PAU (21 May, 2017) – After the recent successes for Ekris Motorsport in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup, the decision to take part in this weekend’s pair of races for the Southern Cup during the prestigious ‘Grand Prix de Pau’ on the street circuit in the city in the south of France was a fairly easy one. And there, once again, the team’s drivers Ricardo van der Ende and Max Koebolt put in another great performance with the Ekris M4 GT4 amidst the field of 31 cars and many seasoned drivers. More than that, in fact, because in a commanding manner, the two Dutchmen won the two races at the 2.76 kilometers short circuit on the streets of Pau. Both on Saturday evening in Pau’s traditional ‘Nocturne’ and in the race on Sunday, held in bright sunshine, Van der Ende and Koebolt came out on top.
“Last year, we lost two cars here, but this year, the trip to Pau was more than worth it. Two wins, an achievement that we all can be really proud of,” a buoyant team principal Dick van Ekris commented after the double success in the south of France. In his first race event on a street circuit, Max Koebolt already put in an excellent performance in qualifying by posting the fastest lap of the field with his Ekris M4 GT4. In the first race on Saturday evening, as the darkness fell, he managed to defend his first place after the start and thus laid the foundation for a brilliant victory, leaving it to team-mate Ricardo van der Ende to bring it home after the pit stop. For the second race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon, Van der Ende had qualified the Ekris M4 GT4 in seventh place. Right after the start, he already managed to make up some places and after the pit stop with driver change, Koebolt continued the team’s progress, so that the Ekris M4 GT4 was first across the finish line for the second time this weekend.
The final classification of the first race hasn’t been determined due to an ongoing procedure that will be dealt with at a later stage.
Ricardo van der Ende: “Coming here and then winning two races, how great is that! I really didn’t expect this. We had hoped to be consistently among the top five, because a maximum score for the European title, for which not all the drivers are in contention, is our goal, but like this, with two wins, it is the most beautiful, of course. In the first race, it was P1, a good start and then consolidate, and today, we were in ‘attack mode’ from P7. Just cool! Yesterday, we owed the success for 100 percent to Max and his pole position that allowed us to win. Today, it was an effort by the entire team. Doing everything right is our goal, and such results are what you get when you do!”
Max Koebolt: “This was really fantastic. On my first few laps at a street circuit, I had to find my way, but I gradually built it up and tried not to be too eager, which enabled us to put in a great performance. Of course, I had practice on the simulator, even three or four years ago already, because I knew that I wanted to race here one day. My first pole position, then my first win at a street circuit and the second one right after that, that is simply fantastic!”
GT4 European Series Northern Cup action continues at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, 10 and 11 June.