American drivers aren’t commonplace in the GT4 European Series, yet this season we’ll get to see two in action as both Alexandre Papadopulos and Kenton Koch make the trip across the Atlantic to compete.
For Papadopulos, 22, this will be his first full-time foray into European racing, having made a one-off outing during last year’s season finale at Barcelona. This year he’ll share the #34 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Luca Bosco in the Silver Cup division.
With a background in racing both touring cars and GTs in the North American IMSA series, we caught up with Papadopulos to see how he was preparing for his new GT4 European Series campaign, which gets underway with two races at Imola this weekend.
What brings you back to the GT4 European Series for this year, and how much did you learn from your outing at Barcelona last season?
“Barcelona was obviously a great test to continue to work with the team and get a feel for the GT4 European series. I really enjoyed the level of competition and think it is a great proving ground to develop as a driver and I'm looking forward to the challenge.”
Did you notice a difference from racing in American to racing in Europe?
“I did notice quite a change in style of racing between Europe and America, due to the fact that in America I was accustomed to an endurance platform where we had two- to four-hour races in GT4s under IMSA. The approach of competing in Europe changes because the level of aggression goes up as the races are much shorter, resulting in more courageous moves being made all over the track.”
What’s your relationship like with both the SRT team and new team-mate Luca Bosco?
“SRT has been phenomenal to work with, the team’s level of professionalism has been unprecedented for me and it is one of the main reasons I have decided to compete in Europe for the 2022 season. I got the opportunity to race with Luca last year in another series when I first met the entire team. Luca is quick and a good kid, I think we will be extremely competitive as a driver pairing.”
What are your ambitions for the coming season?
“My ambitions for the year ahead are to compete to the best of my abilities and to promote constant improvement from myself, and the entire team. It is a new challenge racing a full season in Europe, so I look forward to giving it everything while bringing value on and off the track.”