• Confident win for the #77 McLaren of Rattican/Emson
• #3 Team Speedcar Audi (Lariche/Consani) finishes second to take 2023 Silver Cup title race right down to the wire
• Strong Pro-Am victory and overall podium for Leclerc/Bouvet in #36 Code Racing Development Alpine
• Hurgon/Ferté win Am Cup with #55 Autosport GP LS Group Performance Alpine
After starting from pole position, Josh Rattican and Tom Emson completed their excellent run of form during the last 48 hours with a confident win in the first race of the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club's final weekend in Barcelona.
The #3 Team Speedcar Audi (Lariche/Consani) finished just behind the McLaren in second place to take the 2023 Silver Cup championship battle with the #2 BMW right down the wire. That will now be decided in Sunday's very last race!
It was always going to be a tough ask for Michael Schrey and Gabriele Piana to achieve the ultimate goal in today's race. Even though they started with a healthy 25-point advantage, coming from 17th on the grid to beat all nearest competitors proved too tall of a mountain to climb. The #2 Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport BMW still managed to finish within the top 10, which now makes it a two-horse race with just 16 points in it for Sunday's Race 2!
All the attention for the Silver Cup title race doesn't take anything away from the brilliant drive by both Elite Motorsport with Entire Race Engineering McLarens. On top of the #77 car's overall win, Denning/Mitchell steered their #78 Artura GT4 to a brilliant P4, just shy of the bottom step of the podium. That third place overall was claimed by the #36 Code Racing Development Alpine of Leclerc/Bouvet, good for a Pro-Am Cup win in Race 1 and enough to secure the runner-up spot in the 2023 class standings behind the #42 Audi.
That Pro-Am win actually looked to have #83 Audi written all over it in the early stages, but after some spirited driving Jim Pla had to retire with mechanical issues around the 20 minute-marker. The same kind of heartbreak followed after the pit window for the #5 Mirage Racing Aston Martin. Having emerged out of the pit stops in second place, Ruben Del Sarte had to park his Vantage AMR GT4 with 18 minutes left on the clock.
A frantic surge in the latter stages allowed Robert Consani to move the #3 Audi into that all-important P2, and when a late incident caused a Safety Car procedure with just a handful of minutes to run, the finish order for Race 1 was fixed in place. Further down the field, in 15th place overall, that meant Am Cup honours for the #55 Autosport GP LS Group Performance Alpine of Hurgon/Ferté.
That leaves us with one last dance for the season – and what a dance it will be! Race 2 at Barcelona concludes the season tomorrow, Sunday October 1st. Lights go green at 11.20 CEST, and exactly one hour later we will know who takes the Silver Cup crown in this year's GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club.
Barcelona – Race 1 – Results