1 August 2023
On 28-29 July, Latvia’s leading highway driver Valters Zviedris had an excellent fourth stage of the “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ” in Finland, winning both qualifications and both races. In the wet conditions, Valters showed great speed, which allowed him not only to win but also to take a decisive lead in the overall standings two stages before the end of the season.
It was two stressful but successful weeks for Valters Zviedris and the team. A week earlier, Valters, together with Ramūnas Čapkauskas and Nemūnas Dagili, as part of the “TDS group – TOKS Racing Team” team, won second place overall and victory in the class in the legendary “Aurum 1006 km” endurance competition in Palanga. This was followed by active preparation for the Finnish stage of the “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ”, to which the Latvian athlete was able to go thanks to the support of “Porsche Latvija”.
“Within three days, we had to manage to prepare the car, replace various parts, perform maintenance, and go over everything, because we left for Finland early on Thursday morning. The Chapkauskas team did it brilliantly, the car was perfectly prepared for the competition. We did two practice sessions on Friday, and I felt very good. Since I had spent a lot of time behind the wheel in Palanga, I felt very comfortable and ready to fight for victory already during the first laps. I drove a very good lap in qualifying, with which I managed to win and, accordingly, start the first race from first place,” says Valters Zviedris about the preparation and the first part of Friday.
Practice and qualifying were held on a dry track, however, the first race, which took place shortly after qualifying, was held during heavy rain. “It didn’t worry us because in Palanga we already had to drive in such conditions, and we were ready for it. Thanks to my extensive karting experience, I always feel good in wet conditions because I know the correct trajectories, which are different in the rain. We also knew what adjustments needed to be made so that the car would have the best possible grip on the asphalt in these slippery conditions. We started from first place, but immediately behind us, there was an accident, which meant red flags and a stop. The re-start was also good, however, due to the fact that we had less pressure in the tires than the competitors, I lost one position in the third turn. I was second for several laps, but during the race, we managed to get the temperature in the tires and showed the fastest lap times. In the middle part of the race, I managed to catch and pass the driver Tuomala from Finland, then I got away from him and won a convincing victory! It was a cool and interesting first race from the point of view of both drivers and spectators, as there were many battles and overtaking,” comments the Latvian racing driver on the victory of the first race.
The fastest lap in the first race allowed Valters to start from the first position in the second race on Saturday. The start, however, was postponed to a later time because there were heavy rains throughout the day, which made the conditions on the track very dangerous.
“Alastaro track in Finland has many slopes, so water flows over the track, which can cause unexpected and rapid aquaplaning on the straights at high speed. The rain stopped a little, and we could finally go on the track. The start was good, and with each lap, I got more and more away from my competitors, creating a gap of 30 seconds to the second place. During the ride, it started to rain heavily again, so three laps before the end, a safety car entered the track, behind which we also reached the finish line. It’s a pleasure that we were able to be so fast in such difficult conditions and win two important victories,” says Valters about the excellent victory of the second race.
With these two victories, Valters has managed to rise to first place in the overall standings of the Northern European Porsche Championship, ahead of the nearest competitor by 24 points. “I would like to thank “Porsche Latvija”, which believed in us and provided the necessary support to be able to go to the race in Finland and show that we are the fastest among the Baltic and Finnish drivers in this prestigious championship. There are two more stages left, in which we will continue to go towards our goal for this season – the title of “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ” champion,” Valters is full of determination. The next stage of the series will take place on 18-19 August as part of the “Pärnu Summer Race”, when the Baltic Highway Championship will also visit Pärnu.
In conclusion, Valters would like to say a big thanks to all supporters of this season: “Baltijas Sporta Auto – Porsche Latvija”, “Optibet Latvija”, Jūrmala, “Visit Jūrmala”, “Blue Shock Race”, “NPK Expert”, “Joker club”, “Energoluks” ”, “I-Con” and SIA “Dārta”.
In Latvian –