With a two-time European champion and three young talents as well as two newly developed Aston Martin Vantage GT4, PROpeak Performance faces the competition in the new ADAC GT4 Germany. Joerg Viebahn (Germany), with the team of Christoph Esser 2013 and 2016 European Champion, joins with Finn Joonas Lappalainen in the #18 Vantage, The cockpit of the #19 Vantage is shared by the Frenchman Jérémie Lesoudier and the Swiss Florian Thoma. Both Thoma and Lesoudier are among the 23 selected participants in the Young Driver Academy of Aston Martin Racing (AMR).
Team principal Christoph Esser: “The official test in Oschersleben has already made it clear how well balanced this new GT4 championship will be from the start. That’s why it’s so hard to predict the performance of each car. We were quite good at the test, so we would like to build on that at the start. ”
A total of 24 sports cars from seven manufacturers are in the starter list for the season opener from 26 to 28 April in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Germany. As in the ADAC GT Masters, the races for the ADAC GT4 Germany also lead over one hour each, with driver changes towards the middle of the race. The German TV channel SPORT1 will report live on the premiere race on Saturday from 11:00 am, the second race on Sunday at 15:25 will be broadcast by SPORT1+. All races of the ADAC GT4 Germany will also be live streamed on SPORT1.de, ADAC.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.
At the 3.667-kilometer circuit in Oschersleben, 22-year-old Joonas Lappainen, winner of the 2016 Audi Sport TT Cup, did the second-best lap time in the official pre-season test. His new team-mate brings a great deal of experience with different GT4 sports cars, and Joerg Viebahn knows the team from Wiesemscheid, Germany, near the Nürburgring, not least due to their joint successes in the GT4 European Series. The 54-year-old is considered a contender for winning the Trophy Cup rating for so-called bronze drivers over 35 years. At 23 years of age, Lesoudier and Thoma are already too old for the Junior ADAC Cup, but not for the AMR Young Driver Academy. After all, the winner will receive an official factory contract as AMR Junior.
A well-known name can also be found in the GT4 team of PROpeak Performance, which is led by team manager Marion Englert. Markus Oestreich, the former DTM driver and two-time Vice European Champion of the Truck EC, acts as the car engineer of the #19 Vantage from Lesoudier/Thoma. In the twelve-hour race for the 24h Series in Mugello, PROsport Performance finished second to take the first podium of the all-new Vantage GT4, followed by the first class victory at the 12h Spa-Francorchamps on the Easter weekend.
The team of Christoph Esser, whose roots go back to the eighties, did already join the ADAC GT Masters race weekends in 2017 and 2018 and won the rookie title in the 2018 ADAC TCR Germany. In addition, PROsport Performance won the team title in the 24h European Championship in its first GT3 season 2018 as well as the driver and team classification in the “Championship of the Continents” of the 24h GT Series. In the GT4 European Championship, the team won the driver title twice in 2013 and 2016 with Joerg Viebahn, and in 2016 also the team title. In addition, there are more than 50 class wins on their home track, the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
>> Driver Quotes
Joonas Lappalainen (#18/Finland): “I am glad to be back and I cannot wait to start into a full season. Joerg (Viebahn), the team and Aston Martin have created a good basis that we together want to turn into good results.”
Joerg Viebahn (#18/Germany): “It itches in almost all limbs. The team is highly motivated, and Joonas (Lappalainen) and I are well prepared. We will do our utmost to make a good debut in the new series.”
Jérémie Lesoudier (#19/France): “I’m really looking forward to this first race of the season, the winter break was too long. Now I feel ready and motivated for my debut with the team, with Aston Martin Racing and Florian (Thoma). Together we want to give our best to fight for top results in the championship.”
Florian Thoma (#19/Switzerland): “Oschersleben is one of my favorite race tracks. I’ve already done some good races there, having won in the ADAC TCR series two years ago. Therefore, I also know the environment in the ADAC GT Masters well. It was good for us in the ADAC test, so I am cautious optimistic.”
Further information: adac-motorsport.de/adac-gt4-germany