ORECHOVÁ POTÔŇ (17 July, 2017) – After a break of a few weeks, the GT4 European Series Northern Cup season continued with a pair of races at the Slovakia Ring in Orechová Potôň, some 35 kilometres from the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. At the start of the second season half in the series, Dutch team Ekris Motorsport continued its impressive streak of success. After 25 laps of the 5.922 kilometres long circuit, Ricardo van der Ende and Max Koebolt decided Saturday’s first race in their favour after an excellent getaway from third on the grid. In the second race, the duo started from fourth with the Ekris M4 GT4. This time, Van der Ende and Koebolt finished second in their class and third overall. With the results achieved in Slovakia the Ekris Motorsport team keeps its 100 percent store of podium finishes this season whilst also making an important step towards the GT4 European Series Northern Cup title. “We are delighted with the results we got in Slovakia,” team manager Stian Boers commented after the weekend. “Once again, Max and Ricardo have shown their skills and at this technical track, it showed once again how good our Ekris M4 GT4 is. The performance by all our team members, who again did a fantastic job, certainly deserves to be mentioned as well.”
With 30 cars from six different brands in the field, both races at the Slovakia Ring had a strong entry. In the first race, Max Koebolt laid the foundation for victory with a perfect start. The young driver, who is in his first season in the GT4 series, immediately moved up into the lead, held on to it on the restart after a safety car intervention and brought the car in for the driver change while still in first, leaving it to team-mate Ricardo van der Ende to drive victory home. In the second race, Ricardo van der Ende took the start. This race also saw a safety car intervention in the early stages. After the pit stops, Max Koebolt rejoined the race in third with the Ekris M4 GT4 and defended this position until the finish. In the Silver category, Van der Ende and Koebolt were classified second.
Ricardo van der Ende: “It has been yet another fantastic weekend! Max deserves all the accolades for his great start and his excellent opening lap of the first race, which was the basis for our victory. After that, all I had to do it neatly bringing it home and enjoying the fantastic set-up of our Ekris M4 GT4. Race two got off to a good start, I moved up into second straight away. We had decided to try and score as many points as possible, so we didn’t take any risk whatsoever and nicely stayed between the white lines. That strategy worked out well: we finished second and thus scored a lot of points for the championship again. Now, we are in a position to already seal the title in our home race at Zandvoort in August. Of course, that would be fantastic, a great achievement by the entire team that stands out for its excellent team spirit and works like the proverbial clockwork, not having made one single mistake yet this season.”
Max Koebolt: “For me, this again was a weekend during which I got a lot of valuable experience. As a circuit, the Slovakia Ring is challenging, but it isn’t a track that particularly suits me. Nevertheless, our results were great once again. In the first race, I had a perfect start. On the long straight towards the first corner, I was able to move up into the lead already and then we maintained that position. In the second race, Ricardo had a good start and I was able to bring it home. The next round is our home race as we will be racing at Zandvoort, which is always nice, of course.”
The next two races of the GT4 European Series Northern Cup will be held at Circuit Zandvoort in The Netherlands, 19 and 20 August.