Two pole positions, two class wins and two Pro-Am podiums for W&S Motorsport at their home race at the Hockenheimring
Perfect weekend for W&S Motorsport at the fifth round of the GT4 European Series at Hockenheim. The team from Ofterdingen finished on the podium in both races at their home race with both Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport and collected important points for the championship. Andrey Solukovtsev and Mikhail Loboda (#37) took two wins in the Am class and took the lead in the Am classification. Max Kronberg and Hendrik Still (#38) finished second twice in the Pro-Am category and took their first two podium finishes in the strongly contested race series.
Already in the first practice sessions both Porsche Cayman GT4 were able to set first exclamation marks with their lap times. In the first qualifying session, Hendrik Still put the #38 on the front row of the grid for Saturday's race with second place. Still drove a strong race and handed over the Cayman GT4 to Kronberg in third place. Rain set in, creating difficult conditions on the track, which the German mastered with command. He crossed the finish line as the best Porsche in second place in the Pro-Am class.
Right next to the sister car from third place and pole position in the Am class, Loboda started the one-hour race. The Am driver duo demonstrate an extremely steep learning curve this season and confirmed this by starting from the second row. Both Loboda and Solukovtsev kept a cool head despite full-course yellows and safety car periods and led the class in commanding fashion until the black-white-checkered flag.
In Sunday's race, the starting position for Max Kronberg, who did not find a clear lap in qualifying, was not ideal coming from the 17th row of the grid. But the man from Berlin made up more than ten positions in the first laps and Hendrik Still, who took over the cockpit of the #37 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport at the halfway point, continued the impressive race to catch up. Due to a clever pit strategy immediately after the end of the first safety car period, further places were made up and Still quickly found himself in the top ten. A late safety car period, after which there was only seven minutes of racing left, prevented him from gaining further positions and he finished in sixth place overall and second in the Pro-Am class after fierce battles.
Andrey Solukovtsev again took up the sprint from pole position in the Am class, prudently avoiding all skirmishes in the field and leading the Am class. Thanks to the team's perfect strategy, his fellow pilot in the #37 Cayman GT4 continued to settle in as class leader in the field and brought home the second victory of the weekend unscathed to the wire.
The duo leads the GT4 European Series amateur standings by five points after this flawless weekend and the maximum points haul of 25 points twice for class wins and one point twice for pole positions. In the Am team classification, W&S Motorsport makes a leap forward and ranks first in the championship with a two-point lead.
The grand finale of the SRO Series and the championship decider will take place in Barcelona from 30 September to 2 October 2022.
Quotes after the race
Daniel Schellhaas, Team Principal W&S Motorsport: "All four drivers and the whole team showed perfect performances this weekend, which were finally rewarded accordingly. Mikhail and Andrey drove both races flawlessly with a start-finish victory each. Second place in class twice for Max and Hendrik is also a strong result, especially after the difficult starting position in the second race. We are very proud of the results and will give it our all again at the finale in Spain!"
Andrey Solukovtsev, Driver #37: "I still can't believe that we are now the championship leader. Many thanks to the whole team for their strong work and support over the days, which enabled Mikhail and I to achieve two such incredible results. Now we have to maintain the lead in the last two races in Barcelona. I don't think anyone would have expected it like this at the start of the season."
Max Kronberg, Driver #38: "The knot has finally broken and after being unlucky on podiums several times this season, our pace has now been rewarded twice at the Hockenheimring. Top job by Hendrik in two turbulent races and by W&S Motorsport, who set up the Porsche Cayman GT4 perfectly as usual and chose the right strategy. So, we can travel to the last weekend of the GT4 European Series with confidence."
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With many years of experience in GT4 racing, W&S Motorsport competed in the GT4 European Series for the first time in 2022 and celebrated the title in the Am category after an exciting season. In addition to the two drivers Andrey Solukovtsev and Mikhail Loboda in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport #37 in the Am classification, the duo Max Kronberg and Hendrik Still competed in the sister car #38 in the Pro-Am class. Solukovtsev and Loboda crowned themselves as European Am champions after the finale in Barcelona.read more