Streets of Pau unlucky for Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport

Streets of Pau unlucky for Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport

VEENENDAAL/PAU (15 May 2016) – The third and fourth races of the GT4 European Series were held at the famous street circuit in Pau last weekend. This was the 75th edition of the traditional Grand Prix de Pau, but this jubilee occasion was unlucky for Racing Team Holland by Ekris Motorsport. Rob Severs hit the guardrail during the evening race on Saturday, and the resulting damage prevented the #8-Ekris M4 GT4 from further participation in the event. Bernhard van Oranje’s racing weekend came to an end even earlier. During the free practice he was unable to avoid the wall following an unfortunate action by another driver, and the damage to the #9-Ekris M4 could not be repaired on location. Teammate Ricardo van der Ende was welcomed by local favourite André Grammatico and was on his way to victory in the second race, but Grammatico fell back after the pit stop with driver change, denying Van der Ende his champagne.
Racing Team Holland arrived at the streets of Pau having enjoyed a successful start to the season on the Italian Formula 1 circuit at Autodromo di Monza. Bernhard van Oranje soon realised that racing in the streets of the city in Southern France is not without its risks. During the practice session he was unable to avoid the guardrail following an unfortunate action by another driver. The damage to the Ekris M4 GT4 was so extensive that it had to be withdrawn from the weekend’s races.
This meant that teammate Van der Ende was also faced with the prospect of an early exit. “Fortunately, Bernhard was okay and did not suffer any injury. But when the car came back it was clear that the M4 could not be repaired this weekend,” explained Van der Ende. However, he was welcomed by André Grammatico. “We went to André and everything was arranged within minutes. He consulted with his team and then said, ‘Get your helmet on, we’re going racing’. That was nice.”
Van der Ende drove the ‘old’ BMW M3 GT4, with which he had enjoyed considerable success in the past. “It was my first time on a street circuit. Racing in Pau is completely crazy. For instance, there is a right bend that you come into at high speed, then you get to a zebra crossing and just slide for a metre. But it’s really exciting,” said Ricardo.
Van der Ende had a fantastic start from the front row in the second race and managed to create a promising margin between him and his rivals, building up a generous lead by the time he handed over the wheel to his temporary teammate during the pit stop. Grammatico continued the duel for the front position, but this fight ended in the wall, leaving Van der Ende with empty hands. “We have to quickly forget this weekend and move on to Silverstone. We will be ready there, come what may,” stated Van der Ende.
Rob Severs managed to secure a fifth starting position in the qualifying session despite being ill all weekend. He was unable to take advantage of this in Saturday’s evening race after taking the first bend too wide and coming up against the guardrail. An emergency repair in time for the second race proved impossible. Besides Severs, this also prevented Simon Knap from continuing in the race.
Racing Team Holland is now eagerly looking forward to 11 June and 12 June, when the men will again compete with two Ekris M4 GT4s as the GT4 European Series reconvenes at the Formula 1 circuit at Silverstone in Great Britain.