Five questions put to Patrick Selleslagh
Patrick, your first steps in motor sport go back some fifteen year, but SRT has only recently become a fully-fledged professional team. Why this switchover?
Patrick Selleslagh: "SRT has been active on the Belgian endurance racing scene for many years, and some six years ago we decided to take on a more professional approach. Up until that time I reckon that as amateurs we enjoyed some excellent years, being able to act at one's own will when it came down to building race cars, and obviously race them and hold parties at the end of the weekend, until a certain point in time when everything became more expensive and one needed to chose between a pure hobby and a more professional approach. This was the period when the GT1s appeared in the Belcar, with amongst others the Chrysler Viper, the Porsche Biturbo as also the Marcos LM600, and we also needed to acquire a new car able to counteract all that powerful machinery. And the choice fell on the Corvette C5-R with chassis number 007, the first ever Corvette in private hands."
Why opt for a Corvette and the on-going allegiance since?
Patrick Selleslagh: "We were drawn to the Corvette and it was unique. This was the first time we had worked with works material as also with a real manufacturer. Working with Pratt & Miller is an absolute dream and the original ties laid back in 2002 have truly grown over the years, we're really very close. In fact for them we were also the first client team opting for a C5-R. We grew closer together and after all these years I definitely couldn't have wished for a better collaboration, both with Pratt & Miller as also the Katech power units."
SRT is battling in the FFSA GT and FIA GT-championship against teams with substantially more means, and yet the team is successful, such as was the case with the recent victory at Monza. What is the team's secret?
Patrick Selleslagh: "The team's strength lies in its passion for motor sport. Every single member of the team shares this passion and would go through hell for one another. All in all we're only with seven persons, of which three are permanent. My son is a full time member responsible for the mechanical side. Personally, and together with my wife, I look after all the other matters between race weekends. This ranges from handling the bodywork, the bookkeeping right through to SRT's commercial activities. This might surprise people, but I still personally drive the truck from one race meeting to another. The advantage of a small structure is that everyone is fully conscious of the tasks involved and can take stock of the situation. A small scaled, but highly professional approach with a family atmosphere is somewhat our secret recipe, in fact a secret recipe which top drivers such as Bouchut, Ayari, Goossens, Hezemans, Fassler have had a nibble at and thoroughly enjoyed it. But this recipe has also shed its fruits. I must emphasise the efforts put in by all the members of the team, because without them SRT would not be where it is today."
What are the ambitions of Patrick Selleslagh and SRT?
Patrick Selleslagh: "In the first instance the aim is to remain as we are, I must emphasise that point. On the sporting front we are competing in several championships and I want to carry on doing this, both on the international scene in the FIA GT as also the excellent French national championship, namely the FFSA GT. Should SRT be able to play a part in this championship, based on regularity and for example excel in our own 24 Hours of Spa, for me this would be quite an achievement. But with such a great car as the C6.R I want to be fighting it out up front, because the car deserves nothing less."
Do you have any other motor sport dreams?
Patrick Selleslagh: "I have one very big one... to compete with my own team and with Belgian drivers in the 24 Hours of Le Mans."