Top-4 finish for 2 Seas Motorsport on GT World Challenge Europe debut

April 8, 2024
GT World Challenge Europe
Race Report
The latest challenge for 2 Seas Motorsport saw the Bahrani-British team take a fourth-place finish at Paul Ricard, France. Battling in the Gold Cup with Isa Al Khalifa, Martin Kodric and Lewis Williamson, the #60 Mercedes-AMG GT3 made a solid start to the season, at the opening round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS.

The team made a perfect start to their new championship endeavors, after ending the season Prologue as quickest, with the second quickest time overall during the weekend’s opening practice session. All three drivers working hard with the team to get dialed into the circuit, and set up for the challenge of qualifying and the endurance event the following day.

Action started for a busy debut race day in the championship with qualifying, as part of a 54-car grid.   The combined sessions saw each of the drivers take on the short run, with slightly cooler conditions than previous. Martin was first to run and, despite his preparations bring interrupted by a red flag, he made steady improvements across the session, ending P5 in class. Isa then took on the second effort, initially going quickest and improving across each of the sectors before also ending his session in P5. The final run saw Lewis among the quickest in class, moving the #60 Mercedes-AMG GT3 up to P4 in class, P40 overall.

Starting later the same day, the race began with chaotic scenes from the moment the flag dropped. The packed grid battled hard for positions throughout the entire field, with cars going off track, and an incident into turn 1 causing damage to several cars, and debris on track. The hectic start saw the order change throughout the grid, and Martin made up several overall positions, before two Safety Car interventions in quick succession.

Over the following laps, the Croatian steadily gained positions between further Full Course Yellow and Safety Car periods. At the hour mark, with the field under a further caution, Martin had gained 10 overall positions, moving into the top-30, before pitting for Isa. From here, Isa managed the busy restart well, and set about his stint, running his own race, while dealing with excessive traffic. A track limits penalty shortly before the second hour mark would add 30-seconds to the final scheduled pitstop, but Isa fought to the end of his stint, and pitted from P5 in class, now sitting just outside the top-40.

Dropping down the order slightly after serving the penalty, Lewis rejoined the track for the final hour, and set about closing the gap to the cars ahead. His stint was run mainly in clear air, with pressure coming from the chasing pack, but the Scot continued to chip away as the clock ticked down. As he entered the final stages, a number of cars ahead were hit with penalties, while Lewis had a clean and incident-free run. This strong effort moved the #60 back into the top-40, but with penalties applied, at the line, Lewis gained further positions, scoring a strong P4 in the Gold Cup, and P34 overall to round out a successful debut weekend for the team.

“It has been a great debut weekend for me, and the team, and I enjoyed every minute. We knew it was a big step up, and the learning curve would be very steep, but it has always been in the plans for us to challenge ourselves as team, and pitch ourselves against the best. We have made a great start to our GT World Challenge effort, gained some really valuable experience, and a big thank you to the team at GFH, who we have welcomed into the 2 Seas Motorsport family. We know we have some work to do, but we kept ourselves in the fight, running a clean race, so we were there at the end to score a solid result. The next race is the big one, the Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa, which is perhaps the ultimate challenge, but we will build on the positives from this weekend, and keep pushing to hopefully be in a position to score another strong result. I cannot wait.”

Isa Al Khalifa, #60 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver, and 2 Seas Motorsport team co-owner

Next up for the team is the second round of the British GT Championship, and the blue riband event of the season, taking on the Silverstone 500 at the end of the month.

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