Bucharest: SRT weekend summary

SRT SCORE POINTS IN THE STREETS OF BUCHAREST BUCHAREST. Following on from the dramatic sixtieth edition of the 24 Hours of Spa SRT had a three week reprieve in which to bring the Corvette C6.R back into optimum condition. This weekend was the ...

SRT SCORE POINTS IN THE STREETS OF BUCHAREST

BUCHAREST. Following on from the dramatic sixtieth edition of the 24 Hours of Spa SRT had a three week reprieve in which to bring the Corvette C6.R back into optimum condition. This weekend was the sixth meeting of the FIA GT season, exceptionally comprised out of two races of one hour each, in contrast to the classic race over two hours. The venue for this meeting was the street circuit in the heart of Bucharest, around the palaces of the former Rumanian dictator Ceaucescu. SRT was able to score points twice, however a fifth and sixth place for the Maassen-Bouchut duo was not the result team manager Patrick Selleslagh had hoped for.

The sixth meeting of the FIA GT championship was held in Bucharest, the Rumanian capital. In the district around the palaces of the former Rumanian dictator Ceaucescu a circuit was drawn out, something quite unique for this championship. In addition the traditional pattern of a two hour race was altered, and the competitors were given the opportunity to compete in two races of one hour each, and this on the Saturday and Sunday. In both races half points were on offer, more specifically 5-4-3-2,5-2-1,5-1 and 0,5. The finishing order on the Saturday also determined the starting order for the Sunday race.

The free practice sessions left SRT full of hope for the weekend's outcome "however during the qualifying sessions it didn't work out as expected", Patrick Selleslagh explained. "Christophe did everything possible to be up front for the start, but eighth spot was the best he could achieve."

The first race started off strongly and "in all reality we should have scored a top-3 today. We drove a strong race, because starting from eighth place on the grid on this circuit and finishing in fifth is pretty good, however our changeover was our downfall. In fact Christophe wanted to hand over the wheel to me as quickly as possible, but in his rush forgot to lengthen the safety belts, which cost us twenty seconds. If it hadn't been for that we would have finished third..", Xavier Maassen told us after the race.

During the second race the Corvette C6.R's gearbox threw a spanner in the works.

Patrick Selleslagh: "We cannot as yet exactly say what went wrong, but the fact is that on the grid Xavier had the car temporarily in neutral and apparently when engaging gear the car's gearbox now and again went into safety mode. It was only after the compulsory stop, and when the engine was momentarily switched off that the problem disappeared. However by then the backlog on the top-3 had become too big in order for us to save the situation and achieve a top result. We played safe and remain in the running for a closely contended top place in the championship. I'm fully convinced that in Brno we'll come out on top once again.."

SRT's following race is the sixth round of the FFSA GT in Albi, held on 6th and 7th September, followed one week later with the seventh race of the FIA GT in Brno.

-credit: srt

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Xavier Maassen