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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

First class podium and victory for Margaux Verza in Porsche Sprint Challenge France

"After two meetings, we’re improving with every practice session and every race. I’m enjoying myself, and we’re getting better and better." - Margaux Verza delivered a remarkable performance in the second round of the French Porsche Sprint Challenge at Val de Vienne Circuit, securing her first podium and class victory of the season, showcasing her rapid adaptation at the wheel of the Porsche 718 GT4 RS.

Gabriela Jilkova, Cindy Gudet, Matmut Competition Toyota GR Supra GT4, GT4 European Championship, 2024 Spa Francorchamps
Photo credits: Alexis Goure

On her second race weekend of the season in the Porsche Sprint Challenge France, Margaux Verza has secured her first podium finish in class as well as an overall top five - then immediately topped in the second race of the Val de Vienne weekend with a superb victory in the RSS class that establishes the driver among the front runners in the GT4 category.

Verza, who made her return to the series this year after two seasons in the Alpine Europa Cup, quickly familiarized with the Porsche 718 GT4 RS and was straight the in the top five on the opening weekend, where she scored two fourth places in class as well as a P7 and a P10 overall.

The driver/engineer had made big progress in the highly-competitive Alpine one-make series, based on the GT4 A110 Cup car: after a positive developmental debut season, Margaux showed pace to battle for the top-ten in 2023 and scored her first class podium in Magny Cours, then enjoyed a very productive weekend at Dijon, but her season was then cut short.

The Porsche Sprint Challenge - a growing program which is proving to be very successful in several regions, producing talented drivers that go on to climb the Porsche motorsport ladder - was therefore a great opportunity to return to a familiar platform, having in fact taken her first steps in sportscars in the same team and in series promoted by Porsche Club Motorsport France.

Verza therefore joined the ranks of CG Motorsport Team for the 2024 campaign, with a promising first round at Dijon where she particularly excelled in qualifying.

"I’m very happy to be back in the team I started with six years ago", she told us. "It’s also the championship in which I started out, but now with the support of Porsche, it has become an official Porsche championship and is attracting more and more drivers."

"This year, the championship has seen the arrival of 21 new Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport cars, which is the biggest dotation in Europe, and a high level of competition."

Val de Vienne Circuit, a 3.729 km racetrack located in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, hosted the second round of the French Porsche Sprint Challenge for the one-make series dedicated to the 718 GT4 RS machine.

In the first qualifying session of the weekend, Margaux Verza set a time of 1:40.486, securing seventh overall and second in the 718 RSS class, trailing only her CG Motorsport teammate, Johann Rousselin. In the second qualifying session, Verza further improved with a time of 1:39.823, placing her fifth overall and again second in class.

After making a few setup changes post-qualifying, Margaux aimed to close in on the overall podium. She delivered a strong performance, consistently running among the fastest cars on track. By lap 4, she dipped under the 1:41 mark, and on the following lap, she set her personal best at 1:40.614, which remained the second fastest lap in her class.

Maintaining second in the RSS class, she gained one position on lap 8 and another on lap 11, ultimately finishing in fifth place overall. This achievement earned her second in class and her first podium finish of the season.

"At the beginning of the weekend, we worked a lot on my car with the engineers and my coach to find the best setup for me. We found something, and I had a great car for the rest of the weekend," said Verza. "I didn’t manage to have the quali I wanted, but I had a flying car for the first race, which brought some overtakes and a lot of fun."

Starting in a better position in race 2, Verza aimed to maintain her momentum and push further ahead, showcasing great pace and overtaking skills. She had a good start but fell behind RSD class contenders Stéphane Gilardot and Charles Didier on the third lap, necessitating another recovery.

In the first half of the race, Verza maintained competitive lap times despite battling for position. She gained a spot on Orgeval on lap 8, just before the safety car was deployed. Verza had clocked her best lap at 1:41.446 just before the neutralization, which again was the second fastest lap in her class.

When racing resumed two laps later, she gained another position on lap 13 when race and class leader Rousselin dropped down the order.

Now leading the RSS class, Verza battled with Damien Legrez in the closing laps for an overall top five finish, ultimately crossing the finish line in P6 overall and securing her first class victory of the season with another consistent run.

"The second race wasn’t my best pace, but I took advantage of events and brought home a P1 in class," Verza recalled. "After two meetings, we’re improving with every practice session and every race. I’m enjoying myself, and we’re getting better and better."

Having made significant progress in just the second race meeting, Margaux Verza once again showcased her fast adaptation and racecraft in a car she immediately felt comfortable with.

"The aim for the next round is to go for the overall podium, more motivated than ever," she continued.

Next up, the Porsche Sprint Challenge France returns to Dijon-Prenois on July 19-20 for the third round of the championship. Margaux Verza will aim to leverage the experience gained over the first two weekends to close in on the overall podium and continue scoring big points in the RSS class.

"The aim is really to fight at the front of the field while maintaining the pleasure and superb atmosphere in the team".



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