The 2022 campaign turned out to be a big one for the GT4 European Series, with three thrilling title fights and even a record grid. Here are some facts and figures that help to define a packed season of racing.
Nine different brands were represented on the GT4 European Series grid this year. Overall, both the Aston Martin Vantage AMR and the Mercedes-AMG GT4 were the most popular, with 10 full-season entries each, one clear of Alpine as the next most popular brand. Four German marques were represented (Mercedes-AMG, Porsche, Audi and BMW), with two British (Aston Martin and McLaren), and one each from France (Alpine), Japan (Toyota) and the USA (Chevrolet).
A total of eight different crews celebrated overall race wins across the course of this year, and they were perfectly split between Silver Cup entries and Pro-Am. Konstantin Lachenauer/Gus Bowers, Hugo Sasse/Mike David Ortmann, Lluc Ibañez/Enzo Joulié and Roee Meyuhas/Erwan Bastard all topped races in Silver Cup entries, while Jim Pla/Jean-Luc Beaubelique, Antoine Leclerc/Loïc Villiger, Vincent Andronaco/Andreas Mayrl and Dante Rappange/Kenny Herremans scored wins in Pro-Am cars.
Two drivers were tied for fastest laps scored across the 2022 season. Jim Pla looked on-course to bag the most for a second consecutive season with two outright fastest race laps, until Tom Canning snatched the quickest lap of the very last race to tie with the Frenchman. In total, 10 different drivers enjoyed at least one fastest lap across the 12 races this year (Lachenauer, Canning, Gachet, Ibañez, Andronaco, Pla, Besler, Potty, Bastard and Lariche).
No driver pairing managed to win more than three races this season, with four crews able to complete a hat-trick. Silver Cup title rivals Roee Meyuhas/Erwan Bastard (Saintéloc Racing) and Lluc Ibañez/Enzo Joulié (NM Racing Team) both won three times, while Jim Pla/Jean-Luc Beaubelique (Akkodis ASP Team) did the treble on their way to the Pro-Am title, as did Mikahil Loboda/Andrey Solukovtsev (W&S Motorsport) in the Am class.
The smallest winning margin of the season came at Circuit Paul Ricard, when Mike David Ortmann and Hugo Sasse (PROsport Racing) just held off Konstantin Lachenauer/Gus Bowers (Racing Spirit of Léman) to win by 0.204s in an all-Aston Martin battle. In total, six of the 12 races this year were decided by less than a second.
The GT4 European Series grid hit new heights this season as it helped set a new world record for the highest entry ever for the GT4 formula. The 55-car entry for Spa-Francorchamps – achieved in partnership with GT4 Scandinavia – smashed the previous record of 49 cars from the season opener at Imola, and also beat the record for a GT4 round at Spa, which used to stand at 48 cars back in 2018.
With the GT4 European Series catering for three different FIA driver gradings (Gold, Silver and Bronze) it was the Silvers (semi-professional drivers) that turned out in the greatest numbers. Across the course of the year our grid boasted an average entry of 45.5 Silver-graded drivers, hitting a high of 48 at Imola. To prove that GT4 racing is still very appealing to amateur drivers, the Bronze-graded driver field was also very healthy, with an average entry of 41.5 drivers and a high of 46 at Circuit Paul Ricard. There were also an average of six Gold-rated professional drivers on the grid over the year.
Pro-Am on top
In comparison to the driver rankings, Pro-Am remained the most popular class this season. Both Imola and Circuit Paul Ricard featured 20 Pro-Am entries, with the Silver Cup enjoying 17 for every race barring Barcelona. The Am class attracted 13 entries for both Circuit Paul Ricard and Spa-Francorchamps.
Despite having 50 cars entered for the season opener at Imola, 49 actually made it to the race start. In comparison, our biggest standalone grid came for round two at Circuit Paul Ricard, where a full 50 turned out, featuring 100 drivers. Of the 55 cars entered for that monster Spa grid, 47 were GT4 European Series cars with eight from GT4 Scandinavia.
Aston Martin left it late to take the unofficial honour of being the most popular brand on the grid, with 12 Vantage AMR GT4s entering the final round at Barcelona. The British brand had been ahead on average anyway, with 11 cars on the grid at three rounds. Mercedes-AMG equalled that number at Spa, but otherwise had 10 entries at the majority of rounds.
Our season finale in Barcelona featured a rare result, with Pro-Am crews winning both races outright. Vincent Andronaco and Andreas Mayrl won race one in their Allied Porsche, before Dante Rappange and Kenny Herremans’ V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro took the flag first in the second. It marked the first time since Zandvoort in 2020 that Pro-Am teams have won both races.
Roee Meyuhas and Erwan Bastard became the first driver pairing in history to win both the FFSA French GT Championship and the GT4 European Series Silver Cup titles in the same season.
Saintéloc scores big
Saintéloc Racing was the most successful team during the course of the season, with all three of its Audi R8 LMS entries scoring race wins across the championship’s three classes. In total, Saintéloc cars scooped six race wins between them, putting the team one clear of Akkodis ASP Team, which enjoyed five successes with its Mercedes-AMGs. NM Racing team was third after taking four wins.
Lapping it up
The GT4 European Series field completed a total of 312 laps across the 12 races this season, making for a total of 1546.3km (960.83 miles) of racing this year.
Historic 6 Hours
Next season will feature a brand-new event, the Six Hours of Rome, at Vallelunga. The Six Hours of Rome was first established back in 1973 and has proven to be quite a versatile contest, having been won in previous years by LMP1, LMP2, LMP3, GT1, GT3 and GTC machinery. Next year, GT4 will be added to that list – quite the history.