At the fifth and final event of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe (PSCCE) 2021 near Prague all the title decisions were made. With Max Werndl (GER, Keep It Gold Racing) the series has its first GT3 champion, Frederick Jerich (AUT, Junior Team Central Europe) is the new GT4 champion and with their teams both also won the endurance ranking.
- Werndl is the first GT3 overall winner in the PSCCE
- Jerich wins GT4 sprint title in controversial duel with Greif
- Dziwok loses GT4 Endurance title but is undisputed ProAM champion
The Autodrom Most served as the perfect stage for this weekend's showdown in the title fight of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe. With both the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, every inch of the 4.2-kilometre racetrack was used by the participants in the Lechner Racing one-make cup, no matter which position was at stake.
Even before lunch in the paddock hospitality, the main course was on track: In the first sprint race of the day, all eyes were on the GT4 fight between previously unbeaten teammates Frederick Jerich (AUT) and Jonas Greif (GER, both Junior Team Central Europe). They started the weekend level on points, but only one would be able to lift the championship trophy at the end of the day. The decision was made in the first direct duel between the two this year: Jerich secured pole position on Saturday morning, but the tide already turned to Greif's side at the flying start, with Franz Dziwok (POL, FA1 Racing) also slipping past Jerich. This initially opened up a gap, which Jerich's green and yellow car visibly closed again. Tenth by tenth, he narrowed Greif's lead until he attempted an overtaking manoeuvre for the first time towards the halfway point of the race. Jerich tried several times while braking into the first chicane and into the penultimate corner, but Greif in the white Cayman kept his cool, countered Jerich's first overtaking manoeuvre and stayed in the lead. Another overtaking attempt by Jerich in turn 1 ended with his rival Greif stranded in the gravel. Jerich saw the chequered flag in first place and was crowned the successor of last year's champion Edwin Waldhier, who watched the action from the pit roof. A later time penalty for Frederick Jerich changed neither the result nor the championship standings. For the 18-year-old from Graz, who works in his family's transport company, it is his biggest success in motor racing so far after winning the Austrian karting championship title in 2017. A few garages away, Tomasz Lach (POL, LAVA Racing) celebrated winning the AM championship.
In GT3, Max Werndl (GER, Keep It Gold Racing) also won his fifth sprint of the year, but it was possibly his most impressive victory. Not only did he secure the championship title, but he also beat the fast guest entrant Patryk Krupinski (POL, JP Motorsport), who not only gained notoriety as a team boss in the DTM, but also brings some racing experience with him: "I really wanted to race in Most again and Lechner Racing is the best place for me to do so. But the GT3 Porsche is challenging to drive, I had to get used to it first," said Krupinski. An unsuccessful overtaking attempt cost him the chance of winning the PSCCE debut. The ProAM category was won by Alex Ellinger (AUT, Autopark Wien) in the first of two sprint races.
The second sprint race was a little less exciting, but nevertheless quite spectacular, thanks to Freddy Fast (AUT, Keep It Gold Racing), among others. Fast this time he made it easy for double starter Krupinski, because he spun once at the exit of the first chicane. The subsequent chase to catch up was again slowed down by an off, which put him out of the podium positions. Behind "Pro" Krupinski, Hungaroring winner Ellinger took a hard-earned second place, ahead of Robert Sulma (CZE, 911Excellence) and Markus Sedlmaier (GER, Kremer Racing).
In GT4, it was Franz Dziwok's (half) hour, who for the first time in this sprint season had no one ahead of him at the end of the race. Maciej Walenda (ITA, LAVA Racing) crossed the finish line in second place. Manuel Egginger (GER, PZ Inntal) was allowed to take part in the award ceremony at his first race ever, and deservedly received silverware for third place and the AM class win.
100 Miles of Czech Republic
In the Endurance race late on Saturday afternoon Patryk Krupinski wanted to go for it again: As a solo starter, he prevailed in a door-to-door duel with Max Werndl in the "Keep It Gold" car during the first race laps and then kept the lead until the chequered flag. Werndl's team-mate Freddy Fast finished second, so the championship title was in the bag for the duo and the joy in the team was exuberant. Third place went to Markus Sedlmaier and Freddy Kremer (GER, Kremer Racing) in the last "Endurance" of the season.
His own fan club accompanied Dresden's Jonas Greif through race day and 13 minutes before the end of the 100-mile race, jubilation broke out among them. Greif overtook the GT4 class leader Franz Dziwok (FA1 Racing), who repeatedly this season had given everything to defend the lead achieved by his starting driver – in Most it was German Lennart Marioneck. This time, however, Greif and Jerich went for it and finally got the upper hand, so the duo from Junior Team Central Europe was able to finish the day with a common achievement after all. Dziwok secured the sole Endurance title in the ProAM with second place. Lach and Walenda (LAVA Racing) took the AM title ahead of Klaus Bönighausen (GER, baederprofis.de).
Walter Lechner (Project Manager and Technical Director PSCCE):
"The Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe has again shown motorsport at its best in the 2021 season, race after race - with the necessary professionalism, but also a large portion of fun. Congratulations to the winners, respect to the defeated! Together with Porsche Motorsport and the regional importers, we offer our customers a unique environment in the world of motorsports. A big thank you to my crew, all partners and friends of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe. Next year we will continue with new challenges in the Sprint Challenge - the new Porsche 992 GT3 Cup car and maybe one or two new events."
Max Werndl (Champion GT3 Overall PSCCE 2021):
"The season was an emotional roller coaster for us, even though the results were always top. After all, we have always struggled with different challenges. It's my first championship title ever and then to be the first GT3 champion in the PSCCE is of course insane. Thank God I found a good partner in Freddy Fast not only to drive with, but also to celebrate with (laughs)."
Frederick Jerich (Champion GT4 Overall PSCCE 2021):
"The title means a lot to me, I'm sure it will help me in my future career. I'm happy with the final result, even if it was stupid to clash with my team-mate Jonas Greif of all people - but that's part of racing. I had already backed off a few times in the previous laps, but at some point I said: 'I'm going for it now'."
Franz Dziwok (Champion GT4-ProAM PSCCE 2021):
"I was able to improve immensely and to understand the car better and better this year thanks to the help of the instructors – I would like to thank the entire Lechner Racing team for that. The most emotional victory this season was certainly at my home race in Poland, the most physically demanding were the Hungaroring races in the heat. For next year I'm planning to race again in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe, but before that I have to get my permit on the Nürburgring Nordschleife."
Tomasz Lach (Champion GT4-AM PSCCE 2021):
"We looked at many series last year and then decided on the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe. Everything is perfectly prepared and organised - here I don't have to worry about anything and can concentrate exclusively on my driving. Because we can share the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 Clubsport, we also save money. With the help of the instructors, I've improved a lot, by four seconds here in Most alone."
An overview of all PSCCE champions in 2021:
Overall and Pro: Max Werndl (GER, Keep It Gold Racing)
ProAM: Freddy Fast (AUT, Keep It Gold Racing)
Endurance: Max Werndl/Freddy Fast (GER/AUT, Keep It Gold Racing)
Overall and Pro: Frederick Jerich (AUT, Junior Team Central Europe)
ProAM: Franz Dziwok (POL, FA1 Racing)
AM: Tomasz Lach (POL, LAVA Racing)
Endurance: Jonas Greif/Frederick Jerich (GER/AUT, Junior Team Central Europe)
Team classification: Keep It Gold Racing