Huge grid once again to conclude highly successful season in style
Silver Cup title to be decided between multiple candidates
Close battles for remaining championship podium places in both Pro-Am and Am Cup
Two qualifying sessions and the final two races of the season will decide the Silver title between four remaining candidates. Meanwhile, with the #42 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi and the #10 AVR-Avvatar Porsche having already secured titles in Pro-Am and Am Cup respectively, the battle in those two categories is all about the remaining podium places – and, in both cases, it's a close one!
Silver Cup final showdown: glory for a BMW, or a steal by Audi or Toyota challengers?
All through the season, Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana have looked confident in the #2 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW. Two outright wins and four more podium finishes had put them in control of the championship, but a score of only eight points in the last round at Hockenheim reduced the duo's lead to just 24.
Their closest challenger is another BMW crew: Berkay Besler and Tom Edgar have driven their #12 Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport M4 GT4 to four podiums this season, one of which was the team's maiden overall win at Misano. But just as Schrey/Piana, the Turkish team was also struggling to find rapid pace for the BMW in Hockenheim, leaving the battle for 2nd in Silver Cup a very close one indeed.
One single point behind the BMWs, thanks to a strong P2 finish in the last race at Hockenheim, is the #3 Team Speedcar Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Robert Consani and Benjamin Lariche. The French duo has shown on more than one occasion that they will fight for every last tenth of a second out on-track. Even if the risks taken have probably cost them the odd result, Consani/Lariche still followed up on an outright win in the very first race of the season with a whopping five more podium finishes. That is enough to be in close contention as the season heads into the final round.
The last outsider for the top spots on the final ranking is the #8 Xwift Racing Events Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO of Antoine Potty and Etienne Cheli. The young duo has shown true flair all season, with a couple of simply spectacular wins when the going got tough. The tricky conditions of Spa-Francorchamps allowed them to shine and that epic final lap in Circuit Paul Ricard's torrential downpour will remain a GT4 European Series highlight for many years to come. As a new team to the series, Xwift Racing Events can indeed be very proud to still have a mathematical shot at the title in Barcelona.
Pro-Am: close battle behind the #42 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi
Five out of eight possible race wins before heading to Hockenheim, and then a perfectly executed “bring it home” strategy in the German round: Christophe Hamon and Grégory Guilvert could not have bagged the Pro-Am Cup title with any more flair.
But as to who will take second place behind the #42 Saintéloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT4, the battle is tight. Code Racing Development and W&S Motorsport have the exact same number of points (136) on the team's table. For Code Racing Development, those came mostly from the #36 Alpine A110 GT4 EVO that Antoine Leclerc has shared with different co-drivers. W&S Motorsport, from their side, recovered from the pointless drama in the season's opening round to string together a series of strong results, culminating in back-to-back Hockenheim Pro-Am victories by Hendrik Still and Max Kronberg in the #30 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS CS.
A few points down the ranking but certainly not out of it for a Pro-Am Cup podium finish are Lungstrass/Stegmann in the #18 TSR Team Spirit Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 and Bulatov/Mayer in the #20 EastSide Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Am Cup: four-way battle between runners-up candidates
Ten races have been run this season. In eight of those, the #10 AVR-Avvatar Porsche managed to win. In the remaining two, the same team took P2. That is a truly astonishing result by Alban Varutti and (occasional) co-driver Julien Piguet and of course more than enough to secure the Am Cup crown for AVR-Avvatar.
But just as in Pro-Am, a fierce battle is still unfolding behind the freshly crowned champions. A mere 11 points separate four different teams, with GPA Racing leading the way into the final round thanks to an excellent season by Kévin Jimenez and Florent Grizaud in the #72 Aston Martin. Leutwiler/Jacoma have only bagged one outright Am victory this season, but have shown consistent performance to bring their #75 Centri Porsche Ticino 718 Cayman to the final round as a current third in the championship.
W&D Racing Team follows only a handful of points behind with the #53 BMW M4 GT4 of Davide and Paolo Meloni. Autosport GP LS Group Performance completes the top five and, after Alain Ferté and Laurent Hurgon have struggled somewhat in the #55 Alpine A110 the last few rounds, they will certainly be looking to shine one last time and recover their early season form in Barcelona.
Where to watch the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club
The final round of the 2023 GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club from Barcelona starts with an official paid test session on Thursday, September 28th, from 14.00 to 18.00 CEST. Two Free Practice Sessions are scheduled for Friday, September 29th, at 11.20 and 15.40 CEST.
Qualifying opens the live coverage from Barcelona, on Saturday September 30th at 11.25 CEST, followed by Race 1 later that same day, at 16.50 CEST. Race 2, the very final one counting towards this year's GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club, concludes the season on Sunday, October 1st at 11.20 CEST.
Barcelona – Provisional Entry List