What a GT4 weekend! Double win in the Eifel for IMS Ginetta and Matt Nicoll-Jones Nurburgring - Germany. The fourth GT4 European Cup weekend of the season, held at the German Nurburgring, was a pure promotion for the series. "Racing together...
What a GT4 weekend! Double win in the Eifel for IMS Ginetta and Matt Nicoll-Jones
Nurburgring - Germany. The fourth GT4 European Cup weekend of the season, held at the German Nurburgring, was a pure promotion for the series. "Racing together with the HTC Dutch GT4 was a good plan", double winner Matt Nicoll-Jones commented on the podium of the second race. "We had open races, good fights and a strong field, so what more could you possibly want? This is GT4 at its best!"
Matt Nicoll Jones won both races in his blue IMS Ginetta G50, on both occasions followed by Paul Meijer and Michael Mallock, both at the wheel of an Aston Martin GT4. Gianni Giudici and Julian Griffin, on his GT4 European Cup debut, took the spoils in the Supersport division.
Paul Meijer took both pole positions on Saturday morning, even if Ollie Hancock in the Lotus Evora was faster in the first session, but the Lotus ran as a guest entry this weekend.
Matt Nicoll-Jones, Paul Meijer and Michael Mallock, this was the final order after an open and highly disputed first round of the GT4 European Cup at the Nurburgring in the German Eifel.
With changing weather conditions all day long, the first GT4 race of the day promised to be very unpredictable. The race started as a wet race, but with no more rain coming down and the track drying very fast, things became very complicated for the drivers by the end of the race.
All cars started on wet tyres and no less than three different drivers took the lead in the opening stages of the race. Michael Mallock started very well in his RS Williams Aston Martin and on lap 2 he took over the lead from Paul Meijer in the Rhesus Aston Martin. But both Aston drivers came under heavy pressure from the IMS Ginetta, driven by Matt Nicoll-Jones. On lap 7 the blue Ginetta came through in the lead. Meanwhile RJN Nissan, Wolfgang Weber's Aston and the LNT Ginetta of Carl Breeze and Frank Wrathall had a good fight for fourth through to eighth spot. Supersport drivers Kevin Veltman (KTM) and Ginani Guidici (Lotus 2Eleven) took advantage of the difficult weather conditions to fight with the GT4's.
Whilst most front-runners remained on wet tyres, Paul Meijer decided to fit slicks for the second half of the race and his gamble almost paid off. Meijer took second place from Mallock in the ultimate corner, but remained 14 seconds behind the winning Ginetta of Matt Nicoll-Jones. Mallock took third, followed by a very strong Gianni Giudici, winner of the Supersport class. Julian Griffin, also in a Lotus 2Eleven was fifth, whereas Wolfgang Weber (Mathol Racing Aston), Alex Buncombe-Lucas Ordonez (RJN Nissan), Carl Breeze and Frank Wrathall (LNT Ginetta), Andrea Gagliardini-Maurizio Pittori (StarCars Porsche Cayman) and Frederic Gaillard, third in Supersport (Lotus 2Eleven) completed the top-10 of a very entertaining race.
Matt Nicoll-Jones: "I'm very, very happy! The team did a good job, with a dry set-up for wet tyres. It was the perfect compromise for this race. I made a spin just after half race, after I got hit, and damaged my tyres a bit, but I managed to stay out in front."
Paul Meijer: "When I came out of the chicane on the last lap, I saw Michael a few lengths in front of me and it was an 'all or nothing move' on the outside that gave me second. Of course I'm delighted, we put on slicks and we were maybe a bit too slow in changing tyres, but we scored very important points for the championship by coming home second."
Michael Mallock: "I'm really disappointed; losing second in the ultimate seconds of a race is really hard to accept. The car was good, but with only two crew members it would have taken us too long to change tyres, so we stayed out on wets. It was really difficult at the end..."
Gianni Giudici: "Everything was fantastic!"
Another day and another win for Matt Nicoll-Jones, IMS Motorsport and Ginetta at the Nurburgring. The Ginetta driver lost some places right after the start, as did Paul Meijer in the Rhesus Aston Martin. At the end of lap one, Lucas Ordonez came through in first position, with Matt Nicoll-Jones and Frank Wrathall in the Team LNT Ginetta G50 behind him. Meanwhile championship leaders Paul Meijer and Michael Mallock had a coming together and both had to fight back from the back of the field.
When Ordonez's Nissan 370Z retired with a transmission problem, Nicoll-Jones moved into first, keeping off Frank Wrathall and Wolfgang Weber in the Mathol Racing Aston Martin. Meijer and Mallock did everything possible and after only a few laps, both Aston drivers were within the top-5 again. After the mandatory stops, the running order was Nicoll-Jones, Mallock, Meijer, Weber and Breeze, who took over from Frank Wrathall in the Team LNT Ginetta.
Paul Meijer moved into second right before the end of the race, and thus we had the same podium as on the previous day, with Nicoll-Jones winning and Meijer and Mallock in second and third.
Matt Nicoll-Jones: "It was a great weekend, with great races and a fantastic result. I made little mistake in lap 1, but after that I managed to fight back. In the opening stages of the race, I followed the Dutch guys, but I did not want to get involved in their battle. I made an early stop and that was the right decision, giving me a clear lead towards the end of the race. The rain at the end was no problem anymore."
Paul Meijer: "I made a mistake at the first corner, locking up my rear wheels and lost some places. Later in that same lap, Michael hit me and I found myself at the back of the field. I recovered and got home second, a great result for the championship."
Michael Mallock: "What happened with Paul was a race incident and I'm sorry for that."
Julian Griffin (Supersport winner): "Winning in my first ever weekend is great, the races were fun and I really want to come back for more GT4 Cup racing."
Frederic Gaillard (2nd in Supersport): "I feel exactly the same about this series, I also want to race in more rounds."
Great Lotus Evora debut!
The Lotus Evora of Ollie Hancock, running as a guest entry, finished just in front of the winning Ginetta G50 in the first race, proving the Lotus Evora to be a very competitive new GT4 car. Hancock also set the fastest lap in the race and finished second in the second race of the weekend on Sunday. "We wanted to show how competitive the car can be and we hope to see more of our cars very soon in the GT4 series", Hancock commented after the weekend.
The next round of the GT4 European Cup takes place at Portimao on the 17th, 18th and 19th of September.
-source: european gt4