Lennart Marioneck and Jonathan Cecotto came through to win the first round of the GT4 European Series Northern Cup for RYS Team Kiska on Saturday evening, putting in a stunning performance under the lights at Misano.
Starting fifth in the No. 34 KTM X-Bow GT4 run as part of the Reiter Young Stars program, Cecotto soon made his way up to third as a battle between Academy Motorsport’s Matt Nicoll-Jones and RN Vision STS’ Pavel Lefterov took place ahead of him.
The race was won in the driver changes, as Marioneck took over the KTM from Cecotto with a strong lead as the German driver came out of the pits.
Benefitting from a clear track ahead of him, Marioneck had a clean race until the checkered flag, finishing with a nine-second lead over Will Moore in the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
“I started in fifth position and at the beginning I lost a lot of positions because other cars were faster on the straights,” said Cecotto.
“I was able to recover one position at a time and my lap times were good. We just put it all together and brought home the win.”
The Academy Motorsport car did lead the race for a while with Nicoll-Jones driving in the first stint, and was in a battle with Lefterov and John-Louis Jasper’s Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR for most of the race.
Jasper initially came home third but ignored a drive-through penalty for track limits infractions. The Porsche was eventually given a time penalty as a result, dropping it to 13th overall.
Similarly, Alessio Picariello was also given a similar penalty late in the race, but the PROsport Performance driver was sure to serve his, dropping him to seventh at the finish.
Third position therefore went to the EKRIS M4 GT4 of Max Koebolt and Ricardo van der Ende.
Duncan Huisman started the race from pole position in the Las Moras Racing McLaren 570S GT4, but he was hit and spun around on the opening lap, leading to an early retirement for he and co-driver Luc Braams.
A safety car period was called for seven minutes after the opening couple of laps, after the Brookspeed International Motorsport Porsche of Freddie Hunt had been hit on track, but apart from that, the race was run cleanly.
Race 2 will take place at 2:55 p.m. on Sunday.
RESULTS: Race 1