- Second win in the season for Milltek Racing
- British newcomers now also secure their first pole in TOYOTA’s one-makes cup
- AM Motorsport celebrate their first podium
In 2017, the TMG GT86 Cup once again is held within the framework of the VLN. The TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH one-make cup is held at the Nürburgring Nordschleife for the fifth consecutive year. The TMG GT86 CS-Cup is a close-to-production racing car with a spare-part service and technical on-site service, thus representing the ideal basis for perfect motor racing at reasonable costs.
Prior to the fourth race meeting of the season, Milltek Racing’s lead in the Cup standings had dwindled to just one tiny point but now, the TMG GT86 Cup newcomers demonstrated that they were anything but ready to give up their place in the sun. With the two points for the pole position secured by Lucien Gravis – the first for the team – and the 20 points for the race win the Briton succeeded in once again opening a minor lead over the other title contenders. Meanwhile, Pit Lane AMC – Sankt Vith secured their second consecutive podium by finishing second and newcomers AM Motorsport celebrated their first podium as Leutheuser Racing&Events who crossed the line in third position received a time penalty for having fallen below the minimum pit-stop time in one of their pit stops.
For Milltek Racing, championship leader since round one, it was a perfect day. At first, the car of Leutheuser Racing&Events took the lead but soon dropped back due to an early tyre puncture. Then, Milltek Racing and the Toyota Swiss Racing Team entertained the crowds with a fierce battle for the lead but then, the racing gods once again remained on Milltek’s side. On lap 11, the Swiss squad had to pit due to a technical problem and repairing the car cost them 16 minutes. In the end, they succeeded in limiting the damage by finishing fifth and scoring important championship points.
Nonetheless, only one of the title contenders really had a reason to celebrate: Milltek Racing. “It was a fantastic day and a great motor-racing day for our team,” Steve Pound, Milltek Sport CEO and Team Principal of Milltek Racing, beamed after the race. He particularly appreciated the efforts of the mechanics who changed the drive train in the time between the qualifying session and the race. “The car was ready just two minutes before the starting-grid call,” revealed Pound. “And as our pit stops also were perfect, this time, and all the drivers did a great job we had a rather stress-free race.”
Olivier Muytjens, driver and Team Principal of Pit Lane – AM Sankt Vith who finished second also came to a positive conclusion: “A good race of the drivers and a perfect job of our pit crew. We really may be very happy with our result. We set extremely consistent lap times and covered the race distance without encountering any problems.”
At the same time, the AM Motorsport team was virtually over the moon. What came as no surprise as the TMG GT86 Cup newcomers had secured their first podium. “To have made it to the podium as newcomers in our only fourth race is just fantastic. We are delighted,” beamed Alexander Müller, driver and Team Principal of the squad. “The battle for third position between us and Leutheuser Racing&Events was just great but when their final stop was much faster than ours we believed that they made a mistake. Therefore, I was rather sure that we would be third when I crossed the finish-line.”
Beyond the Cup, TMG also contests the 2017 VLN season by the TMG United Team in the SP3 category. TMG United traditionally has been promoting young racing drivers and is contesting the 2017 season with the pairing Sascha Köhler (22) and Alex Fielenbach (24). The team itself is built up of Toyota Motorsport GmbH employees who work for this motor-racing project solely in their leisure time.
The fourth round, however, proved to be rather difficult for the squad. In the qualifying session they had to settle for finishing sixth in the category, in the race, the speed of the two young guns also proved to be somewhat mediocre – and in the end, a technical problem on their CS-Cup coupé forced them into early retirement in lap 16.
The fifth round of the season will be held on 19 August and this time, teams and drivers will have to race for six instead of the more usual four hours. So, they all have to prepare for a very special challenge – no matter if in the TMG GT86 Cup or the VLN.
Interested teams and drivers will find more detailed information on the TMG GT86 Cup at www.gt86-cup.com.
Royalty-free high-resolution images of the TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH and the TMG GT86 Cup can be found at: www.toyota-motorsport-photos.com