Two-time European GT4 Champion Joerg Viebahn (54/Gummersbach, Germany) and Finnish talent Joonas Lappalainen (21) are driving an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 from PROpeak Performance in the new ADAC GT4 Germany. In the team from Wiesemscheid at the Nürburgring, Germany, an official race partner of Aston Martin Racing (AMR), Viebahn and Lappalainen are teammates of Swiss Florian Thoma (23) and Frenchman Jérémy Lesoudier (23) which share the second Vantage cockpit. Thus, PROpeak Performance starts with three juniors and a veteran in the ADAC GT4 Germany, which on 27/28 April will have its premiere in Oschersleben near Magdeburg, Germany.
“It is really great that Joerg Viebahn returns to us. With him we have celebrated great successes and have won twice the GT4 European champion. Our young drivers and the work with the new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 will be in great demand for his great experience”, commented team principal Christoph Esser. “Together with Joonas Lappalainen, who left strong opponents behind in his title win in the Audi one-make cup, Joerg Viebahn is a promising duo.”
Joerg Viebahn celebrates his comeback in the team of Christoph Esser. As early as 2013, Viebahn, born in Gummersbach, Germany, on July 21, 1964, won the GT4 European Cup title in a Porsche 997 Cup of PROsport Performance. Three years later, he regained the driver title with a Porsche Cayman PRO4 in the GT4 European Series, furthermore PROsport Performance won the team title. For the first time Viebahn started in GT4 in 2009, since 2012 he has been at home in the GT4 European Championship. Joerg Viebahn, whose racing career began in 1984 immediately after graduation with a European title with Group N touring cars, counts not only in GT4 to the most experienced and successful drivers, but also on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In the VLN endurance championship, he has recorded 51 class and 21 group victories so far.
“The test in Barcelona convinced me immediately. I was quick right away, although I did not know the track. The Vantage GT4 responds to the slightest changes in the setup clearly and is easily predictable and controllable in any situation. After all, I have a good comparison because I was allowed to drive almost every GT4 car in the past few years”, explains Joerg Viebahn. “After the years in the European Championship, it was my wish to enter the new ADAC GT4 Germany. ADAC events are just perfect, and I also like the tracks. I’m really looking forward to the season, especially because our driver pairing promises a lot and I have a really dedicated, motivated young colleague in the team. ”
Joonas Lappalainen was already in a kart when he was three and from 2005 to 2012 he won various titles in karting. In 2013 he moved to automobile sport, was runner-up in the Finnish Formula Ford Championship and third in the Northern European Championship. The following year he conquered in Formula Renault the Nordic and the northern European championship. As the youngest driver, he entered the Audi Sport TT Cup, a support race of the DTM, and finished in fourth straight after two victories. In 2016, Lappalainen, who was born in Vantaa north of Helsinki, Finland, on March 1, 1998, triumphed in the Audi one-make cup and secured the highly competitive title with four wins and eleven podium finishes. In the 2017 season, he for the first time entered the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring, in 2018 he won the GT4 class at the 24h of Dubai. His motorsport activities were hampered by his military service and his start of his university study.
“First of all, I’m really happy to be able to do a full season again. When I had the first conversations with Christoph Esser, I soon realized that this experienced GT4 team is the right choice, because he is thoroughly focused and success-oriented. Aston Martin has invested heavily in its new generation of GT, which will be guaranteed to bear fruit”, says Joonas Lappalainen. “I’m also looking forward to Joerg Viebahn and his immense GT4 experience. We will definitely complement each other. ”
The ADAC GT4 Germany will be held in six rounds with one race each on Saturday and Sunday. Oschersleben (24-26 April) will kick off, followed by the Red Bull Ring in Austria (07-09 June), Zandvoort in the Netherlands (09-11 August) and the three German circuits Nürburgring (16-18 August), Hockenheim (13-15 September) and Sachsenring (27-29 September).