Max Koebolt claims maiden GT4 European Series season win

BRANDS HATCH (5 May 2019) – The second race weekend of the 2019 GT4 European

Series at the famous circuit of Brands Hatch in Kent County in the UK brought Dutch

driver Max Koebolt his maiden win of the season. With the North Sea Lubricants

Mercedes-AMG GT4, run by German outfit Leipert Motorsport, Koebolt and his Polish

teammate Jan Kisiel won the second race of the weekend. Earlier in the day, the duo had

finished fourth in the opening race, making Koebolt and Kisiel the best-placed driver

pairing with a Mercedes-AMG GT4 in that race as well. “A great weekend. We were on

the pace straight away and victory is a great result, of course,” Koebolt said. “We have

shown how quick we are and that we are serious contenders for the championship.”

Due to noise restrictions, there aren’t many race events at the long circuit of Brands

Hatch and events are limited to two days only. For the GT4 European Series, this meant

that free practice sessions and qualifying were held on Saturday and the two races were

scheduled on Sunday, rather than having one race each on Saturday and Sunday as in

other events.

First free practice saw Koebolt and Kisiel posting 17 th fastest time overall and tenth in

the Silver Cup classification. In second free practice, they were ninth overall and sixth in

the Silver Cup. “Actually, it went better than expected,” Koebolt said. “We started with

used tyres and were on the pace right away. We only had to make little changes on the

set-up throughout the weekend and we were quite confident for qualifying.”

Just before first qualifying, in which Koebolt was to drive, rain set in, but the track dried

out soon. “Driving with new slicks on a drying track with plenty of wet patches was quite

a challenge. Eventually, I was classified third as the fastest Mercedes driver, three tenths

of a second down on pole,” he said. “Jan drove in second qualifying, in which the track

was fully dry. There, he ended up in second place, so we were in very good grid positons

for both races.”

In the first race, Koebolt took the start, after which he had to concede some ground: “I

was cut off in the first corner and pushed onto the kerbstone on the inside, allowing

another car to get past. Due to the balance of performance, we were lacking some power

in lower rev ranges, which made it difficult to attack and defend, particularly at restarts.

Eventually, we were classified fourth, which was good for the points.”

Jan Kiesiel drove the start of the second race, moved up into the lead straight away and

built up a nice advantage. The pit stop with driver change went really well, after which

Koebolt was able to extend the lead even more. “The stop and the in and out laps were

really fast and I was able to increase the gap to the rest of the field,” Koebolt reported.

“Then the safety car was deployed, so our margin was gone. After the safety car, there

was only one lap left in the race, during which I held on to first place without any

problems. Thus, our victory was in the bag.”

The next GT4 European Series round will be held at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet in

the south of France, 30 May-2 June.


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