PROsport Racing showed good speed at the GT4 European Series race weekend in Hockenheim, but also suffered some setbacks.
The GT4 European Series’ German guest appearance was on the schedule at Hockenheim. As usual in the SRO championship, PROsport Racing fielded two Aston Martin Vantage GT4s driven by Hugo Sasse and Mike David Ortmann as well as Nico Verdonck and Rodrigue Gillion. The objective for the race weekend was clear: the two Germans were to make up ground on the championship leaders from the NM Racing team in the title fight.
“As we all know, motorsport consists of 70% frustration,” said team boss Christoph Esser. “Up to the second qualifying everything went according to plan, from then on came the streak of bad luck. First Mike is promoted into the gravel and then came red flag in the last sector on his fast lap, until then he drove the best time in both sectors.”
In the first race, Sasse and Ortmann’s car fought its way up to second position. The onset of rain and a long safety car phase in the closing stages prevented Ortmann from attacking for the race win in the final minutes of the race. The victory of the Spanish Mercedes from the NM Racing team meant that the PROsport Racing duo lost a further seven points in the title fight. The sister car finished the race, after a change to rain tires behind the safety car, in 32nd position.
On Sunday, Mike David Ortmann finally had to start the race from 37th position on the grid. In the starting phase Ortmann already fought his way forward well, but after a few minutes of racing an opponent suffered a defect at the engine, which caused the complete windshield on the car with the starting number #24 to become dirty and the car had to make a pit stop to clean the windshield. How much courage the two pilots still fought their way to the 18th position in the overall standings, which is equivalent to the tenth position in the Silver Cup. Verdonck and his Belgian compatriot Gillion finished 17th overall and seventh in the Pro-Am Cup.
“If you now only deduct the drive-through time for the additional pit stop, which is 23 seconds, and subtract that from our total drive time, we would have won the second race as well. Would have, would have, bicycle chain, As I said, 70% in motorsport is frustration!”, Esser concludes.
The season finale of the GT4 European Series will take place from September 30 to October 2 in Barcelona, Spain. With a 38-point gap, Ortmann and Sasse occupy third position in the Silver Cup ahead of the season finale and continue to travel to Spain with title chances. Nico Verdonck and Rodrigue Gillion are twelfth in their class.