SRT wins very first Citation Cup race
SILVERSTONE. Pertti Kuismanen and Tom Cloet have won the first ever Citation Cup-race at Silverstone. The Belgo-Finnish duo clinched the race in the SRT Corvette C5-R, having claimed pole earlier on. SRT had already made an excellent start in the French championship and have now also scored with great success in the FIA GT-championship. SRT are now concentrating on the third race of the French championship at Dijon next weekend as also the following FIA GT-race in two weeks time in Bucharest.
Both the free practice and the qualifying sessions at Silverstone were entirely held on Saturday. For Pertti Kuismanen and Tom Cloet both free practice sessions of 80 (!) minutes was the ideal time to get the Corvette C5-R fully sorted to the English tarmac.
Tom Cloet: "I know the circuit pretty well, having competed in the 24 Hours of Silverstone, but with such a GT brute it is a different experience. I was permanently improving on my lap times during the free practice and I'm please about that. We finally clocked up the fastest time in the Citation Cup and this ranking for gentlemen drivers is the team's first objective."
Tom Cloet was also at the wheel for the qualifying session, which only lasted 15 minutes, " It meant going for it right from the start, basically over 4 or 5 laps.", the endurance specialist from West Flanders remarked. Tom Cloet finally took pole spot in the Citation Cup. He also attended the FIA press conference: "This really is quite an unexpected experience. It was my first (short) race at this level and we promptly clinch pole position. I really hope I can build on this tomorrow."
Patrick Selleslagh seemed reasonably pleased: "The drivers really adapted themselves to the car and notwithstanding the heavy programme the team are coping extremely well - we are competing in four races in the same number of weeks. We still have to adapt here and there to the FIA regulations, but we'll get that sorted out."
The race itself was uneventful for the Corvette-team. Tom Cloet took the start and drove a sensible race, "even though the car didn't have as much grip as yesterday. But I drove my own race, aiming at victory in the Citation Cup. Unfortunately I stopped somewhat too late in the pitlane when I came in for the pitstop. We lost a bit of time there, but nothing too dramatic."
Pertti Kuismanen carried on the race and retained the lead in the Citation Cup. The Finn was able to recover the lost time during the pitstop and Tom was then able to take over for the finish of the race. And SRT handsomely won the premiere of the Citation Cup.