Recap of the 2019 racing season: VICE-CHAMPIONS 2019!
The GT4 European Series season of 2019 has finished and we are very proud of Max Koebolt and his Mercedes team for becoming VICE-CHAMPIONS of the Silver Cup with the NSL coloured Mercedes AMG! We look back at a very exciting racing year, with great results and an unforgettable NSL VIP RACE EVENT at Zandvoort.
NSL has collected the best moments of this season:
The season started with a transfer from Max Koebolt to Mercedes, after a great season with BMW last year. With a NSL coloured Mercedes AMG GT4, Koebolt started the season in Italy at the beautiful circuit of Monza.
“It's great to be in a racing car again after the winter break. We started the season well, the cooperation with the team and the people at Mercedes-AMG is going very well. We can build on this” said Koebolt.
BRANDS HATCH – UNITED KINGDOM
The first win on the season followed soon after, during the 2nd race of the season at Brands Hatch in the United Kingdom.
“A great weekend. We were on the pace straight away and victory is a great result, of course,” Koebolt said.
PAUL RICARD – FRANCE
A few weeks later, Koebolt kept on the winning track by achieving another podium place during the 3rd race of the season at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France. With a high number of points in the pocket, the team was in a good position to prepare for the next race in Italy.
MISANO – ITALY
And hard work pays off! After the 4th race in Misano – Italy and a grandiose victory at this circuit, Koebolt took the lead in the Silver ranking. With very hot temperatures of 40 degrees outside and nearly 50 degrees and more in the car, Koebolt also achieved HOT results! With a leading position, the team was ready to rock the North Sea dunes at the next race at Max’s home circuit in the Netherlands.
NSL VIP Race Event at Zandvoort
North Sea Lubricants and its distributors supported Max Koebolt during the races at his home circuit in Zandvoort on Saturday 16 July in the Netherlands! Together with distributors from The Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, France, Romania and Guatemala, Koebolt had no lack of fans this weekend. After a pleasant interview in the NSL skybox, he entered his NSL Mercedes-AMG for an exciting race!
And what a successful event! From the NSL Skybox -with a fantastic view on the circuit- the NSL team was present to support Max Koebolt in the race. After various presentation of Nick Vocht – director of North Sea Lubricants-, Jan Lammers – Former Formula 1 driver- and Koebolt himself, it was time for Koebolt to get in his Mercedes AMG and defend his number 1 ranking in the overall classification. Max drove an excellent race at his home circuit and ended 5th. In terms of overall points, it was an excellent result and he held his number 1 position in the GT4 European Series ranking!
After a visit to the paddock and a photo moment with the Mercedes, we ended the event with a drink and chat at the skybox again.
A recap of this unforgettable and exiting racing day can be viewed below:
The last race of the season was held at the Nurburgring in Germany. Koebolt and his team came to the Nürburgring as the leaders in the GT4 European Series points’ standings. They were facing the considerable task of securing the coveted Silver Cup drivers’ title. “Not an easy affair because we are lacking top speed compared to our main rivals because of the balance of performance,” Koebolt already knew prior to the race weekend in the Eifel.
The first race was held on Saturday in ideal conditions. For Koebolt, it was difficult, as he described:
“I started quite well, but soon, the engine temperature rose, preventing me from attacking. Whenever I closed up to the drivers ahead of me, the water temperature became too high and the engine went into safety mode. I lost a lot of time as a result. Once I was finally able to mount a challenge, an opponent pushed me onto the grass under braking for the first corner, so I went straight and lost some more positions. Then we decided to come in for our pit stop and driver change earlier than planned. After that, this strategy enabled Jan to gain a few positions, but he also got stuck, behind a guest driver no less, so we ended up ninth overall and seventh in the points for our class.”
As a result, the second race had to decide the outcome of the battle for the title. Teammate Kisiel took the start and drove a “mega first stint”, as Koebolt described it.
“We had to push really hard. It looked good, but then, Jan got stuck behind the same guest driver from the previous day and again couldn’t find a way past. He still made some progress as many teams already made early stops. Then, I got into the car and for me, ‘full attack’ was the aim as well. I was able to close the gap to the car in front, our direct rivals in te battle for the title, but I couldn’t overtake and that meant they won the title. Too bad, but there was nothing more we could do given our lack of speed and the issues we had in the first race.”
Like last year, the battle for the GT4 European Series went down to the wire and was only decided in the final of the two races during the season finale at the Nürburgring. And, again like last year, Dutch driver Max Koebolt ended on top of the final standings, but, together with his Polish teammate Jan Kisiel, just missed out on the title due to a lower number of wins.
With a great title as vice champion, NSL is very proud of Koebolt and his team reaching the 2nd place at the GT4 European Series 2019!