A reward for the efforts: Ekris Motorsport wins GT4 European Series Northern Cup title in front of home crowd
August 21, 2017
ZANDVOORT (20 August, 2017) – In front of their home crowd at Circuit Zandvoort, Ricardo van der Ende and Max Koebolt, the two drivers of the Ekris Motorsport team, crowned their season: with the Ekris M4 GT4, they secured an early title win in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup. In the first of the weekend’s two races, the team’s unique 100 percent podium finish record came to an end as Ricardo van der Ende was tapped into a spin by an opponent on the opening lap of the race, but ninth place was still enough to seal the title early. In the race on Sunday, van der Ende and Koebolt finished third. “The crown on our efforts,” said Ekris Motorsport’s team-manager Stian Boers. “Winning the title straight away in the first full season of racing with our Ekris M4 GT4 that we completely developed and built in-house with our own small team is a fantastic achievement. We have become champions because we have the best cars and the best team, and, of course, because we have the Ekris M4 GT4 as our race car! Consistently scoring points and making no mistakes is the key and that effort was rewarded at Zandvoort. With two races remaining, we have already wrapped up the title!”
With fastest time in first qualifying, Ricardo van der Ende secured himself the best possible grid position for the first race, but there, an opponent tapped him into a spin on the opening lap already. The other driver incurred a penalty for his action, but for van der Ende and Koebolt, chances of a podium finish were gone. Nevertheless, the duo still finished ninth in a turbulent race and that was enough to secure the title early. In the second race, the duo made good progress and was classified third, allowing the many guests for the team’s home race to celebrate the success at the podium. “I am really proud of what everyone in the team has accomplished this season,” team principal Dick van Ekris said. “Winning the Northern Cup title means that our first goal is achieved and now, we will continue for our second goal, also winning the overall European title.”
Ricardo van der Ende: “How nice do you want it: winning the championship at our own circuit and in front of our home crowd! That is what we did it for! For me, it is the sixth title in my eleven years of working with Ekris Motorsport, so more than fifty percent. Too bad about yesterday’s race, when I was punted off while in the lead, but finishing on the podium today made up for that.”
Max Koebolt: “Becoming champion in my maiden season in GT4 is fantastic! Of course, this was our goal, but to seal the title with one meeting to spare in front of our home crowd is something very special indeed. The race on Saturday didn’t go as we wanted. It really was an unnecessary move, but that happens. I still moved up from 19th to ninth place, but we had mixed feelings. Today, we were able to make good progress and Ricardo finished the job in a great way.”
The final two races of the GT4 European Series Northern Cup will be held at the Nürburgring, 16 and 17 September.