Filip Salaquarda dominates in tricky conditions at Red Bull Ring

Filip Salaquarda dominates in tricky conditions at Red Bull Ring

The opening race of the ESET GT was scheduled for Sunday morning at the Red Bull Ring, which made conditions quite difficult for all the drivers. The track was not completely dry yet, so caution, especially in the first few laps, was necessary. Filip Salaquarda handled the tricky conditions the best and achieved his fourth victory in the sprint.

After a night of rain and morning fog, the track remained slightly damp, but it was by no means wet enough for rain tires, so the entire field started on dry tires. However, even during the warm-up lap, Piotr Wira crashed, and other drivers struggled to control their cars.

Before the race even started, red flags were waved over the circuit, and the drivers had to line up on the starting grid again, led by Alexander Ober with his GTX Lamborghini and Filip Salaquarda with his GT3 Audi.

Ober had a bad start, and Salaquarda took the lead comfortably. Teammates Matěj Pavlíček and Jáchym Galáš raced side by side through the narrow first turn, but Pavlíček lost control of his Lamborghini by hitting the inside curb and spun out. By the time he got his car facing the right direction, nearly thirty cars had passed him.

The fact that the track was not completely dry was evidenced by the lap times, which were up to fifteen seconds slower than in the endurance race on Saturday. Once again, Filip Salaqurdawas the fastest man on the track, pulling away from second-place Jáchym Galáš, who also led the GTC category. Meanwhile, local driver Ernst Kirchmayr in his Ferrari 488 GT3 was closing in on Galáš and being challenged by Libor Milota in his Mercedes AMG GT3.

Meanwhile, Matěj Pavlíček was working his way back up the field, setting the fastest lap times along the way. By the ninth lap, he had climbed to ninth overall and third in the GTC category. In the twelfth lap, Pavlíček overtook Dennis Waszek to take second place in the GTC behind Galáš, who still had Kirchmayr and Milota’s GT3 cars on his tail.

There were no changes in the top positions until the end of the race, and Salaquarda achieved his fourth victory in the sprint. In the GT3 category, Kirchmayr finished second, and Milota third. Miro Konopka finished fourth, and Petr Kačírek closed out the top five.

In the GTC category, Mičánek Motorsport took another double victory with Jáchym Galáš and Matěj Pavlíček finishing first and second, respectively. Dennis Waszek finished third, and Manuel Süssenguth and Michael Oliver finished fourth and fifth with their Porsche 911s.

In the GTX category, Denis Liebl wonby less than a second ahead of Bernhard Löffler, with Alexander Ober coming in third. Pavel Sovička and Alexandru Pitigoi finished fourth and fifth, respectively. In the GT4 category, Zénó Kovács added another win to his record with his BMW M4 GT4, followed by Matej Kosič with his Mercedes, Antal Zsig, and Andrej Lah. In the TCX category, Günther Wiesmeier won with his Cupra, followed by his teammate Hans-Peter Eder in second place.

ESET Cup Series – Race 1