Miguel Ramos, Henrique Chaves and Adrian Amstutz took a great second place in the final round of the GT World Challenge Europe (GTWCE) season at Barcelona, and in doing so Miguel and Henrique claimed the Overall Pro-Am Drivers’ title whilst Black Bull Scotch Whisky-backed Barwell Motorsport were also victorious in the Teams’ Championship. We thus completed a highly successful debut season of contesting the overall 10-round championship, which contains both the Endurance and Sprint Cups. To add to our accolades we had already won the individual Sprint Cup titles, and 2nd in the Barcelona 3-Hours meant we finished as the runners-up in the Endurance Team’s championship and Ramos/Chaves finished as the second highest points-scoring crew in the Drivers’ standings. As well as Adrian’s contribution at Monza, Nurburgring and Barcelona, the two Portuguese drivers were joined by Leo Machitski and Sandy Mitchell at the Spa 24 Hours where we claimed another podium finish in the Belgian classic. This meant our total European podium tally for the season came to an impressive 11 out of the 15 individual races, including five race victories, two seconds and four third places. This year's success in the GTWCE means that we have now won an incredible total of 17 Drivers and Teams Championship Titles with Lamborghini since 2016.
It was indeed Adrian who saved the day very early on in the race at Barcelona, as he started our Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo from fourth place in Pro-Am and on only the second lap had to take evasive action as a car spun in front of him. Despite going for a wild sideways ride through the gravel trap Adrian kept the car under control and out of the barriers, before having to pull off another feat of avoidance just a few laps later as two cars collided right in front of him and blocked the racing line! With our main title rivals Pierburg and Baumann eventually winning the race in their Mercedes, it was critical that we had to finish the race in at least 10th place and so a retirement would have cost us the championship by half a point! These two incidents had severely delayed Adrian however, but he managed to recover back up from 10th place to seventh by the time he came into the pits to hand over to Miguel.
Good strategy on the pit stop timing and slick pit work by the Barwell crew then enabled Ramos to re-join the race in sixth place, and the experienced Portuguese driver then embarked on a brilliant stint which saw him lapping consistently with a second lap of the top factory Pro drivers. This relentless pace proved to be critical in our charge up the order, as Miguel rose up to fourth in Pro-Am and crucially was fast enough to prevent the overall race leader from getting ahead and thus leaving us vulnerable to going a lap behind our main Pro-Am rivals in the event of a Safety Car coming out. And once Henrique took over for the final hour this is exactly what happened, but it then worked in our favour as we closed up to the top three and Chaves was able to lap very rapidly and pull off some great overtakes to complete a remarkable recovery drive in second position.
Euan Shand, Chairman of Black Bull’s parent company, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, commented; "Wow, what a fantastic end to the GT World Challenge Pro-Am. An incredible result from Miguel, Henrique and Adrian in Barcelona and a fitting end to their season. We’re proud to have supported the Barwell Motorsport team and drivers and this shows that their hard work and perseverance has paid off. We raised a very large dram of Black Bull whisky to celebrate.”