WTM Racing has clinched a podium finish in the Silver Cup at the 9 Hours of Kyalami. The race near Johannesburg in South Africa was the first start of WTM Racing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC), the unofficial World Championship in the GT3 class.
Leonard Weiss, Jochen Krumbach, and David Perel had to struggle with changing weather conditions and brake problems at the first edition of the endurance race after 37 years. Nevertheless, they took third place in the Silver class. In the overall standings, the trio finished 16th in a field dominated by factory-supported teams.
Nearly seven of the nine hours went by regular, dry conditions over the stage. The three drivers supported by Rinaldi Racing cut an excellent figure and did not scratch the Ferrari 488 GT3 “Luigi”.
In Leonard Weiss’ stint, the only problems of the race arose, which suddenly had to fight hard with the Ferrari. The reason for this was shown in the pits: The brake pads were completely worn. This made it necessary to replace the entire brake system. “That’s a shame because, in the end, we lost the second place,” says team owner Georg Weiss.
Two hours and 15 minutes before the end the sky opened all locks. It rained so heavily that a safety car phase lasting almost two hours was necessary. Only 25 minutes before the end the race was released again in darkness. The fight for the podium places in the “Silver Cup” was close. Jochen Krumbach’s entire experience was required to keep the car on the road in the wet conditions. In the end, he brought “Luigi” safely to the finish. “We can definitely be satisfied with that,” says Georg Weiss.
Never before WTM Racing has started into a race so far away from its own base in the Eifel. So the trip to South Africa was also a cultural enrichment for the entire team. Georg Weiss is very impressed: “We got to know incredibly friendly people in this country. The race was also excellently organized. A really great country that is worth a trip.”
Voices after the race
Leonard Weiss (driver Ferrari 488 GT3 #22): “That was a really nice race. The track was a lot of fun and I was able to learn some new things during the weekend. Unfortunately, we had bad luck with the brakes in my stint. That cost us a few places. Nevertheless, we can fly home satisfied.”
Jochen Krumbach (driver Ferrari 488 GT3 #22): “The intermediate brake problems cost us an even better position. At the end of the race, there was a lot of water on the track. In darkness and without rain experience on this course were the most difficult conditions. That’s why I’m glad I crossed the finish line undamaged.”
David Perel (driver Ferrari 488 GT3 #22): “Driving for WTM Racing this weekend has been a real privilege. It meant a lot to me to drive in front of my family and friends. I enjoyed my two stints. Unfortunately, we had some bad luck with the unscheduled exchange of the brakes. Up to that point, we had a real chance to win our class. That speaks for the team and my teammates. Now I’m already looking forward to 2020”.