A race win and a class second the results of GT4 European Series second race of its season opening weekend

Sunday, April 07, 2024


This morning’s second race of the opening round of the GT4 European Series from Paul Ricard again proved itself to be worthwhile for both former and newer examples of the Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4, although there was more bad news for one.

Despite having clung on to an Am class second place finish in yesterday’s season opener, heavy contact made by Kevin Jimenez within his #72 GPA Racing AMR on the final lap proved itself to be too severe for the team to repair on site so he and co-driver, Florent Grizaud would have to sit this one out!

Failing that, Sunday’s grid proved to be another fine achievement for many of the seven remaining Aston Martin Racing powered pairings as the two Prosport Racing AMR’s of Henrik Still and Fabio Rauer secured overall pole position with their #100 car with their #99 sister car of Raphael Rennhofer and Hugo Sasse alongside in second. The new GPA Racing #39 line up of Roberto Faria and Baudouin Detout was third with the #82 Racing Spirit of Leman car of Jamie Day and Matteo Villagomez completing an Aston Martin dominated top 5.

Surviving the opening sequence of corners to come down the Mistral straight with an AMR 1-2-3, Faria soon made a successful move into the chicane for P2 from the #99 Prosport car with Day consolidating his position if fifth.

Early disappointment however came to the #74 Racing Spirit of Leman AMR of Alex Machado after contact with the #20 Mercedes on only the second lap for their first DNF of the season leaving the new Vantage GT4 of Day to chase down the three older iterations still in fifth.

As the pit window opened it was still and AMR 1-2-3 with the #100 Prosport car still leading the #39 GPA Racing car in second and the #99 Prosport back in third having had something of a second wind in the latter stages of the openings stint but the #100 car would lose the lead thanks to a slow pit stop where it lost nearly seven seconds to its stablemate – the #99 car of Sasse now led the race with the #100 car in third.

Further down the order, the #7 Mirage Pro-Am runner of Stanislav Safronov and Aleks Vaintrub was again having another good run after yesterday’s class win with their new 2024 Vantage, battling hard with the new Mustang’s from the Academy team before finally putting daylight between them and Matt Nichol-Jones.

Thankfully this time, there was no final lap incident as the #99 Prosport came home to take their first overall race win of the GT4 European season with the sister #100 eventually coming home in fourth having led the opening half to the hour-long race whilst the #7 Mirage Pro-Am crew of Safronov and Vaintrub claimed another visit to the class podium in second.

Next stop is Misano in the middle of May.

Photo credits – GT4 Series
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