Spectacular start of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe (PSCCE) season 2021 by Lechner Racing at Austrian home race.
- Action-packed premiere for the GT3 class
- Home wins by Freddy Fast and Frederick Jerich
- Fast/Werndl and Willert/Schober win 100-mile race
The third chapter of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe was opened at the Grand Prix circuit at Spielberg. 28 male and two female drivers from six nations did not miss the chance to push the limits of man and machine at the Red Bull Ring - among them many newcomers. As in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East, which is also organised by Lechner Racing, the Central Europe edition saw Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport combined in one race for the first time. This means more options within the professional Clubsport scene, more starters and increased thrills for the drivers. Defining the grid positions for the races already showed that the new GT3 class will be close: Markus Sattler (GER, TeamS24 by Umbrella Racing), Clemens Stadler (AUT, Starent-Racing-Mission), Sascha Halek (AUT, PZWNRacing) and Herbert Jerich Junior (Scuderia Jerich) were within just three tenths of a second with their respective fastest laps. This promised ever so close fighting in the races.
In the first of the two 25-minute individual races, the sprint to turn 1 was already decisive. Stadler and Halek started flying and turned into the Niki-Lauda corner side by side and braking late. Stadler hardly left any space for Halek on the inside lane, who tried to pull away but then touched Stadler on the rear wheel. The race organizers considered the collision a racing accident, but both were out of the fight for victory. So Max Werndl (GER, Keep It Gold Racing), who already held the pole position, and Sattler took the spotlight. The latter stayed close to the man in front until the finish line, but Werndl not only kept his nerves when looking in the rear-view mirrors, but also saved a tenth of an advantage at the finish line. Sovereign winner in the GT4 was Frederick Jerich (AUT, Junior Team Central Europe). Franz Dziwok (POL, FA 1 Racing) secured the ProAM classification just ahead of a noticeably improved Leo Willert (AUT, Heizer Monkeys Racing Team) and Klaus Bönighausen (GER, baederprofis.de) took the AM trophy in Race 1.
The second sprint race started no less spectacularly: Stadler and Sattler got away well from row 1, Herbert Jerich Jun. even better from row 2. Before the first braking point Jerich found a gap between Stadler and Sattler, but it narrowed just at that moment. All three GT3 drivers had to end their race after the collision. So it came to a duel for the victory between the two Freddys in the PSCCE field. Freddy Kremer (GER, Kremer Racing) drove the fastest lap but could not find a way past Freddy Fast (AUT, Keep It Gold Racing). The latter crowned his GT3 debut with a victory and the customary cigar after the race. In the GT4 class, Jonas Greif (GER) was the dominating winner, thus ensuring the "junior double" after team-mate Jerich's victory in Race 1. Reversed results occurred in the ProAM: Willert this time ended up ahead of Dziwok and the AM class saw a debut win for young German Laura-Marie Geissler (P-O-L-E) in her first car race.
100 Miles of Austria
The GT3 duo Fast/Werndl (Keep It Gold Racing), unbeatable on the opening weekend, also won the first PSCCE endurance race of the year. Alex Ellinger (AUT, Autopark Wien) was second ahead of Kremer/Sedlmaier (Kremer Racing). Sascha Halek, who led 26 laps, ended an unfortunate weekend for him prematurely with drive shaft damage and no points in Endurance.
In GT4 there was a fantastic recovery by Jakob Schober (AUT). In the second half of the split race – with a chase start from the pit lane – Schober (with Willert at the start) made up an 18-second gap against Franz Dziwok (with local hero Hari Proczyk at the start) and the duo Greif/Jerich. The race-deciding manoeuvre for Schober happened four laps before the end of the race in the second left-hand corner under the eyes of the "steel bull" against Jerich – "I prayed that he was no longer next to me".
Freddy Fast (Sprint- and endurance winner GT3 Cup Red Bull Ring 2021):
"The Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport that I've driven for the last two years was much more good-natured – I had an easy handle on it. The GT3, on the other hand, is a real 'racing sow', which is a challenge I was also looking for ... and what can I say? It was a great weekend!"
Jonas Greif (Sprint winner GT4 Clubsport Red Bull Ring 2021):
"I tried to carry the momentum from Most last year and I'm mega happy with the performance this weekend. I'm also very happy about the driver team with Frederick Jerich, because we push each other. The PSCCE events are super organised even in these times and I'm already looking forward to the Slovakiaring, where we still have a score to settle in the Endurance race after Spielberg."
Robert Lechner (Sporting Director PSCCE):
"I'm very pleased that we were able to host the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe at the Red Bull Ring for the first time and also offer two car concepts for different customer groups for the first time with GT3 and GT4. The standard has certainly risen and the professionalism has grown. The opening races were action-packed and of course, where you break an egg, you lose a few eggs. The most important thing is that we proved the safety of the cars and nothing happened. I am sure: The third year of the PSCCE will be the most successful!"