Following on from difficult races in Spa en Bucharest SRT in a brilliant and sporting manner got their revenge during the seventh round of the FIA GT in Brno. The Xavier Maassen – Christophe Bouchut duo, following a fast but strategic race finished in a perfect third place and with this result the Belgian newcomer in FIA GT remains in the running for a podium place in the FIA GT championship.
The free practice sessions went smoothly and SRT, together with the drivers, found the ideal set-up for both the qualifying sessions as also the race. "I spend a great deal of time talking to the drivers and they have their input in what we do", Patrick Selleslagh explained. "This creates a perfect harmony between the drivers and the team members, and good results ensue. In this light Christophe Bouchut opted for his own set-up during the qualifying sessions, resulting in an excellent fourth best time. However he did admit afterwards that the initial set-up was even better", Patrick Selleslagh continued, with a wink. Christophe Bouchut finally stranded less than two tenths from the front row.
Christophe Bouchut: "It’s a good result and we have a perfectly balanced car for the race. On top of that Michelin has once more offered great service, which emphasizes the importance of technical partners."
For the race Xavier Maassen took the start and the Dutchman gives his comments as from the start: "I was well away, but immediately after the start I was nudged by another GT1, obviously some colleagues are somewhat too ‘keen’... and I lost two places, which I soon made up during the initial laps. After that lap after lap I reduced my backlog on the top-3. I was able to reduce it by some five seconds, which at this level is quite a performance. After an hour’s stint I then handed over the drive in fourth place to Christophe."
What Christophe Bouchut then conjured from out of his sleeve was pretty powerful. The Frenchman clocked up one fast lap after another without making a single mistake. Seeing the FIA GT regulations foresee two compulsory pit stops the Frenchman rushed into the pitlane two laps from the end for a driver change.
"That was a tricky moment-", Maassen admitted from the podium. "I went back on track not warmed up with two other Corvette C6.Rs in my mirrors. To my great annoyance I had to let one competitor through, whilst I was able to hold off the other one and defend my third spot."
Patrick Selleslagh was highly delighted with the result, which has now put an end to a difficult series of misfortunes. "It speaks for itself, I’m fully conscious of the fact that my team have placed enormous energy into these last races without achieving any great result and this a double compensation for something we have been looking forward to for weeks. I want to thank the entire team for their efforts and dedicate this podium to all of them."
SRT’s following assignment is the eighth race of the FIA GT being held at Nogaro on 4th and 5th October 2008.
1. Wendlinger - Sharp Jet Alliance Aston Martin
2. Hezemans - Gollin Phoenix Corvette
3. Kumpen – Longin PK Saleen
4. Bouchut - Maassen SRT Corvette C6.R
1. Wendlinger - Sharp Jet Alliance Aston Martin
2. Hezemans - Gollin Phoenix Corvette
3. Bouchut - Maassen SRT Corvette C6.R
-S RT - also photos
Photos will be on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - FIA GT
GT4 European Cup, Brünn
DREI STARTS UND DREI SIEGE IN BRÜNN:
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