A pair of second places for Max Koebolt and Simon Knap at Brands Hatch
FAWKHAM – Dutch race drivers Max Koebolt and Simon Knap scored very well with their BMW M4 GT4 of the MDM Motorsport team in the second round of the GT4 European Series. At the circuit of Brands Hatch in Kent County in the UK, the Dutch duo came home second in both races. “Being able to race at the front again and finishing on the podium in both races here is a very good feeling,” defending GT4 champion Max Koebolt said. “Of course, we had hoped for such good results, but finishing second in both races is more than we had expected,” Simon Knap admitted.
No less than 46 cars were entered for the second race weekend of the season in the GT4 European Series. “We had a fairly difficult start into the weekend, because we were really off the pace with used tyres in first free practice,” Max Koebolt said. The classification reflected this as the Dutch combination with the MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 only ended up 27th, 2.5 seconds down on the fastest team. In second free practice, things already went considerably better with new tyres: twelfth place was the result and the gap had been reduced to 1.3 seconds. And progress didn’t end there: in qualifying for the first race, Simon Knap posted the ninth-fastest time while Max Koebolt managed to qualify fifth in the session to determine the grid positions for race two. “It really was a perfect lap which gave me a great feeling,” Koebolt commented. That sparked hope for a good classification in the races that, due to the noise restrictions at Brands Hatch, were both held on Sunday in warm temperatures.
In the first race, Simon Knap took the start. “I had a good, clean start and I moved up one place fairly quickly, but then the safety car was deployed and brought the entire field together again,” he told. “Later on, I managed to gain another position and then I brought the car in for the pit stop. After that, Max did a perfect job to bring it home and as the race was stopped early due to a heavy crash, we were classified second. Fortunately, the driver involved was able to walk away unscathed.”
Max Koebolt was the starting driver in the second race. Initially, he lost one place that he claimed back soon. Then, his progress continued and he was able to bring the car into the pits for the driver change from third place. “After that, Simon moved up another position, but then he got stuck behind the Ginetta. I had the same during the first race. The car was slower on the straights, but there was no way to overtake. Therefore, there wasn’t much point in taking risks, so that is how we ended up second again.”
The next two GT4 European Cup races will be taking place at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on the Adriatic coast in Italy, 23 and 24 June. Of course, Max Koebolt and Simon Knap intend to continue their good performance with the MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 there.