WTM Racing took a podium finish in the “Silver Cup” at the 9 Hours of Kyalami.

The race near Johannesburg in South Africa was WTM Racing’s first start in the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC), the unofficial world championship in the GT3 class.

Leonard Weiss, Jochen Krumbach and David Perel had to contend with freak weather and brake problems at the first edition of the endurance race in 37 years. Nevertheless, they took the third position in the class for semi-professional drivers. Overall, the trio finished 16th in a field dominated by factory-backed teams.

Just under seven of the nine hours were run in regular, dry conditions. The three drivers of the Rinaldi Racing-supported team cut an excellent figure and did not inflict a scratch on the Ferrari 488 GT3 “Luigi”.

Then, in the stint of Leonard Weiss, the only problems of the race appeared, who suddenly struggled badly with the Ferrari. The reason was revealed in the pits: The brake pads were completely worn out. This made it necessary to replace the entire brake system. “That is a great pity because, in the end, we lost second place because of that,” said team owner Georg Weiss.

Then, two hours and 15 minutes before the end, the heavens opened all the floodgates. It rained so hard that a safety car phase lasting almost two hours was necessary. It was not until 25 minutes before the end that the race was reopened in darkness. The fight for the podium places in the “Silver Cup” was close. Jochen Krumbach’s whole experience was needed to keep the car on the road in wet conditions. In the end, he brought “Luigi” safely to the finish. “We can definitely be satisfied with that,” says Georg Weiss.

Never before has WTM Racing started 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 met incredibly friendly people in this country. The race was also excellently organised. A really great country that is worth a trip.”

Quotes after the race

Leonard Weiss (driver Ferrari 488 GT3 #22): “That was a really nice race. I enjoyed the track a lot and was able to learn some new things over the course of 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 brake problems in the meantime cost us an even better position. There was a lot of water on the track at the end of the race. In the dark and with no experience of rain on this circuit, these were the most difficult conditions. So I’m happy to have brought the car across the finish line unscathed.”

David Perel (driver Ferrari 488 GT3 #22): “To have driven for WTM Racing this weekend has been a real privilege. It meant a lot to me to be able to drive in front of my family and friends. I enjoyed my two stints. Unfortunately, we had a bit of bad luck with the unscheduled brake replacement. Up until that point, we had a real chance to win our class. That speaks well for the team and my teammates. Now I’m already looking forward to 2020.”