SRT clinches great podium place in Argentina

SRT clinches great podium place in Argentina

24.11.2008: SRT – 2008 / FIA GT SAN LUIS The final round of the FIA GT championship was held in San Luis this weekend. SRT headed off for South America with the Argentinean Christian Ledesma, a renowned TC2000-driver in his country, Armand Fumal and Maxime

SRT – 2008 / FIA GT SAN LUIS

The final round of the FIA GT championship was held in San Luis this weekend. SRT headed off for South America with the Argentinean Christian Ledesma, a renowned TC2000-driver in his country, Armand Fumal and Maxime Soulet. After a difficult start to the weekend, the team clinched an excellent third place in the final race of the season, and a fifth place in the championship in this SRT’s maiden year at the highest level of GT racing.

 

SRT travelled to Argentina with two new divers, namely Christian Ledesma and the Belgian Armand Fumal. The Argentinean Christian Ledesma is a Chevrolet-works driver in the Argentinean TC2000-championship, a championship which he won back in 2004. Ledesma was making his debut in FIA GT in San Luis. Armand Fumal on the other hand is an experienced touring car driver, with numerous victories under his belt in the Belgian BTCS-championship.

For SRT the free practice sessions started off badly, because after a mere three laps Maxime Soulet had to park the Corvette C6.R at the side of the track. "The drive was damaged and the first free practice session of 80 minutes was over for us. This is pretty annoying, because we need these free practice sessions to work out the ideal set-up, but on a completely new circuit with two of the three drivers not knowing the car it was an additional penalty.", the young SRT driver commented. "Luckily the team were able to overcome the problem and we were able to work off the entire second session, with a pretty reasonable lap time as the outcome."

Soulet also drove the qualifying session and once again was up amongst the top. "Even though we still need to adapt the set-up for the actual race, what with the lost session playing a few tricks on us, the team performed some excellent work. I want to thank them heartily for being given this opportunity."

Unfortunately a problem with the marking of the tyres resulted in SRT being relegated to the last place on the grid. "Pity, there must have been a mistake somewhere and this has cost us a good start position on the grid", team manager Patrick Selleslagh remarked.

But on Sunday everything seemed to slot into place. Soulet took off with the bit between his teeth and after two laps he was up with the GT1’s. He continued his advance and the Argentinean Ledesma also drove a strong stint, ending it in third spot.

"Normally I would have finished off the race, but taking into consideration my limited driving time I decided to hand over my stint to Maxime", Armand Fumal explained. "The team deserved that third place and I couldn’t guarantee that I would be able to finish off the hard work put in by my team mates in the same manner, hence my decision to put the team’s best interests first.."

Soulet finally finished third, some thirty seconds down on the winner. "If we take into account the time lost due to our place on the starting grid and the fact that Christian experienced some difficulty with the pit stop, we might have finished pretty close," Patrick Selleslagh concluded.

"But I’m satisfied, and today we have once again proven that we deserve our place in FIA GT. Michelin provided us with an excellent tyre, the drivers were great, and all respect for Armand’s decision and the team performed exceptionally well. I reckon that we’ll be carrying on next season in this same manner."

 

 

- Vincent Franssen - photos JC Communications

 

 

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24.11.2008 / MaP

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