W&S Motorsport crowned champions in debut season in GT4 European Series
After an exciting weekend, W&S Motorsport ended its debut season in the GT4 European Series with the Am class title win by Andrey Solukovtsev and Mikhail Loboda in the #37 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. The racing team of Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas also celebrated the runner-up title in the Am team classification. The sister car #38 with Max Kronberg and Hendrik Still finished Sunday's race at the season finale in Barcelona in the top 10 and the duo completed the Pro-Am classification in eighth place.
The race team travelled to the Formula 1 circuit in Spain as leaders in the Am class and the first free practice sessions before the weekend already started promisingly. For the first race on Saturday, Hendrik Still qualified for ninth on the grid in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport #38. After a few laps in the turbulent opening phase, Still had moved up to fourth place when contact was made in a duel and he had to stop the car due to a damaged radiator.
The AVIA-designed Cayman GT4 #37, driven by Mikhail Loboda, started the one-hour race from 16th in the field and second in the Am class. He was able to hold his ground in the fiercely contested midfield and handed over the Porsche to Andrey Solukovtsev at the halfway point. He also had a contact with a spin 15 minutes before the end and lost valuable positions as a result. In the end, he saw the chequered flag in 28th place and took home important points for fifth place in the Am class.
After the incident in Saturday's race, Max Kronberg in the #38 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport started from the tenth row into the second competition on Sunday. After two accidents involving six cars, just after the race was started, the safety car led the field for 30 minutes. Race control then red-flagged the race, Max was already in 13th place, and the mandatory driver change took place in the pit lane. With only 15 minutes remaining, the field then went back on track. Hendrik Still gained three positions in two laps before the safety car went out again. In the remaining four minutes Still managed to overtake again and finished seventh overall and fourth in the Pro-Am class.
Solukovtsev started the final race from 18th row on the grid in the Cayman GT4 #37. Due to a technical failure, however, he had to stop the car on the first lap. The hard-fought points over the entire season were enough for Loboda and Solukovtsev, coached by racing pro Nicolaj Møller Madsen from Denmark, to be crowned champions of the Am classification in their debut season in the GT4 European Series with 157 points and a 13-point lead. In the Am team standings, W&S Motorsport are second, just two points behind first place.
Quotes after the race
Daniel Schellhaas, Team Principal W&S Motorsport: "Congratulations and great credit to Andrey and Mikhail for a terrific victory in such a fiercely competitive series. It was the first season in the GT4 European Series for the whole team and everyone did an incredible job, despite setbacks in between. I am really proud to have such a great team behind me and the runner-up title in the team standings is absolutely deserved. We are also the most successful Porsche in the class. The performance of Max and Hendrik is equally deserving. The competition in the Pro-Am has been incredibly close and both drove very good races. I can only reiterate my praise and gratitude and hope we can build on this next year!"
Andrey Solukovtsev, Driver #37: "We did it! After all the ups and downs over the season, I can say that the team kept pushing us all the way and did an indescribable job. Thanks to W&S Motorsport for the professional support and to Mikhail for his great performance alongside me. Of course, thanks also to Nicolaj for his coaching, he has contributed a significant part to our learning curve and great success! We are extremely happy to win the GT4 European Series championship!"
Nicolaj Møller Madsen, Coach #37: "We are GT4 European Series Champions and I am indescribably proud of Andrey and Mikhail! It has been a long journey to get here. We started from scratch in Imola and both have done great and rewarded themselves and the team with this success. W&S Motorsport did a fantastic job in its first season in the series and that’s what we will remember forever."
Max Kronberg, Driver #38: "After the early retirement on Saturday, a curious race followed today. The top-10 result as a rewarding end to the season was once again super and of course congratulations to the driver colleagues in the sister car for the title and to the W&S Motorsport team for second place in the team standings. Every competition was characterised by close battles and luck was not always on our side. Hendrik always pushed hard and gave me a lot of important knowledge. The GT4 European Series was a completely new experience and we will see where the journey takes us next season."
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
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.read more
W&S Motorsport celebrated a well-deserved victory in the Am drivers' championship in its debut season in the GT4 European Series last year and is looking to build on this great success in 2023. With two Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, the team of Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas will compete in the strong and popular SRO Motorsports Group racing series and fight for points in the Pro-Am classification.read more