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  • Writer's pictureVIVIEN STREBELOW

GT Winter Series as testing ground for Gabriela Jílková and Célia Martin

Using the GT Winter Series platform to maximise testing opportunities, new teammates Gabriela Jílková and Célia Martin shared the ProSport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for the first time last weekend at Jerez - and will be back in Valencia in a packed field of almost 40 cars.

Photo by: Daniel Bürgin // GT Winter Series

The GT Winter Series continues to be a great platform to test new teams and cars during the winter ahead of the upcoming season. That's exactly what ProSport Racing opted for their new all-female driver duo, as Gabriela Jílková and Célia Martin - who will share one of the Aston Martin GT4 in a still to be announced series - teamed up for the latest GT Winter Series round at Jerez.

The third round of the 2022/23 season hosted a record-breaking field of 47 cars - with some new as well as returning drivers: Czech racer Gabriela Jílková is certainly not a rookie of either GT4 nor GT Winter Series, having claimed the 2021 overall title, and raced in the past few years in some top GT4 platforms such as the ADAC GT4 and European GT4 Championship. Jilkova, though, had the chance to race the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for the first time in Jerez - and by sharing the car with Célia Martin, the driver pairing took the chance to better learn the car and the team's dynamics.

Like in the previous years, the GT Winter Series weekends consist of a test day on Saturday, while both qualifying sessions and three races are contested on Sunday. Each driver gets behind the wheel for a sprint race and then compete together for the endurance race.

In the GT4 qualifying, ProSport cars dominated the pack in Jerez, setting both pole positions. Célia Martin was out first in quali 1 and was eighth fastest in class; in the second session, Jílková made the most out of her experience and slotted into fourth place.

In the sprints races - especially in the GT4 class - there were big battles at the top between the Mücke Motorsport and ProSport entries: after some hard fighting and even some contacts, Mike-David Ortmann (ProSport) emerged as the winner in race 1, while Rodrigo Almeida (Mücke Motorsport) snatched victory in race 2.

Gabriela Jílková just missed out on a podium finish in Sprint Race 1, as she came home with a fourth place. The Czech driver started P23 overall and completed a phenomenal first lap, crossing the finish line in 19th place. She would then settle in P20 overall at the end of the race.

Célia Martin was on driving duties for the Sprint Race 2 and held position to finish eighth in class at her first race of the season. Martin had joined ProSport Racing for the first time last September, when she took a class podium in the Nürburgring 12 Hours.

"It is the start of an exciting year for me, with a lot of new tracks to learn", Célia told us.

"A solid weekend building the foundations for this coming season with PROSport and Gabi."

While the duo recorded a technical DNF in the endurance race, they will have more time to test and collect track time this weekend in Valencia, the fourth round of the GT Winter Series season. The journey continues - this time with live streaming available on the series' channels.

Photo by: Daniel Bürgin // GT Winter Series



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