Second place in Bikernieki; the collision prevents fighting for victory
Two podiums in the Aurum 1006 km

First victory with Porsche


4 July 2023

Latvia’s leading highway pilot Valters Zviedris won his first victory in the “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ” series on 1 July. At the third stage of the series held in Pärnu, Estonia, Valters managed to rise to second place overall with a win in the second race and a third place in the first race, significantly increasing his chances in the fight for the championship title.

As part of the Estonian Porsche Festival, the third round of the Northern European Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ championship took place last weekend at the Pärnu “Porsche Ring” track. This season’s largest number of participants took to the start (14 drivers), among whom was also the Latvian racing driver Valters Zviedris, who this year is driving his first season at the wheel of the impressive Porsche 911 GT3 CUP car. The driver group was also very strong at the same time, as at least the six fastest pilots could be involved in the fight for victory. The race weekend began with practice and qualifying on Friday, followed by both races on Saturday.

“It went well in practice, we drove with old tires, we didn’t push for the final lap times. The Pärnu lap time is very dependent on the condition of the tires, so we were in the middle in the practice results, calmly preparing for the qualification. In the first qualification, there is a fight for entry into the second qualification round, in which the top ten finish. While all the competitors were already running on new tires in the first round, we chose to save the new set for the second round and ran on used tyres. Due to a communication error, we failed to set a good lap, and although we were in 10th place for a long time, in the very last minutes, one of our competitors rushed past us, forcing us to finish qualifying in 11th position. Accordingly, the tactics did not work this time and with these saved tires we did not get to participate in the second qualification,” Valters Zviedris comments on the training and qualification day.

Even though he had to start from the 11th position in the first race, the pilot representing Jurmala was in a fighting mood. “I knew that the speed was good for us, so I had set myself up for a good result. In the first lap I managed to overtake 5-6 competitors with beautiful and successful maneuvers, it was definitely my best first lap in my career so far. I managed to set the fastest lap on the open track, I quickly approached the group of leaders and with a couple of good overtakes I fought to 3rd place, finishing right behind the two leaders,” Valters describes a successful first race.

Since the starting order of the second race is determined by the fastest lap times of the first race, Valters started from the first starting position on the track this time. “It turned out to be a good start and in the first laps, I managed to break away from the followers a little. After that, the Finnish athlete Matias Salonen started to get closer, because he had saved his tires in the first race and they were in better condition than mine. During the last 8 laps, I had to look in the mirrors a lot and cover myself thoroughly, because the car was sliding a lot, it felt like I was driving on ice. In the last lap, the Finnish competitor had even passed me for a second, but in the next turn I regained the leading position and finished first, winning my first victory in the “Porsche Sprint Challenge NEZ” championship,” comments the young Latvian pilot on the dramatic victory.

After the excellent result in the third stage, Valters Zviedris has risen to second place in the overall standings with 106 points, only 7 points behind Salonen, who is in the first position. The season is exactly half over, which means that there are still three stages left this season – two in Finland and one in Estonia. “We really want to continue the fight for the title, because we have speed and we want to show that Latvians are the fastest in the Northern region. At the moment, we still lack the budget for a full season, but we hope to find the missing funding in order to continue driving for the whole season and continue the fight for the championship title,” says Valters about further participation in the series.

The next event, in which the Latvian racing driver will pilot the powerful Porsche 911 GT3 CUP vehicle, will be the Palanga 1006 km endurance race, which will take place from 19 to 22 July 2023 in the Lithuanian resort town Palanga. Representing the “Čapkausko Autosportas” team, Valters Zviedris, together with Ramūnas Čapkauskas and Nemūnas Dagili, will fight for victory in one of the most prestigious car competitions in the entire Baltics. “I can’t wait for this event, because it will be a very exciting race with an interesting track, strong competitors and many spectators,” Valters outlines the next race.

In conclusion, Valters would like to say a big thanks to all the supporters: “Many friends, family members and fans came to Pärnu, and I also felt support remotely and on social networks, thank you for that! Huge thanks also to all supporters: Optibet Latvija, Jūrmala, Visit Jūrmala, Blue Shock Race, NPK Expert, Joker club, Energolukss, I-Con and Dārta SIA.”

Follow the starts and progress of Valters on social networks – Facebook and Instagram.


In Latvian –