- GR Supra GT4 celebrates its first overall victory at Spa-Francorchamps
- Supra teams in the fight for European GT4 Series and FFSA GT4 France titles
- GT86 CS-Cup team H+H Racing wins Swedish Touring Endurance Championship and takes the lead in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy
An intense yet successful autumn lies behind TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s customer teams with the GR Supra GT4 taking its first overall victory. In the second European GT4 Series race at Spa-Francorchamps, Stéphane Lemeret and Gael Castelli took a convincing victory in changing conditions following a 1-2 qualifying for both CMR-entered Supras.
At the previous race in Zandvoort, Lemeret/Castelli already showed the potential of the new customer motorsports car by scoring their first victory in the Silver category. Thanks to these wins, the #8 GR Supra GT4 climbs to second place in the Silver championship and is still in contention for the title going to the final race at Paul Ricard.
The same accounts for the FFSA GT4 France where French-based CMR team is also in the fight for the championship after four from five rounds. César Gazeau and Wilfried Cazalbon celebrated a victory and third place in the Am category at the races in Albi in mid-October, also climbing to second place in the championship. While the final round, which was initially scheduled for 7/8 November, has been cancelled at its original date, the SRO is looking for alternatives.
Meanwhile, Ring Racing celebrated its first podium finish in the DTM Trophy. At his home event in Zolder, Belgian Nico Verdonck drove to second place in Saturday’s race while on Sunday he just missed the podium finishing fourth. For Ring Racing, this result was a small compensation for the disappointment at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in September. At the rain-affected endurance race on the Nordschleife, which was red-flagged for several hours during the night, the GR Supra GT4 crossed the finish line third in its class but was later excluded from the race because not all drivers had completed the required number of laps.
The British Speedworks Motorsports squad also experienced wet conditions at its Snetterton races, rounds seven and eight of the British GT Championship. In typical British weather conditions, the GR Supra GT4 drivers James Kell and Sam Smelt finished sixth and seventh in the GT4 classification.
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy is currently led by two Scandinavians. Alec Arho-Havren (Finland, GT86 CS-Cup, 349 points) is leading the standings ahead of his H+H Racing team-mate Ortwin Herterich (Sweden, GT86 CS-Cup, 323 points) while their third driver, Sweden’s Nils-Arne Holmudden (GT86 CS-Cup, 122 points), is seventh.
The H+H Racing trio had a very successful end to the season. They won a 4h race in the Tierp Arena, located about 120 km north of Stockholm, as part of the Swedish Touring Endurance Championship (STEC). The GT86 CS-Cup drivers have also been successful on Sweden’s oldest permanent race track, the Karlskoga Motor Stadium, also known as Gelleråsen. Here they scored a third place in the Nordic Six Hours Cup. They continued their excellent run in the STEC at the 4h season finale near Linköping (Sviestad) where the GT86 CS-Cup trio once again took third place. With this success, H+H Racing secured the STEC championship title in its class, thus Arho-Havren/Herterich/Holmudden became the first ones to win the new Champions Bonus introduced for the current TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy season and giving them 50 extra points. But that was not all as H+H Racing underlined its strong form even after its title win with first place at the Gotland Ring 4-hour race, the GPe Open season finale.
Third, fourth and fifth place in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy are occupied by Team Pit Lane drivers entering a yellow GT86 CS-Cup. The Belgian trio is lead by Olivier Muytjens with 162 points followed by Jacques Derenne with just one point behind and “Brody” with 156 points. Unfortunately, Team Pit Lane lost its second place in the SP3 class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the same reason as Ring Racing; not all drivers did the required number of laps.
Best German driver in the classification is Alexander Müller (136 points). Consistent performances with his GT86 CS-Cup in the Nürburgring Langstrecken Series (NLS) and Rundstrecken Challenge Nürburgring (RCN) mean a respectable sixth place in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy standings.
This year a total of 14 drivers from seven European countries are registered for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy. The lubricant specialists RAVENOL will be equipping all the GT86s and the GR Supra GT4s built by TGR-E with the initial oil filling. PFC Brakes will again supply all participants with inexpensive high-performance brakes at special conditions.
Several innovations in the points system make the current season of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy particularly interesting. The points are once again awarded in relation to the size of the grid and length of the race. Now, however, every driver who sees the chequered flag gets points. Also new is the Champions Bonus; anyone who wins his or her championship receives 50 extra points. As before, those interested can register for the Trophy without a fee and compete for a prize money pot of EUR 55,000 with EUR 25,000 going to the champion. The 10 best results of each participant will be used to determine the winner. TOYOTA Germany offers additional prize money for all drivers who race in Germany.
Copyright-free, high-resolution images are available from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s global media website www.tgr-dam.com.