SRT battle it out to the finish line, clinching a well deserved tenth place
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. SRT, that with the support of Champ Car, Gordon, DHL and Castalia Springs competed in the Total 24 Hours of Spa last weekend, finished an excellent race in tenth place. SRT, competing in its fifth 24 Hours of Spa, apart from one race incident enjoyed a perfect run, with Marc Duez, Steve Vanbellingen, Maxime Soulet and Damien Coens performing amongst the top in GT1. Just as dawn appeared Damien Coens took a slight off-track excursion, resulting in the team losing some fifteen laps. But an excellent catch-up race from the entire team was rewarded with a place in the top -10. "We have managed to finish another 24 Hours endurance race without any technical or mechanical problems, confirming the quality of the Corvette C5-R and placing the experience of the team in the limelight.
Unfortunately there are always other factors that play a part to achieve a top ranking, but overall I'm reasonably satisfied", a tired looking Patrick Selleslagh commented after the race.
It was Maxime Soulet who took the start. During the opening faze the young driver from Brussels held his own and after one hour the #18 Corvette, starting from 13th place, was up in a well deserved ninth spot. Maxime Soulet: "The car was perfect and I was immediately able to get into the right rhythm. There was no point in trying to keep up with the top FIA-GT drivers; our aim from the start being to finish as high as possible at our own pace."
The stints followed each other and all the drivers experienced no problems, and at 22:00hrs the Corvette was still in ninth spot. "To be honest there isn't much to report", Marc Duez remarked as dusk fell. "We seem to be running smoothly, holding our own, and we're all doing what is expected of us which is an important factor in endurance racing."
At the halfway point the Belgian quartet were lying in seventh place and as such, after an eighth place in GT1 in Rumania, SRT once again scored points in this highly disputed GT championship. "In itself that one point is not a matter of life or death, but all the same it is important to us."
Unfortunately just after the halfway mark problems arose for the Belgian Corvette team.
Coens: "I went off at Brussels and hit something with the right rear wheel. As a result of this impact there was damage to the supporting arm, universal joint and wheel hub and we lost a fair amount of places. I really feel lousy towards my team mates because we were actually racing brilliantly. A sixth or seventh place was definitely on the books."
"There's only one thing left to do and that is fight our way back up", Steve Vanbellingen continued. "We're not giving up and we'll fight to the finish line."
A strong performance by Soulet, backed up by his team mates did everything in their powers to bring the Corvette back up into the top-10. It was finally Marc Duez, with an amazing final sprint who brought the car home in tenth place.