for us. Really happy to achieve this first place today and I’m really proud of the team, which worked very hard to achieve this.”
Pascal Bachmann, #17 Street Art Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (1st Am Race 2): “I overtook the Alpine before the safety car. During Clements stint I was watching what the gap was. I thought it could be manageable. Towards the end I saw the Alpine, I got closer and then I overtook. This time we did it, good fun!”