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LE CASTELLET (16 October, 2017) – After winning the overall title and the Northern Cup in the GT4 European Series, the Ekris Motorsport team concluded its 2017 season in style with the season finale of the GT4 European Series Southern Cup at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet in the south of France. There, the team with drivers Ricardo van der Ende and Max Koebolt in the Ekris M4 GT4 maintained its 100 percent podium score: in every event the team took part in this year, the two drivers finished on the podium at least once. In total, 15 podium finishes were achieved in 18 races. “One can hardly think of a better proof of the qualities of our Ekris M4 GT4,” team manager Stian Boers says. “I think that is what Germans refer to as ‘Bombensicher’. And in the rare occasion that we didn’t finish on the podium, that was usually because of a small technical issue that can always happen in a mechanical sport like motorsport.”

Without any pressure related to the battle for the title as all the championship titles had already been secured early, drivers Ricardo van der Ende and Max Koebolt started off the weekend with the Ekris M4 GT4. Max Koebolt drove in qualifying for the first race and claimed third place while Ricardo van der Ende was classified sixth in the field of 32 competitors in his qualifying to determine the grid positions for the second race. In race one, Max Koebolt moved up one place right after the start, but even prior to the pit stop with driver change, a problem with the left front wheel suspension made an early end to the team’s race. On Sunday, Ricardo van der Ende started the race, moved up three places straight away and brought the car in for the driver change from third place, after which Max Koebolt completed the task at hand and drove the Ekris M4 GT4 across the finish line in third place. Thus, the final race weekend of the season also resulted into a podium finish for the Ekris Motorsport team. “It was nice to see the Ekris M4 GT4 of the BMW Team France with driver pairing Johais/Piguet do well, too: second on Saturday and fourth on Sunday. Like this, the weekend at Paul Ricard was particularly successful for the Ekris M4 GT4 and we were able to conclude the season in a nice way. Now, we start working hard on the preparation for next year,” Stian Boers says. “Because in modern motorsport, standing still means going backwards.”

Ricardo van der Ende: “A great way to end the season with yet another podium finish here. Max did very well in the first race, running in second place. Too bad that we didn’t make it to the finish there, but fortunately, the team managed to repair the car quickly. The second race was great. I took the start, gained some places straight away and then maintain my position, after which Max consolidated nicely and drove the car across the finish line in third place. We are looking back upon a fantastic season with winning the overall European title the undisputed highlight, and then also the Northern Cup. For me, this was one of my best seasons ever!”

Max Koebolt: “Finishing on the podium at least once every weekend for an entire season is a very special achievement, and even when we retired or didn’t get onto the podium, it was usually beyond our responsibility. Had it not been for the problem, we could have been in contention for another podium finish on Saturday, but at least we were able to end in a good way with our podium result on Sunday. The front tyres rapidly degraded, I felt the grip decrease and had a lot of understeer as a result, but all in all, it was a positive race in which we could keep up with the pace at the front in this strong field. I am looking back with great joy upon this season with nice achievements in a very pleasant team!”

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