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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Ekaterina Lüscher secures podium in Porsche Sports Cup Suisse

17-year-old Ekaterina Lüscher enjoyed a very positive weekend in Porsche Sports Cup Suisse, where she collected a fifth place and a podium at the first round at Red Bull Ring, on her full-time debut in sports cars.

Ekaterina Luescher, Porsche Sports Cup Suisse 2024
Photo credits: DNA Photographers / Porsche Motorsport

Porsche Motorsport Suisse driver Ekaterina Lüscher had a superb start of her Porsche Sports Cup Suisse campaign at Red Bull Ring, where the 17 year old Swiss racer claimed a top five in race and then charged from seventh to the third step of the podium in a remarkable race 2.

Lüscher was selected as the Porsche Switzerland-supported young driver for the season - to continue the tradition of the brand and of the series to focus on promoting young talent.

The teenager from Aarau enters the GT4 Clubsport in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport operated by the AMAG First Rennsport team, in what is her full-time season debut in the championship.

"We are proud to be able to support a young female driver for the first time. I hope that she immediately becomes familiar with the GT4 Clubsport group, because there she will come up against strong competition who will not give discounts", had commented Richard Feller, President of Porsche Motorsport Club Suisse.

In the previous seasons, the Porsche Sprint Challenge Suisse - as well as the global Porsche Sprint Challenge format - proved to be a successful springboard for many young talents and the Porsche Schweiz AG alumni are no exceptions, with several athletes graduating to the upper levels of GT and sportscar competitions since the series talent promotion program was launched six years ago.

Despite her young age, Lüscher has a rather vast experience in motorsport: after she caught the racing bug aged four watching an Ayrton Senna video, she followed in her father's footsteps in karting one year later. At the age of 8 she entered her first races in the Swiss championship and was runner up twice - in the Supermini and in the OK-J categories - before moving up to international level. In 2021, she was the shootout-winner of the prestigious Richard Mille Young Talent Academy and entered the European Karting Championship.

From there, she would gradually step into race cars for the first time: she was part of the KTM Razoon - More Than Racing junior programme in 2022 and ramped up her fitness preparation in order to get ready for a full racing debut in GT cars.

Her first experience at the wheel of a Porsche Cayman GT4 came at the end of the 2023 Porsche Sports Cup Suisse season in Misano, where she first raced the 500hp 718 Cayman GT4: in a 2-hour endurance night race at the Italian racetrack, she claimed second in class.

Ekaterina Luescher, Porsche Sports Cup Suisse 2024
Photo credits: DNA Photographers / Porsche Motorsport

Following such a promising debut, Lüscher's focus switched to a full-season commitment in the Porsche Sports Cup Suisse in the GT4 Clubsport category - with the aim of potentially moving up to the GT3 Cup class in 2025.

The championship's six event calendar kicked off its new season from the popular Red Bull Ring in Austria - and will visit some of the most prestigious racing tracks in Europe including Circuit Paul Ricard, Imola, Portimão - for the first time - Mugello and Misano.

At the Austrian round, Ekaterina Lüscher established herself as one of the leading drivers in her category and made a further step forward in her motorsport career. In her first race weekend as a Porsche Motorsport Club Suisse and Porsche Schweiz supported driver, the Swiss driver with Italian and Ukrainian roots secured the fifth place in qualifying.

While she lost out to Thomas Bucher at the start of race 1, Ekaterina kept a competitive pace and caught up with her opponent and passed him again on lap 10, before pulling away and opening an 8 second gap. Tomas Guedes overtook pole sitter Remo Stebler and held on to take the first win of the season. Philipp Hagnauer and Patrick Schetty followed in third and fourth - while Lüscher crossed the finish line in P5, thus securing a very solid top five to start off her campaign.

From fifth, her second race of the weekend was a little less straight-forward, as she would have to charge through the field after a difficult start that saw the young racer dropping behind Liu, Bucher and Heiniger. With determination, Ekaterina started to top her personal best lap each time around and accepted the challenge: among the fastest drivers on track, she found a way past Andy Liu on lap 4, then overtook Dario Cerati two laps later.

Ekaterina Luescher, Porsche Sports Cup Suisse 2024
Photo credits: DNA Photographers / Porsche Motorsport

Lüscher was on a mission and closed the gap to the group of cars ahead, eventually passing both Heiniger and Bucher on lap 12. Her stellar drive gained her third place in race 2 - as she could celebrate on the podium for the first time of the year - a sight that is likely not going to remain an isolated event.

“I am happy to continue improving in test sessions and competitions – this shows that I am learning a lot and can put it into practice,” said Lüscher, who also recorded the second fastest lap of the race. "At the start of the second race, I shifted at the wrong time and as a result dropped to seventh", she explained. "Then I was able to start my recovery by overtaking the others and working my way up to third. I also set the second best lap of the race. But I still see a lot of potential for improvement."

"Firstly I made some big progress including getting to know the car better and we could find a good setup", she told us after the weekend. "I am very happy about the result and excited for upcoming races."

The second round of the Porsche Sports Cup Suisse championship is scheduled for May 30-31 at Circuit Paul Ricard, in the South of France.

Ekaterina Luescher, Porsche Sports Cup Suisse 2024
Photo credits: DNA Photographers / Porsche Motorsport



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