Valters will compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux

Debut and podium finish in Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux


13 May 2024

Last weekend, the first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux took place at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium alongside the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). In his debut competition, Latvia’s leading road racing driver Valters Zviedris won a fantastic 2nd place in the “Rookie” class and 4th position overall in the first race. The second race was not so successful, experiencing a spin, but it could not spoil the joy of the podium and the speed shown on the track.

After winning the North European Zone Porsche Championship title last year, Valters has taken a big step forward this season by competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, one of the strongest Porsche championships in Europe. The first round of the season was held in conjunction with the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), bringing 88,000 spectators to the famous F1 circuit over the weekend, providing a great festival atmosphere.

The competition weekend started with training on Thursday, during which the Latvian pilot made his first laps on the Spa-Francorchamps track. During the training, Valters learned track and together with the “Q1-Trackracing” team worked on the adjustments of the “Porsche 911 GT3 CUP” car in order to prepare as good as possible for Friday morning’s qualification. It was very chaotic with several red flags due to crashes resulting in only one chance to set a fast lap time. Several drivers failed to do so, but Valters was able to immediately put together an excellent lap, showing the second fastest time and only 0.3 seconds behind the experienced leader Benjamin Paque.

Thus, in the first race on Friday afternoon, the Latvian racing driver started from the first row. The first start in his life from the spot with the “Porsche 911 GT3 CUP” did not go as planned, as he ended up losing three positions. However, at the end of the first lap, Valters had recovered one position and climbed back to 4th place. In the continuation, he managed to show good speed, closely following Robin Knutson in 3rd place and keeping several fast drivers behind him. In the end, a high 4th place was won in the competition of 22 pilots, as well as a great 2nd place in the “Rookie” class, allowing Valters to climb on the podium in his debut competition. The victory in the race was won by the qualification winner Paque, the second by another “Rookie” pilot Sam Yongeyan, and the third by the already mentioned Knutson.

In the second race, the starting order in this championship is usually determined by the second fastest qualifying lap, however, due to red flags, many drivers failed to show two lap times, as a result of which the starting order was formed this time based on the results of the second free practice held on Thursday. Taking into account that in this session Valters and the team were still testing various regulations and did not go after the result, Valters showed only the 14th fastest result, which made him start from the 14th position in the second race. In the race that took place on Saturday morning, he managed to get off to a good start, overtake three competitors in the first turns and join the battle for the top ten. In the heat of the battle, however, at the “Les Combes” turn, he made a mistake and spun, causing him to fall to 18th place. In the continuation of the competition, he managed to recover several places, finish in 14th position and win a couple of valuable points. Valter’s teammate Dirk Schouten finished first, celebrating his first victory in the championship.

“Arriving at the track, you could already feel that the championship and the track are on a completely different level compared to what has been experienced so far. Driving the first laps on the Spa track, the feelings were impressive. I quickly got a feel for the track and the car, with each practice session we became faster and more confident. On the qualifying day, we were ready, in a good mood and managed to have a very good session. There were several red flags, which allowed each driver to only do one fast lap at the end – this worked out well for me as I improved my lap time by 3 seconds the night before after extensive data analysis. I showed the second fastest result in the competition of 22 pilots, which gave me a very positive mood for the whole weekend,” said Valters Zviedris about the first days and qualification.

In the continuation, the Latvian racing driver explains: “For the first time I started from the spot with this car and I didn’t even get to practice it, so I overspooled and lost three positions. The battles of the first lap were interesting, I managed to recover one place and then I already controlled the speed, at times approaching the 3rd place. Maybe there were moments when I could try to overtake, but there were several fast drivers right behind me who would have immediately taken advantage of my slightest mistake, so I didn’t take too many risks and finished in 4th place. In general, the pace was good and I am satisfied with the first race, of course, the podium in the “Rookie” competition gave me additional emotions and it was a pleasure that the Latvian flag was visible on the legendary Spa podium”.

About the second race, Valters is quite self-critical, stressing that: “In the fight for 10th place, I turned a little too early, hit a curb, the rear lightened too much, the grip disappeared and I spun. On the positive side, this time we managed to get off to a good start, and we got to fight a lot, which gave us good experience for the next competition. In general, I must say that the first weekend in this strong championship was successful and we can be happy about what has been done. Huge thanks to my supporters – “Baltijas Sporta Auto – Porsche Latvija”, “Optibet Latvija”, “Industry Service Partner”, Jūrmala, “Blue Shock Race”, “Joker club”, “Energolukss”, “I-Con” and SIA “Darta”. Of course, thanks to the experienced Belgian “Q1-Trackracing” team, whose engineers, mechanics and team management were at a really high level. We worked well together and we will definitely fight for the podiums again in the next stages”.

The next stop of the “Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux” will be the exciting Zandvoort track in the Netherlands, where on the 7th-9th in June, the second stage of the season will be held together with the famous German “DTM” championship. Follow Valters on social media – Facebook and Instagram.

Photo by: Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux

Information prepared by: Arturs Virbulis


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