Surprises at the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe (PSCCE) races in the sweltering heat of Budapest: Charlie Wurz wins GT4 debut, Alex Ellinger beats title favourite Freddy Fast in GT3.
- Dziwok/Janits win endurance race
- AM class wins for local hero Zsombor Nagy
- The big PSCCE season finale at 4th of September in Most
The Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe made a visit to the Hungaroring this weekend. At the 4.3-kilometre Formula 1 circuit near the Hungarian capital, the drivers in the Porsche one-make cup had to be very fit both physically and mentally as they were facing outside temperatures of around 35 degrees.
The first sprint race of the day was once again a safe thing for Max Werndl (GER, Keep It Gold Racing) in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, who triumphed for the fourth time in the fourth race and will travel to the season finale with the full points score of 100 points. Starting from pole position, he kept the competition at bay from the very beginning with fastest lap times. After 14 laps, he crossed the finish line 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Markus Sedlmaier (GER, Kremer Racing). However, Sedlmaier had to fight for position with Alex Ellinger (AUT, Autopark Wien) at the beginning of the race. Ellinger had the better start and defended position 2 until he slipped and hit the guard rail. After Ellinger's mishap, Sedlmaier was no longer in danger to lose victory in the ProAM classification.
Frederick Jerich (AUT, Junior Team Central Europe) was similarly dominating as Werndl in the GT4 Clubsport classification – Jerich also won the fourth sprint race this year. Franz Dziwok (POL, FA1 Racing) secured a similarly unchallenged second place overall ahead of Maciej Walenda (ITA, LAVA Racing), who clashed with Leo Willert (AUT, Heizer Monkeys Racing Team) midway through the race. The race control rated the collision as a racing accident, even though Willert had to end his race early as a result. In the AM class, Hungarian Zsombor Nagy (MS Racing) celebrated a home victory.
In the second race, Alex Ellinger made amends for his retirement in the first race. The GT3 driver was the first to knock Freddy Fast (AUT, Keep It Gold Racing) off the podium this year. For a long time, it looked as if "fast Freddy" would continue his winning streak. But Ellinger remained calm, used his Michelin slicks perfectly in the heat battle and launched the decisive attack on lap 8. Even though Freddy Fast squeezed everything out of his tyres, Ellinger managed to cross the finish line with a half-second lead. Due to this setback for Fast, teammate Werndl also took over the sole lead in the championship standings. Freddy Kremer (GER, Kremer Racing) finished third in the second Hungaroring sprint.
Debutant Charlie Wurz (AUT, Deltabloc GT Racing) in the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport created a surprise. The youngest participant in the history of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe at 15 years of age was able to gradually improve from practice to practice and ultimately beat title contender Jonas Greif (GER, Junior Team Central Europe) in his very first sprint race. From a distance, dad Alex Wurz proudly congratulated his junior on his first victory in a race car. Behind Wurz, Jonas Greif finished second ahead of Franz Dziwok, who will hardly be able to be ousted from the top of the ProAM standings after this successful weekend. The top position in the AM ranking in the second race went to Tomasz Lach (POL, LAVA Racing) ahead of Zsombor Nagy and Klaus Bönighausen (GER, baederprofis.de).
100 Miles of Hungary
The endurance race was a challenge for body and soul, which the pilots mastered flawlessly with the help of the experienced crew of Lechner Racing. Keep It Gold Racing with Werndl and Fast were once again unbeatable, thus the German-Austrian duo extended their lead in the team classification. Second place went to Kremer and Sedlmaier from Kremer Racing. The GT4 Clubsport class delivered another great finish: Florian Janits (AUT, FA1 Racing) followed the same strategy as last time in Poland: In the first half of the race, he managed to pull away from the rest of the field and with a ten-second lead over Junior Team Central Europe, handed over the wheel of the Cayman 718 GT4 Clubsport to partner Franz Dziwok. Jonas Greif immediately took over the role of the hunter and reduced the gap lap by lap. But Dziwok remained cool, as he had in Tor Poznań, and defended his leading position until the chequered flag. Thomas Edl and Charlie Wurz (both AUT, Deltabloc GT Racing) secured third place. Zsombor Nagy defeated the experienced duos Bönighausen/Wanner and Willert/Svepes as a solo driver in the AM classification.
The decisive races of the PSCCE 2021 will follow in three weeks’ time at the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic, as usual with two sprints and the 100-mile endurance race with a pursuit start.
Walter Lechner (PSCCE Project Manager and Technical Director):
"A brilliant weekend, even though the heat took its toll on everyone. We're talking about over 35 degrees outside, over 50 degrees on the asphalt and over 60 degrees in the cockpit – that's a Finnish sauna on four wheels! I enjoyed racing myself, but this weekend I wouldn't have liked to swap ... Those lone riders who did both qualifying sessions and all the races were hard on the limit. The toughest was Zsombor Nagy, who also drove the endurance race alone and was able to keep the same lap times until the end – respect! With Charlie Wurz we also experienced a highly talented young driver from whom we will certainly hear a lot in the future. However, all the other PSCCE drivers did a faultless job in the race car. The entire Lechner Racing crew was also challenged in these conditions and gave their all."
Charlie Wurz (Sprint race winner GT4 Clubsport Hungaroring 2021):
"A great weekend! The atmosphere in the paddock is great, everyone is friendly and wants to help so you can perform your best. You have a lot of track time in the Porsche Sprint Challenge and can gain so much experience in a short time. Of course, my goal was to win a race. But driving a car at the limit is never easy – it's hard work and you have to work on it session by session together with the team."
Alex Ellinger (Sprint race winner GT3 Cup Hungaroring 2021):
"The first run wasn't that great – a driver´s error by myself. But with the support of Walter Lechner and the team we got the car back on track in no time. In the second run I benefited from the fact that Freddy Fast's tyres were getting weaker and weaker and I got closer and closer and then passed him. There was some resistance for a short while, but I was able to hold on to first place until the finish line. That's how it should be!"