In a perfect weekend, GT Winter Series reigning champion Gabriela Jílková won all races and young Spanish star Nerea Martí came home with a win and a second place - as they both lead their classes after the third round in Jerez.
The penultimate round of the 2022 GT Winter Series saw teams and drivers making a trip to Jerez, Spain, where a strong field tackled the third race meeting of the series aimed at preparing some of the best GT3, GT4 and touring car teams for their summer campaigns.
2021 reigning champion Gabriela Jílková returned to GT Winter Series after a team change: the young Czech racing star will again partner Robert Haub in a double program that will see the zvo Racing team competing in ADAC GT4 and European GT4, as they get to grips with the brand-new Mercedes AMG GT4.
But Jílková - who has also raced and won races Stateside throughout the winter, competing in a Praga prototype - was not the only female driver to opt for the Winter Series preparation: 2021 W Series rookie of the year Nerea Martí has made her debut in close-wheels racing as part of the first ever BMW Team Espana.
Martí is partnering experienced Spanish racer José Manuel de los Milagros, in the BMW M2 CS Racing Winter Cup class. After only one season in single-seaters, Martí made her debut in the all-female championship W Series, scoring a podium and finishing fourth in the standings. The 20-year-old driver now is also proving to be a fast learner in touring cars, as she took a podium at her first ever race in the BMW M2 - and went on to claim her first win at only her second weekend.
In Estoril, Gabriela Jílková had a more challenging weekend against GT4 class rival Theo Oeverhaus, who had a perfect run with three wins. But nothing was lost as she fought back at Jerez and was back in the title fight.
As the series hosted its first race of the year on Spanish soil, the GT4 class was back stronger than ever, with 11 entries; champions Gabriela Jílková and Robert Haub entered the races as favorites and with main opponent Theo Oeverhaus not present at Jerez.
And Jilková-Haub delivered: Gabriela won her sprint race as well as the endurance race, helped by a strong run by her teammate. They now
After her first victory, Nerea Martí was also on a positive streak: she was second in her sprint race, having started from second in class and defended her position for the whole race - also remaining in close proximity to the car ahead and keeping at bay a faster GT4 car behind.
Together with her teammate José Manuel de los Milagros, Nerea would another win in the endurance race later on Sunday afternoon, which meant that she now leads the championship standings ahead of the last racing weekend at Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, a week after her W Series collective test on the same circuit.
"I am very happy because we came home as leaders from Jerez" - Nerea said. "During the weekend we have managed the races very well and it has been the round that I have learned and enjoyed the most.”
The fourth and final round of the 2022 GT Winter Series will take place at Barcelona on March 12th and 13th - as GT3 expert Carrie Schreiner is also expected to join the field.